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Minuum 2.10: faster emoji, tutorial improvements and bug fixes

Minuum 2.10 is available today. This release includes a modified tutorial, updated emoji with better performance and bug fixes. Keep reading for details on the changes and help us spread the word via TwitterGoogle+ and Facebook!

Emoji improvements

We have improved the speed and reliability of Minuum’s Emoji panel. Users with certain phones will also notice that their black and white Emoji font has been updated to Google’s Noto emoji font shown in the screenshot below.

emoji

Tutorial update

We’ve made some improvements to the tutorial. If you haven’t seen it or just want a refresher we suggest you give it a try. You may find a feature you’ve never seen before!

Bug fixes

This update also includes some bug fixes. Until now, some users may have experienced a blank space between the spacebar and letters in landscape mode. We’ve also fixed an issue which would cause typed letters to appear in the wrong location when editing some words with punctuation.

That’s all for this update. As always, let us know what you think and email support@minuum.com if you are having any issues.

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Minuum 2.9: bug fixes, uninstall languages

Minuum 2.9 is here. In this release, we have added the ability to uninstall languages, along with some minor changes and bug fixes. See below for details on the changes and let us know what you think via Twitter, Google+ and Facebook!

Uninstall languages

It is now possible to uninstall languages under “Language & layout”->”Select language and layout”. Just tap the trash icon next to any inactive language to uninstall it. It is not currently possible to uninstall English as it is bundled with the Minuum app.

lang-del

Improvements and bug fixes

A quick glow animation has been added to the language indicator (on the spacebar or in the bottom right) to draw your attention and provide visual confirmation that you’ve changed languages. We’ve also improved compatibility with pre Jelly Bean apps. On some older apps the delete and return keys were not working correctly.

Minuum now also displays a consistent font on all screens, even when a custom system font is used.

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Typing on Android Wear

Minuum is the first keyboard to work on Android Wear devices! Here’s a teaser of Minuum running on the LG G watch:

We’ve had oodles of requests for Minuum on Android Wear smart watches – everyone’s looking for a way to quickly reply to messages on their wrist without having to rely on voice typing.

While there aren’t yet many apps on Android Wear built with text fields available for typing, we’re working on changing this – sign up at minuum.com/watch to stay updated.

In case you’re really eager to try Minuum out on your LG G watch or Samsung Gear Live watch immediately, when you sign up at minuum.com/watch we’ll send you installation instructions straight away so that you can try out an early version.

[More details about how our circular design will adapt to the Moto 360 will come out when we get to test on a real Moto 360.]

Minuum-Android-Wear

Edit 1: Some further thoughts about keyboards on small screens:

For those who remain skeptical, I understand where you’re coming from; a standard keyboard paradigm absolutely would be horrible on a watch. But fortunately, compared to other complex interfaces, the keyboard is uniquely suited to taking advantage of natural language patterns in the same way that voice recognition does.

Keyboards don’t have to suffer from tiny-button syndrome, so long as the keyboard design embraces the expectation of sloppy typing. You can check out our explanation here on why Minuum works the way it does: The Algorithms Behind the Minuum Keyboard.

Edit 2: The vision behind Android Wear

My biggest takeaway from the vision behind Android Wear is the simplification of interfaces to work in a concise way on the wrist. Across all Android Wear applications, the key thing that makes this possible is the Google Now-style approach to using contextual information to strip away unnecessary interface elements.

Some folks have been complaining that the prospect of a keyboard on Android Wear is breaking the vision; and they’d be right if it was any other keyboard. But Minuum has precisely the same goal as the Android Wear platform: simplifying the interface so that it works quickly and without fidgety precision required (see Edit 1 above). If we can make typing amazingly pleasant on smart watch screens, there is plenty of room within the Wear vision for manual natural language input.

We’re chatting with the Wear team, and we’re hoping that the ultimate form of keyboard input would work in a way that fits within the vision of quick interactions in response to card-style notifications on the main screen; I think it’s important that thought be put into this, in case our experiments prove successful.

In the meantime, we are also experimenting with some Wear apps – and they may continue to stir up controversy because they won’t fit perfectly into the Wear paradigm – but we’ll be doing so in the interest of exploration. Let us know on twitter @minuum – and mention me, @w__w, if you have further thoughts on the matter.

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Minuum 2.8: lag fixes, an improved emoji panel, and Dutch support

With version 2.8 we’re introducing a redesigned emoji panel with an embedded font. Some improvements have also been made for switching between two languages. We’ve also made available a Dutch language pack for download. Lastly, we’ve resolved the persistent lag issue that many users were experiencing.

Dutch support

We are excited to announce that a Dutch language pack is now available. Hoera! You can download it in “Language & layout”->”Select language and layout”->”Nederlands”.

Lag fix

We’re very happy to say that this release finally resolves a serious ongoing lag issue many of our users were experiencing. You should no longer experience noticeable lag when Minuum is enabled as your primary keyboard for long periods of time. If you’re still experiencing issues, please get in touch with us at support@minuum.com.

Redesigned emoji panel

This release includes a new emoji panel with tabs for the standard emoji categories. Open the expanded emoji bonus panel — select the “★” on the far right of the keyboard and then press the up arrow on the bonus panel — and then click or swipe between tabs to browse the emojis.

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Bundled emoji font

This release also bundles two emoji fonts with Minuum. This means that all Minuum users should be able to see emojis in the Minuum keyboard. For devices which support loading colour fonts we’ve included the stock KitKat colour emoji font “Noto Colour”, all other devices will default to “Symbola,” a regular monochrome font. If you prefer to use the default system font for emoji, you can disable “Experimental & advanced”->”Custom emoji”.

Language switching improvement

When only two languages are installed, Minuum will now skip the language selection dialog. If you long press the space bar or perform the language switching gestures (“Language & layout”->”Language switching shortcut”) Minuum will immediately toggle languages.

You’ll also see a new language indicator when the spacebar is disabled so you can check what language you’re in at a glance.

Advanced preference: disable animations

This update includes an advanced option to disable superfluous animations under “Experimental & advanced”->”Enable animations”. We try to make our animations quick and design them to make Minuum more intuitive, so we recommend you leave them enabled, but we’ve made this option available for older devices.

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Minuum 2.7: Watch support and a new animation

Version 2.7, available today on the play store, introduces support for many smart watches as well a new animation to make Minuum more intuitive to use.

Smart watch support

You can now install the version of Minuum available on the play store directly onto almost any Android smart watch. Minuum is now more responsive and intelligent about screen size right out the box. For example, this means you could side load the APK from the play store directly onto your Galaxy Gear 1.

If you’re an Omate TrueSmart user, don’t forget that you can download Minuum for free from the Tools section of the OStore.

New full/mini animation

We’re constantly working to make Minuum feel more natural to use and fun to play with. Today we’ve added a new transition animation when you switch between full and mini mode. Just drag up or down on the suggestions bar and try it for yourself

bounce

Advanced option to disable auto-spacing

You can now go into “Minuum Settings”->”Experimental & advanced”->”Auto-spacing” to disable auto-spacing. While we strongly recommend you keep auto-spacing on for the best Minuum experience, sometimes you need that extra control.

Bug fixes

  • Auto-correct toggle switch now adapts to colour themes properly
  • Keyboard automatically opens in settings dialogs
  • Fixed erroneous “Boot and updating” dialogs
  • Performance improvements
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Hello, Moto 360: Typing on a Circle!

We’re proud to announce that we’re developing Minuum for circular watch faces! This is especially exciting in light of the Android Wear announcements at Google I/O this week; if you’re interested in our circular keyboard becoming publicly available for Android Wear, be sure to tell the folks over at Android.

As smart watches have evolved, one of the most appealing designs that we’ve seen is the round-faced Moto 360. As you may have come to realize from watching our sweet demo videos, Minuum is all about typing anywhere. And what better place for a one-line keyboard than along the edge of a circular watch face?

This is perhaps our most perfect example of how the original QWERTY keyboard needs to evolve to fit into the future of wearable devices – check it out:

MOTO360

Please tweet and let us know what you think! @minuum

 

…But why would smart watches even need a keyboard, you might ask?

Simple: as useful as voice recognition might be for some situations, it will always remain insufficient when it comes to noisy environments and private message replies. One of the best use cases of the smart watch is the quick message reply when in a meeting, or in class; and I’m sure your boss/teacher wouldn’t be too pleased with you talking to your watch. And don’t get us started on URL/password entry…

So for smart watches to truly be smart, they need a keyboard. Smart watch owners seem to agree; we’ve have had thousands of e-mail requests for the smart watch version of Minuum – if you’re using an Android-based smart watch right now, sign-up here to try for yourself.

In case you missed it, check out our smart watch typing video here, or read our thoughts here why Minuum is the best keyboard for smart watches.

 

N.B. Android Wear doesn’t yet have full input method integration, but if you’d like to try Minuum on your watch anyway, sign up at minuum.com/watch and we’ll send you installation instructions.

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Minuum 2.6: Custom themes, Russian and a new gesture

Today we’re releasing Minuum 2.6 with three major new improvements: we’ve added custom themes, so you can make Minuum look and feel right for your phone, we’ve made available a Russian language pack, and we’ve designed a new gesture for switching between the full and the mini keyboard.

Custom themes

In Minuum 2.6 you can now design your own colour scheme by selecting "Custom theme" under "Minuum settings"->"Look & feel"->"Select theme".

colors
Try out this theme on your phone http://minuum.com/theme/true/e6cb67/3d7499

You can send themes to your friends via tweets, SMS or email by clicking the share button in the colour picker. This sends a special Minuum theme URL like this one http://minuum.com/theme/true/7ae667/000000. Open the link on your phone and Minuum’s theme will automatically change.

Custom themes are only available if you unlock the free trial version or buy the full version from Google Play.

Russian

We’re also excited to announce the release of a Russian language pack. You can download the new language pack by going to "Minuum Settings"->"Language & layout"->"Select language and layout". One extra feature of our Russian language pack is the ability to type in "transliteration mode". This means you can type on the qwerty keyboard and Minuum will disambiguate in Cyrillic. For example, if you type "privet", Minuum will suggest "привет".

russian_gif

One layout per language

You’ll also notice that you can now choose a different keyboard layout for each language. The "Select language and layout" menu now has a keyboard layout setting for each language. This means you can use azerty in French, Cyrillic in Russian and qwerty in English.

lang

New full/mini gesture

We’re introducing a great new gesture for switching between the full keyboard and the mini keyboard. You can now simply drag up or down on the suggestions bar to switch modes. This new gestures makes it much easier to quickly switch to the full keyboard to teach Minuum a new word or type a password.

ExpandContract_GIF

Send us your feedback on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or send us an e-mail at support@minuum.com

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Thanks, Apple!

Ever since our Indiegogo campaign, we’ve had thousands of Minuum fans on iOS waiting patiently for Apple to make a move like this, and we’re as excited as they are about Apple’s decision to allow third-party keyboards.

Our first ever Minuum prototypes were actually built for iOS, and we’re looking forward to bringing those back to life. We’ll announce more specific timelines for Minuum on iOS 8 as we approach launch date. If you’re looking forward to being the first to try Minuum on iOS, sign up here.

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Minuum 2.5: Blue theme and power features

Minuum version 2.5 is available today and we’ve added a new blue theme, plus a few power features and bug fixes. The new theme is available under "Minuum Settings" -> "Look & Feel" -> "Select Theme". You’ll also notice that we’ve fixed the colouring of emoji and other small details in the light and dark themes.

Minuum Blue.png

Gesture Sensitivity

We’ve spent a long time crunching the data in order to made another adjustment to gesture sensitivity. Hopefully we’ve been able to find a good balance so gestures work across all devices. If you’re having trouble with gestures you can try adjusting the sensitivity yourself under "Minuum Settings" -> "Experimental & advanced" -> "Gesture sensitivity". Gestures not triggering easily enough? Try increasing the sensitivity to 100. Keep in mind that this is a fine adjustment, and may have more effect on some devices than others.

Enter to Send

We’re introducing an advanced option to let you control the "enter to send" behaviour. When you select this option, pressing enter (or swiping up and to the right) in messaging apps like SMS, hangouts and WhatsApp will always send the current message instead of inserting a new line. You can enable this option under "Minuum Settings" -> "Experimental & advanced" -> "Enter to send"

Bugs and Fixes

  • Emoji are now visible in light and dark themes
  • ß character can now be typed by long pressing on "s" even when the shift button is pressed
  • Indiegogo backers now get a special badge!
  • Workaround for crashing LG G2 devices. Custom sounds are disabled on these devices.

Send us your feedback on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or send us an e-mail at support@minuum.com

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Minuum 2.4: Themes!

Themes

Today we’re releasing Minuum 2.4 which introduces two themes: the default "Dark Theme" and the new "Light Theme". You can choose your theme under "Minuum Settings" -> "Look & Feel" -> "Select Theme". You can expect more themes in upcoming releases.

new_themes

New Permissions

You’ll also notice that we’re requesting three new permissions with this update. Because of the new permissions, you’ll have to approve the update in the Google Play store – so make sure you take a second to update Minuum to the new version.

All three of these permissions are needed for Google Cloud Messaging (GCM), which we’re integrating into Minuum. GCM is service that will allow us to push data, such as configurations, to your Minuum keyboard between play store updates. This should mean a better Minuum experience for you. Here’s a quick overview of the three permissions and what they do:

  • "find accounts on device": This service allows us to list the accounts present on your phone. GCM requires a Google account.
  • "receive data from internet": This one just lets us specifically receive data from GCM aka "internet"
  • "prevent phone from sleeping": So the application can temporarily keep the processor from sleeping when a message is received.

Unlock Badge

If you’ve upgraded from the free trial version, you’ll now see an unlocked icon so you know you have the full version.

unlock

Bug Fixes

As usual, we have a couple of nice little improvements and bug fixes for you:

  • Gesture sensitivity (for space and delete swipes) has been adjusted. We hope this will make gestures a little less sensitive on the devices like the Samsung S3/S4.
  • We’ve disabled auto correct for external keyboards so you can type normally on bluetooth and flip/slide-out keyboards.
  • A small popup delay was introduced in the shift button menu. This should eliminate an issue where pressing shift would cause the keyboard to switch to numbers mode on tablets and other large devices.

Send us your feedback on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or send us an e-mail at support@minuum.com

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