HERO Keyboard 2

Although our brains and fingers are most familiar with the QWERTY layout of a keyboard, it really isn’t such a smart design when you think about it. I mean, how often do you use the letter Q?

HERO Keyboard is a third-party keyboard app that completely redesigns the layout of letters so that the most-used are conveniently located in a center circle with secondary and tertiary letters in the outer layers.

The keyboard looks like a click wheel with a space bar in the dead center and the most-used letters in the inner circle. I don’t know about you, but I type the word “the” about as often as I blink, so having those three letters next to each other immediately makes mores sense to me.

HERO Keyboard 3

The secondary circle houses the less used, but still important letters. The outer layer includes Q, X, V, Z and a selection of symbols. Tap the number icon to switch to the number pad, which has zero through nine displayed in the familiar phone layout. Less used symbols populate the frame.

To access extended characters, like à or ñ, hold a letter for about one second to call up the additional characters.

HERO Keyboard 1

The keyboard also works in landscape mode, wherein the keyboard splits in two with numbers in the dead center instead of the space bar.

You can drag your finger from one letter to another to spell out words, and it works well if the letters are all close together. However, If you are trying to spell a word whose letters are on the opposite side of the keypad, you may end up with some form of gibberish.

The developer has plans to add a more robust drag-to-type feature, better autocorrect, and an auto suggest bar to help make typing faster and more efficient. With predictive typing, this could be a pretty amazing keyboard.

You do not need to allow full access to use this keyboard. However, there are two additional themes, black and white, which do require full access to use.

When I first started typing with HERO, it was excruciatingly slow. I am so familiar with the QWERTY style of keyboard that it takes much longer to find the letters. However, the keyboard layout makes so much more sense that I know I’ll get faster at using it and will probably never want to go back to the traditional way again.

HERO Keyboard is available for $0.99. Download it in the App Store today.

What do you think of this new keyboard layout? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Saria Hajjar

    OMG OMG OMG! My name can be written by the center-most wheel!

    • Saria Hajjar

      Well…. Just my first name :'(

      • Renato Faria

        My first name too… 🙂

      • vivalaivsca

        You lucky bastards. I have to use two different wheels to write mine. Just because of that, I will not be buying this.

  • timoever

    Sadly not every language has the same most common used keys as English. I immediately noticed using this keyboard, how often I use the Z key in my native language.

  • Mike C.

    Though i’ll never use this, new innovative KB apps are a good thing. Kudos to them.
    Now apple, just fix the Damn keyboard integration in your Damn ios.

  • ilikeiphone

    innovative is not equal with naive and stupid…

  • Dhoklastellar Fafda®™

    OMG someones attempted to reinvent the wheel by moving the spokes. What an areshole.

    • NiggaPLEASE

      You’re an arsehole. How bout that.

      • Dhoklastellar Fafda®™

        Im sorry you that you made this tweak and feel frustrated, but it sucks donkey balls

  • AnArcticMonkey

    “reinvent the way you type”…oh here we go agai- WAIT WHAT?!

  • Saudor

    Nice concept but i don’t think it’ll be possible to fully master this unless physical keyboards also do this. (aka some unity).. same reason why i disable OS X’s “natural scrolling” because i jump between PC/Mac and it feels “weird”

    Even on a mouse level, switching from the Logitech Performance MX on the PC and Magic Mouse on the mac throws me off initially as i move across platforms.

  • igorsky

    I always want to applaud anyone who pushes the boundaries, but I really don’t see the wisdom/purpose of this keyboard.

  • We1ch

    Is it for android as well? Lol

  • Casey H.

    I actually use the letter “Q” a lot. I’m open to typing quicker… er I mean faster, but not sure if this is going to catch on.

  • Byron C Mayes

    “I mean, how often do you use the letter Q?”

    When typing that I have a question, asking someone to quit, or move quickly, or be quiet; communicating with my scientist friends about quarks and quantum mechanics; communicating with my gay activist friends about queer theory; entering into minutes that the meeting has a quorum; quality control conversations; most discussions about chess or card games; and on and on.

    Of course, it’s relative rare use is in part why Q is stuck in a remote corner of the keyboard layout.

  • Michele Ruzic

    I tried this keyboard but its really hard to type

  • this or swype keyboard/s?…

  • Andrew

    This keyboard mixed with Nintype’s ability to type one word with multiple swipes would be perfect.

  • gittlopctbi

    Changing the QWERTY keyboard will never happen. Just won’t. Too difficult to retrain everyone. Too ingrained in our systems. Even if these keyboards are more efficient. Just will not happen. How many decades–yes, decades–have we had DVORAK? If it was going to take off, it would have by now. But it hasn’t. And neither will any new keyboard. New keyboards will only be embraced by a very, very select few.

  • Christopher

    Wow, somebody decided the fake “iPhone” Apple “unveiled” back in 2007 was onto something.