Minuum is a keyboard for Android with a rather unique take on the market. Instead of providing what is essentially a tiny, software version of the QWERTY keyboard, the Minuum keyboard shrinks everything down and relies upon intelligent software prediction to accomplish the task of inputting text.
The project was crowdfunded on Indiegogo, and I was lucky enough to be one of the first to donate — after all, the concept is interesting and text input on mobile devices has not evolved much in the past few years. I received an invite to the beta earlier this week, and I immediately installed the keyboard on my Nexus 4. After a few days of use, here’s what I think:
- The concept is interesting, but I question whether it actually offers any major improvements over existing solutions. While it is far smaller than other solutions, and thus allows more of the display to show content while entering text, it is a cumbersome experience even after the initial learning curve has passed.
- “Cumbersome” actually describes a lot of the experience of using this keyboard. Prediction is great, but entering anything more than one or two words just takes too long.
- In the original Indiegogo page, Minuum seems to be designed to be compatible with a myriad of form factors. This might be the case, but it appears that the inclusion of support for all devices has made the keyboard master of none.
- One-handed use of Minuum is limited. The bottom left corner of the screen on any relatively large device is hard enough to reach in normal use, and Minuum relies on adequate access to every part of the display to work correctly.
- Conclusion: It’s a fun idea, and a novel concept, but I’m afraid that that’s all this is. The experience may well vary by device and by person, but I’m giving this one a pass. Back to SwiftKey for me, which is both faster and better in prediction.
Do you have access to Minuum? What are your thoughts — does it live up to the hype?