Hack BlackBerry 10-style word prediction onto your jailbroken iPhone with Octopus Keyboard

RIM has only just begun previewing BlackBerry 10 and already features like the on-key, gesture-based word prediction are being quickly copied for the iPhone -- at least for jailbreak. Octopus Keyboard is the name of the tweak, and Jeff Benjamin from iDownloadBlog took a look at its current state of development.

As of now the Octopus keyboard can do the following:

  • Automatically learns new words as you type them
  • Custom completion engine
  • Should work for any input language with key input (English, French, Czech, Russian, etc.)

Here are some of the remaining items that he wishes to accomplish before go-live:

  • Avoid learning mistakes
  • Autocapitalize words in sentences
  • Handle , . ! etc at the end of a sentence
  • Better handling and display of longer words
  • Compatibility with popular tweaks like SwipeSelection

Octopus Keyboard is currently slated for a May 20 release on Cydia. There's no information on pricing yet.

The current iOS keyboard does and forcing you to stop typing and hit a tiny X target to refuse them if they're incorrect. Here's how Kevin Michaluk describes the BlackBerry 10 typing process:

Instead of placing suggested words above the keyboard, which diverts your attention from the keyboard keys while typing, the BlackBerry 10 keyboard layers its suggestions on the frets between the rows, above the key you're about to tap for your next word. From there you can easily swipe a word up or ignore it. Watching the demonstration at BlackBerry World, it really is brilliant. We're excited for it.

The Octopus Keyboard doesn't look like the Blackberry 10 keyboard, but it does implement the words-on-keys concept. It looks a bit odd seeing it on iOS, where the keyboard hasn't changed much in almost 5 years. Kevin also wonders if RIM -- or anyone RIM may be licensing any part of the technology from -- might take action to prevent jailbreak from stealing BlackBerry 10's thunder,

You can see it all in action in the BlackBerry 10 keyboard hands-on video below, and compare it to the Octopus Keyboard preview immediately thereafter. Check them both out and let us know what you think.

Source: iDownloadBlog

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Wow!!! Blackberry is finally getting to 2005. Finding a faster way to TYPE??? No wonder their stock is tanking. Visionaries, like Jobs, realized that information is all you are trying to convey. He tried to bring the computer to life, like HAL in 2001. With Siri, I do a lot less typing. At least 50% of my text input is via voice. Goodbye typing. Won't be long now. I give it another 10 years tops.
  • Hey Martin!, bring me another girl, this guy needs to get laid
  • Oh Martin, wait a minute, bring a guy. he mentioned visioning blow jobs.
  • God I hope not we have enough illiteracy now I wish the apple products had a better typing experience they are laughable right now.
  • i'm excited to try this app... i'm planning on going to back to blackberry when BB10 comes out so this will be a nice way to see if i should get a touchscreen bb with onscreen keyboard or physical keyboard.. when i saw the new bb concept of swipe words, for the first time i had a doubt as to whether physical keyboards are better or touch...
    all you blackberry hater fanboys and girls can suck it...
  • The predictive text on the blackberries I've used is eerily accurate. I've always enjoyed using the reduced keyboards for that reason. Very fast. RIM does that better than anyone else IMO. I'm not holding my breath for the octopus keyboard to be quite as good as the real thing, but I'm looking forward to trying it.
  • This just shows why RIM fails as a competitor. They take years to produce their mediocre junk like this, and it can get implemented in a few days on iOS. Pathetic.
  • I know one thing, BB10 looks very very easy to use and I will be going to BB10, the predictive text, the multitasking was the best I've seen on a phone and if there CEO was telling the truth they were keeping some secrets to themselves I really want to see what those are. Just the multitasking alone looked awesome............unless iPhone 5 really shakes things up......but history says they won't
  • Well, you have to wait until at least November or maybe even January 2013 to get your precious BB 10 . Good luck !
  • iPhone 5? iPhone 10 might be out before BB 10 handsets get released.
  • אותם שמר בדרכה ... אחד רבים יכול עבודה רבה מאוד הממוקם מעין אלה של יסודות ... הם לא יכולים להודיע ​​לך עד כמה אני צודק, למשל ליהנות כל מה שאתה יכול להשלים!
  • זה היה ממש מעניין. אהבתי לקרוא אותו
  • איר געמאכט עטלעכע פייַן ווייזט דאָרט. איך האבן אַ זוכן אויף דער טעמע ענין און געפונען עיקר מען וועט צושטימען מיט אייער בלאָג.
  • גרויס פּאָסטן. קען ניט וואַרטן צו לייענען די קומענדיק אָנעס:)
  • If Apple would allow keyboard upgrades we could have had Swiftkey a few years ago like the Android people did... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHrTT0XAPJg
  • RIM finally coming to 2005? Shows what little you know, other than maybe slinging insults. It's not an app. It's baked right in to the OS. That's what is taking bb 'so long' to get this phone out with it's new OS. From buying qnx and TAT and redeveloping things their way while still catering to today's phones and old OS's. The company is nowhere near as large as Apple or windows or google, so yeah I bet they're stretched a bit thin. At least it's a great idea and works well from what we've seen. If it wasn't, no one would have copied it. Too bad apple needs it's app devs to come up with all their best features. Nothing against Apple, as I enjoy their products, but there is nothing I can do on an Apple product I can't do on another. Most times for cheaper and often better.
  • I have iPhone 3gs with iOS 5.0. My iPhone goes slow after installing this application. Is that any bug in this application?