Microsoft Garage this week released a new keyboard replacement app for Android called Hub Keyboard. As you might expect, it expands on the stock Android keyboard in several ways, and offers quick access to data from other apps.
“When you’re on your smartphone, you may frequently toggle between apps, especially when you’re trying to share information with someone via mail or text message,” Microsoft explains. “Now you can say goodbye to all that switching back and forth thanks to Hub Keyboard, which keeps you in your conversation, bringing in relevant information to help complete common tasks.”
When you install Hub Keyboard and configure it as your on-screen keyboard in Android, you’ll notice two major changes: There is a row of new icons above the keyboard and a new icon in the “soft button” strip at the bottom of the screen (next to Back, Home, and Apps).
The button at the bottom lets you switch between installed keyboards, so you can go back to the stock Google keyboard, SwiftKey, or whatever other keyboard you were using previously at any time. But the top row of icons is of course specific to Hub Keyboard, and each provides a specific function:
Clipboard. The first item is a multi-item clipboard, which offers a big improvement over the Android default, where you can store only one item in the clipboard. And using the “Recent clips” list, you can even access multiple clips (copies) from a single app, which is a really nice touch.
Documents. The second item lets you search documents in your OneDrive and SharePoint documents using a work, school, or university Office 365 account. (So not Office 365 Home or Personal, and yes I did check.) Just type in a search term and document results will appear right above the keyboard. When you select one, a link to that document is pasted into whatever text field you’re using.
Contacts. This works similarly to Documents: Type in the name of a contact and a list of contacts will appear as you do so. When you select a contact, their information—name, home number, mobile number, email address, and so on—is pasted.
Translate. In some ways the most impressive feature of this keyboard, the Translate item lets you translate text you’ve typed into another language. It’s pretty sweet.
Very, very interesting.
Tagged with Microsoft Garage