Sunday, March 14, 2010

FITALY for Andriod Code.

For those of you that have asked, and aren't totally won over by Swype (my personal favorite keyboard on Android), I've posted the xml file for the my version of the FITALY layout. You can use this to compile a version of the keyboard for your phone. Or if you wish, I've posted my apk here. It should work for Android 1.5 but I've only tested with the emulator and not on a real phone. Once installed you set it up like any other alternative keyboard in phone settings. You'll need to run the anysoft setup to choose the FITALY layout.
Again, just another reason to love the open-ness of Android in it's ability to be able to pull apps from non-market place sources.
Enjoy.

24 comments:

havoc said...

I've been wondering about running Swype over a FITALY layout....

Anonymous said...

You rock. Thanks!

The Bear said...

Interesting about running Swype over FITALY but I think it may have problems. What makes Swype so great is how tollerant it is to inaccuracy. Sometimes when I 'shapewrite' I don't even hit the letters I'm aiming for but Swype knows what I itended to based on the shape my finger traced. I think this only works because of the QWERTY layout. With FITALLY grouping all the most commonly used letters right next to each other, SWYPE algorithms may have a hard time to associate the shape with a word, since most of the shapes would be very small biased toward the center of the keyboard - there may not be enough difference between words.
It'd still be an interesting experiment but mashing swype and FITALY is way over my head...

havoc said...

Bear, I got my N1 on Tuesday, and the T-mobile SIM came in Wednesday. I installed your Fitaly app this morning. I think I'm going to like it. It certainly beats ShapeWriter and ThickButtons with a stick. I'm locked out of Swype until they finish the beta.

Thanks, dude. I oh you one 'adult beverage' of your choice. (Beer, coffee, Coke, whatever.)

The Bear said...

Enjoy your N1 Havoc - I still love mine and my Wife can't wait to dump her Iphone when her contract is up. I got into the Swype beta early and initally loved it but have recently switched back to FITALY, partially because I made it but mostly because what makes Swype so amazing also can make it anoying, it's always trying to predict what I'm trying to write and sometimes that really gets in the way when trying to tweet out hash tags or type model numbers or other non-dictionary words.
Anyway, I hope you find it useful, and I still plan on integrating the voice recognition into it as soon as I get a some time.

Cheers

havoc said...

The Fitaly KB seems to have a few bugs.

when I try to add an apostrophe to a word, the word will be over-written with the apostrophe.

There was another issue that clobbered me, but I can't remember what it is. I didn't bother sending bug reports because I assumed you would be abandoning the project, but if you're using it again, I'll try to drop you notes when I run across problems.

Shadow Chronicler said...

I used FITALY on my Newton but I can't get it to work on this myTouch. I see it in the keyboard settings but it's not being implemented.
Any tips?
Thanks, Cliff

The Bear said...

Shadow Chronicler: Didn't get many details from your post but you may just need to enable it. See the instructions on how to do that here:
http://code.google.com/p/softkeyboard/wiki/HowTo

Lovisa Lucia said...

OMG thank you so much! I just got an unlocked, rooted G1 off ebay to replace my Palm Zire 72 and I hate the qwerty keyboard on the G1. Now it is so much easier to use the G1 with Fitaly, and thanks for posting the apk as I am not a programmer. I don't understand why Fitaly has not taken over the smartphone market. If there's any way to pay you for this, let me know!

The Bear said...

You're welcome Lovisa, No payment needed. I put it together as a learning project and for personal use. It's always good to hear from Palm fans. My last Palm based device was a Zodiac, a high powered (for the time), game-centric device with dual SD card slots and a graphics co-processor.
I curious about the FITALY guys also, They're still around but are sticking with Windows Mobile, and Palm OS. They seemed to be hesitant about porting to other platforms. I even sent the developer a post about Android saying how open and easy it is to develop for but there wasn't much interest...

Adam Spiers said...

Wow, this is AWESOME work! I had no idea it was so easy. The .apk works fine on my Motorola Milestone.

However, I have ideas for a number of improvements to your layout which I would like to try, but the .xml file you post doesn't seem to exactly match the layout in the .apk, and when I unzip the .apk, all the XML files seem to be compressed or encoded in some way. According to file(1) they are DBase 3 files which I'm not sure what to do with, and I can't find any mention of compressed/encoded XML in the SDK docs so far. Please could you explain how you built the .apk?

It would be awesome if we could start a community project around this, e.g. by hosting on github. Thanks a lot!

The Bear said...

Adam - Not too sure how the .apk file is constructed it's probably not .xml anymore at that level- I'm thinking the SDK uses the .xml and the source to create the appropriate JAVA bytecode for the Dalvik VM (I'm not a seasoned developer so I could be totally off here).
Anyway, the .apk I have posted is based on the Google sample code that comes with the SDK.
I have since moved on to changing the layout to work with an open source project hosted at Code.Google.com. It's a more developed keyboard with multi-formats and predictive text features and makes a good base for the FITALY layout. However, FITALY is protected by Copyright so it cannot be part of an open source project. But, this doesn't mean you can't make one for your personal use. My original post was just to show how easy it is to do in Android using only the free tools Google provides. Think it's still safe to disucss layout improvements with screen shots and such, and I'd be interested in hearing your ideas.
One note, there is a thread over at the company forum of the original makers of the FITALY keyboard for Palm and Pocket PC which asking them to port it to the Iphone and Andriod. So far the developer seems hesitant on looking into the new platforms, I've sent them a note on how easily it can be done on Android's open platform - but have got no response.

havoc said...

I'm beginning to think that Fitaly is dead in the sense that the developers have all moved on to other things. The web site has not changed in three or more years. Several users of Nokia's n800/810 devices asked with no response.

I wonder if there is any way to still reach the developers.

havoc said...

I tried to call support. You can get phone support for Instant Text, but not Fitaly. Fitaly is email support only, and I have not received a response from my 6/6/2008 inquiry about support for the Nokia n810.

You know what I think might be worth trying? I think I might swap the "i" and the "t" and create the 'all new' FIATLY keyboard.

Then, wait for the 'cease and desist' letter from TextWare's lawyers. If they get bothered enough to higher a lawyer to send a letter, maybe they'll get worked up enough to put a $4.99 app in the Android Market and make a few bucks of people like us who are begging them to sell us a keyboard.

Thoughts?

Lovisa Lucia said...

'Ive been using your fitaly keyboard on my G 1and have a strange problem: when I insert my cursor into the middle of existing text and type letters with a space after them, the cursor jumps ahead before the space is entered. It jumps by the number of characters I inserted minus one. It 'doesnt matter which space button I use. Numerals dont cause this. Any ideas for a solution? Im so addicted to fitaly Im willing to live with a workaround. Thanks again!

The Bear said...

Okay, for those of you that are experiencing problems with the basic FITALY layout which used the Google sample code, I've posted a new version based on the more robust Open Source Project, Anysoft Keyboard. Anysoft comes with a lot of different layouts so you'll need to go into it's setting an activate FITALY and shut off the ones you don't want. There are a lot of configuration options to play with on this one. Best of all, it has predictive text and a user dictionary.
NOTE:This is a work in progress (very slow progress) and there are hooks to getting Voice Recognition integrated, but they aren't complete yet, so the keyboard will force close if you try and activate it with the 'VC' key.

As for setting up a repository, I may as soon as I figure out how to do it properly (I'm more of a photographer than a developer)...

Meanwhile, try it out, play and enjoy.

Lovisa Lucia said...

"I've posted a new version based on the more robust Open Source Project." Is this the one posted above? Or is there another one elsewhere that may not have the space-jump problem I described earlier? (You're making me want to learn how to program!)

Anomalous Underdog said...

Cool, I've been considering making the OPTI keyboard layout in android. Good to know its easy to create your own layout without needing to code much.

Bill Starr said...

Pretty cool. I was hopeful it might have the slide-to-capitalize feature I use so much on my Sony Clie, but that's asking too much for a simple XML file I guess.

Ed said...

Hello there. I am wondering if there are any updates to your efforts in posting a new version to your first apk. I am using and l absolutely love your version but I do encounter the same problems as lovisa. Hope to hear a respose! Cheers!

The Bear said...

Hey Ed.
I have moved on to other keyboard layouts so unfortuneatly, this hasn't got much attention in a while.
The open source code base has had several updates and has matured quite nicely - infact they now support 3rd party layouts.
While I can't promise anything, I'll look into putting FITALY into a extension pack that way the you could benifit from the bug fixes and development of the core project. I'll post updates here.

xephirum said...

Can you tell us the new KEYBOARD layout you’re using?

Robert R. said...

I was very happy to see, that I am not the only fan of the FITALY keyboard layout. I'd really appreciate it if you manage to finish/publish your version for Android.

Robert R. said...

I was very happy to see, that I am not the only fan of the FITALY keyboard layout. I'd really appreciate it if you manage to finish/publish your version for Android.