MobType – An Interesting Take on the iPhone Keyboard

Yesterday we ran a story about the state of Apple’s current text input technology in iOS. While their keyboard is extremely popular, consumers lack any alternative method of text input. Though there currently doesn’t appear to be any App Store solution at the moment (pending ShapeWriter return), jailbreakers do have an alternative.

That’s why we jailbreak our iDevices, right? To have other options besides what Apple deems appropriate for their hardware? Anyways if you’re sporting a hacked iPhone or iPod touch and have been looking for something different than the typical boring keyboard, you might want to check out MobType… MobType, a free Cydia application that will replace your current iOS keyboard with… well I’m not sure what it is. It is obviously a keyboard overlay and it certainly puts a weird spin on text input. The idea is that the allotted  space for the keyboard is divided into 2 squares. Each square is cut up into 4 sections.

In each of these sections is a group of letters and characters. Selecting a group, turns each of the 8 sections into a different letter or character from the batch you selected. Confused yet? It definitely takes some playing with the application to completely understand the concept.

While the interface itself is confusing, the simple gestures for common tasks are a nice touch. Swiping back across the keyboard will delete a space and swiping forward will give you a space. Letters are capitalized by swiping up.

The MobType keyboard itself will likely have some of you tossing your iPhones out your windows, as it is quite frustrating to get used to. Honestly, even after you get a general feel of where the letters pop up at, you don’t feel like you are moving very fast.

It’s certainly not an answer to Swype. But with the lack of alternative input options, MobType at least gives users a choice. Thanks to multitasking, users can switch quickly between the regular keyboard and the MobType keyboard, at least until you get the hang of it. If you haven’t tried MobType yet, it’s available in Cydia as a free download, just search for it.

Have you tried MobType yet?