Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Xrgomics' TenGo 1.11 Reviewed
Posted by Andy Whiteford in "SOFTWARE" @ 09:00 AM
Mobile phone users who do a lot of text messaging will be right at home with TenGO which employs a method of entry similar to the popular T9 predictive text entry system. Things are made even easier for Pocket PC users though as there are only six keys and the letters are arranged in the QWERTY format. This means finding the letter you are after is straightforward with a minimum amount of stylus travel to key in letters. Because the QWERTY keys are laid out in a similar fashion to the normal keyboard, typing is surprisingly natural as you automatically tap on each letter with the stylus. Occasionally you will find yourself only having to move the stylus to the nearest part of the relevant button as you quickly learn which of the six buttons hold the letter you are after and this is when you will start to see the benefits of TenGO. Because of this unique set up, you really can pick up and start using TenGO straight away. But the biggest asset is its small learning curve as you soon reduce your stylus travel to a minimum.
Figure 1: The TenGO interface
So How Does it Work?
As you tap each button, any word that matches the possible combination of keyed letters is displayed in a small window above the keyboard with the most popular of these appearing in the document itself. Once you have typed all the keys, if the current word is not the one you were after you just need to tap on the word in the preview window. TenGO learns the most commonly used words and they will appear at the start of the list of possibilities the next time you key it. If the combination of letters you have tapped so far has no matches but there is a possible match available with further key presses, this word is displayed in the preview window negating the need to type out the entire word.
Figure 2: Various options are a single tap away.
Okay, so the word you wanted is not in the dictionary? No problem, just score through each letter individually until you have spelled out the word you need. This word is then saved to the dictionary for future use. This system of letter scoring is very simple and quick and lets you add new words without the need for a new interface. Very clever!
Figure 3: Adding a new word
There is not much in the way of user definable options which is perhaps an indication of how well implemented the interface is. You can alter the scribing sensitivity between low, standard and high to suit your style of stylus use. Three check boxes allow you to auto save new words, automatically add a space after selecting a word and to enable accented characters. There are a couple of options that I would like to have seen here but more on them later.
Figure 4: The options screen