About a week after introducing the 8pen text input tool for Google Android, the developers of the app have removed the $1.50 price tag. You can now download and use 8pen for free.

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The 8pen app for Google Android is a complete replacement for the Android keyboard. Instead of tapping out letters, numbers and characters on a QWERTY keyboard that mimics a traditional computer keyboard, 8pen uses a system of gestures. Theoretically this could be faster since it allows you to type without ever lifting your finger from the screen. Once you learn your way around the 8pen system you may also be able to “type” without looking at your fingers.

On the other hand, while 8pen says its text entry system is similar to handwriting because it’s gesture-based, you have to learn a whole new series of gestures which can take a while. After spending a few minutes using 8pen, I’m pretty sure my typing speed is around 3 words per minute right now — compared with closer to 20 or 30 words per minute with the default Android keyboard. I’m not sure I want to put in the training time to improve that, but that’s my problem, not yours.

On the other hand, there’s at least one good reason some users have found for using 8pen…

8pen version 1.1 isn’t just free, it also packs a number of new features including support for voice input on Android 2.2, optional auto-spacing, a preview pop-up, and improved dictionary support.

via Android Central

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...