Minuum is encouraging the exploration of how the Android Wear platform can be used. We know that typing on Android Wear has become a controversial topic, but we wholeheartedly understand Google’s vision of quick and context-aware interaction. That is exactly what Minuum is about, if used correctly. While voice recognition can be great, there are still many situations where speaking to your watch may not be ideal. We’re interested to see how developers and watch-wearers can create new types of succinct experiences that wouldn’t otherwise be possible without a keyboard like Minuum, together figuring out which ones make sense and which don’t on the small screen that a watch provides. None of these things would be possible without the kind of recent experimentation that the Android Wear community has been doing.
Last month, we released a video showcasing Minuum running on an LG G Watch. Our team agrees that just throwing a regular keyboard on a screen that small would be a bad experience for two big reasons; screen space and typing accuracy. Minuum on Android Wear solves the first problem by taking up significantly less of the display and the second by having the same powerful autocorrect algorithm that our tablet and smartphone users currently enjoy. If you’d like to learn more about the algorithm that makes this possible, take a look at this post on our blog.
Since our experimental Android Wear release, developers have created some great apps that wouldn’t have been possible without Minuum. Click the images below to see them on the Play Store.
You can use our keyboard with these apps by downloading them and installing Minuum. While we want as many people as possible to try our keyboard, keep in mind that at this point, installing Minuum on your smart watch requires experience with the Android SDK. If you’re still interested, follow this link to sign up for our Android Wear email list. Signing up will give you watch specific instructions and a link to the APK. Not all of the watches in the drop-down list are currently supported, but continuing the sign up process will get you an email the moment we get Minuum working on the watch you selected.
You can make an app like this too if you’re a developer, just include a text field in your Wear app if you detect that a system input method is available. As always, let us know your thoughts on all of the above (if you’ve tried those apps, or if you’re making a Wear app that supports typing.)
This is still early days for Android Wear and we at Minuum are very excited for the future. The Minuum Keyboard is just expanding the array of possibilities.