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.
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.
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.