Categories
Hosting Technology

Fancy Hosting Your Website From Your Mobile Phone? Here’s How…

How would you like to host your websites from your mobile phones or tablets? Preposterous? No, actually, it is quite doable and in very few steps too.

In this example, we will be setting up a WordPress website/blog on an android device.

PS: Your Android device does not have to be rooted to carry out these tasks.

servers ultimateQuick Steps

  • You will need a PC to work from to make the setup process easier.
  • Your android phone and the PC must be connected to the same WiFi – same LAN.  (Note that the WiFi need not be Internet enabled.)
  • However, you will need to find a way to download and install the trial version of Servers Ultimate to your Phone from Google Play Store. There is a Pro version you can buy if you decide you like the app. You will also need to download and install Servers Ultimate Packs A to E from the same link.

Create the Servers

  • Go to WordPress.org and download the WordPress web software to your PC. Extract the archived files to a single folder on your PC. Copy this folder, preferably, to the root of your device SD Card
  • Start the Servers Ultimate app on your device, click on the “+” sign on the top right of your screen
  • Select “MySQL server”
  • Give the server a name and save it. Named mine “wp_mysql” (without the quotes, of course)
  • Again, click on the “+” sign on the top right of your screen
  • Select “PHP and Lighttpd Server”
  • Give the server a name. Named mine WordPress. Do not exit the screen just yet!

Configure the services

  • Select the next tab labelled “Specific”
  • Look under “Servers”, ensure the options “Enable Lighttpd Server” and “Enable PHP Server” are checked.
  • Scroll down and look under “Document Root”. Browse to the WordPress folder on your phone and select it.
  • Under “Server Tag”, you may enable all the options, especially “Enable PHPMyadmin”
  • Now press save. The screen will exit.
  • From the Server Ultimate default screen, click the start icon to start the two servers, “WordPress” and “wp_mysql”
  • Now right-click on the server labelled WordPress. From the context menu, select Information. Note the IP address that has been assigned to it. It will be in the form http://192.168.xxx.xxx:8082/

Create Database

  • Go to the following URL http://192.168.xxx.xxx:8082/phpmyadmin/
  • Log in with the following credentials; Username is “root”. Leave the password blank
  • Click on the “Databases” at the top left of the screen
  • Enter “wordpress_db” in the Create Database field and tap Create

Final Installation

  • Type the following URL in your browser to start the WordPress installation; http://192.168.xxx.xxx:8082/wp-admin/install.php
  • When prompted fill in wordpress_db in the Database Name field
  • Fill in root in the User Name field
  • Leave the password field blank
  • On the Welcome Page, fill in the details requested for, then click Install WordPress. On completion, you will be taken to the admin page of your website.
  • To view the front end, your type the IP address 192.168.xxx.xxx to your browser.

As it is, you can only view your site from within your LAN. In the next part of this post, we would go through the paces on how to access your new site from anywhere on the Internet.

Categories
Networking Technology

How To Set Up A Budget Home Entertainment Network

For many, the word “server” brings to mind an intimidating stack of unidentifiable devices with endless flashes of light. But in reality, a server can be that very basic featured, very old laptop or desktop computer you have gathering dust in a corner of your home.

Wikipaedia defines a Home Server as a server located in a private residence providing services to other devices inside or outside the household through a home network or the Internet. Such services may include file and printer serving, media center serving, web serving (host your website from your home!), and backup services. Because of the relatively low number of computers on a typical home network, a home server commonly does not require significant computing power and can be implemented with a re-purposed, older computer, or a plug computer. An uninterrupted power supply (UPS) or Power Inverter is sometimes used in case of power outages that can possibly corrupt data.

Server in the home has witnessed increasing popularity in recent years. And for good reasons too.

So, what exactly would you be needing a server for in a home?

If you are like most people today, you have multiple home computers connected in a wireless network. You also have lots and lots of media files — digital photos, music, and videos — stored on each of these computers. Even though all your computers are connected, it is difficult to share or stream these media files from one PC to another.

Personally, I opted for a home server for the following reasons;

  • Centralized storage of my files. This gives you easy access to these files from multiple devices.
  • My boys love watching movies on their tablets. Problem is, there is only so much movies these tablets can contain. My home server gives them access to about 1TB of animated movies, streamed flawlessly to their devices.
  • Nothing beats watching CBT Nugget video files, downloaded video files or even stream Youtube videos directly to your big screen.
  • If you are the paranoid type, you can do away with Dropbox and the likes and host your sensitive files in your home. Access them over the Internet too!

The funny thing is, you get to achieve all these for next to nothing, using mostly existing hardware.

Find below a basic network diagram of my home entertainment network. Nice, aint it?

Drawing1

Over the next few posts, we are going to discuss about each component of this network and how to get them all set up.

 

Categories
Gadgets Technology

Tablets : Between Recreation and Productivity

I handed over my tablet to my son a few months ago after a failed bid to sell it off.

While I was researching for the ideal tablet to put my hard earned cash on, the Toshiba Thrive came tops as the most productive or functional tablet around. However, after a few months of using it, i realised that there is only so much even the best featured tablets could do. Read my review of the Toshiba Thrive here.

By my definition, productivity or functionality is the speed or amount of work one can get done on a tablet compared to what can be achieved on a regular computer. Yes, the yard stick for comparison has and will always be the PC.

From this definition, you may understand why the iPad was never considered.

toshiba-thrive-6While the Toshiba Thrive could take most of what I threw at it by way of hardware accessories – full USB keyboard, mouse and all – the fact remains that the operating system powering it (an enhanced Android 4.1.2 custom rom) was never suited for getting much productive work done.

While tablet manufacturers have access to near infinite apps on Google Play, with a good number focused on enterprise & productivity, however it seems majority of the apps available fall within a ‘recreational’ category.

It has been predicted by many technology analysts that the tablet form factor will be replacing the PC as we know it. And as if to prove these pundits right, the PC has witnessed a very sharp drop in sales since the introduction of the iPad.

But why is this so when it is very clear to about everyone that the functionality of the PC is almost only limited by the imagination of the user whereas the tablet can barely get simple productivity tasks done conveniently?

The reason may not be far fetched. Most users do not need the infinite computing powers of the regular PC, at least you don’t need it for the regular tasks that most people indulge in; word processing, web browsing, other Microsoft office products, solitaire, watching films, etc. A role that even the least powered tablets can undertake perfectly.

The question however still remain; would the tablet form factor be the end of the PC. Well, one thing is very sure, definitely not in our lifetime. Many have predicted the demise of Linux too which, against all odds, is probably even more relevant than before; it powers most of the websites in the world, embedded in more devices than we can ever count and also is the basis of most operating systems around now; Mac 0s, android, etc.

For geeks like me, the tablet remains what it is meant for- recreation. I can not even being myself to undertake the simplest word processing tasks on an android or iPad tablet because of formatting issues.

However, Microsoft has already set the pace with its mobile and desktop OS convergence operating system – the Windows 8. Still rough at the edges, I strongly believe this company would play a major role in how soon the tablet form factor replaces the PC form factor.

Categories
Controversies Lifestyle Religion

“In The Name Of The Father …”

0510LD1The influence of technology on religion has long been a subject of discourse on this blog and it is definitely an issue that will continue to generate a lot of controversies.

You can read my earlier posts on the influence of technology on religion here.

Apart from the “End of the World” proponents who are very convinced about the very negative role technology would play in the end times, even those who are less believing would have to admit that there is an increasing influence technology is having on World religions.

And with the increasing affordability of tablets and higher end smartphones, it is now very common place to see a lot of Nigerians toting at least one of these mobile devices at anytime.

For a while now, i have paid very little attention to this new age phenomenon. However, my visit to the church last Sunday created a reawakening. It was a bit of a shock to me when it was time for Bible reading and about one-third of the congregation flashed out their tablets and fancy smartphones. Even the presiding Pastor had to comment about this. This is indeed the new face of churches in Nigeria, especially for the churches that cater for the middle and high income earners in the Lekki axis of Lagos, Nigeria.

Even the low income earners have refused to be left behind, thanks to the cheap android knock off tablets that have flooded the country from China. It will indeed be research-worthy to compile the number of these devices now available in Nigeria.

The appropriateness of these devices in the church is still generating a lot of divergent views, even among the church leaders. While some Nigerian Pastors welcome this development as a portrayal of prosperity among its parishioners, however in the world over, some religious leaders worry that the inherently isolating and attention-diverting nature of smart phones has created a generation of worshippers unable to fully engage with the sublimation of self and quiet meditation that underlie both the Eastern and Western religious traditions.

The fact can not be ruled out that for the church to shore up shrinking congregations with new devotees,  those younger worshipers expect activities to include smart phone and tablet use. Device multitasking has become such a pervasive part of their life that quiet, paper-text based religious ceremonies seem even stranger and more off-putting.

However, some religious leaders who have already tried to conduct services over a mobile device to a geographically scattered audience, and those who have tried to integrate smart phones into a physically unified congregation, say they have noticed a significant difference in how worshippers process the experience. Unfortunately, they have found that most people tend to disengage from the experience of communal worship with this mode.

I no longer read a bible from a printed paper based format and i honestly do not know where i have placed mine. Reading my bible from mobiles is a habit that i took on right from the days of my trusty Nokia 3650 back in the mid 2000s. For me, though, I must admit that there is indeed something about digital bibles that does not give you the same experience that you get from the paper based ones but the convenience and the excitement the digital ones give you has made this form of bible the only option for me and many out there.

Categories
Gadgets

Toddlers And iPad Addiction

I understand that one of the main joys of parenting a toddler involves keeping the little one amused.

Amused, as in quiet.

Ever since the iPad came along, with its bright colors and infinite range of games and pictures, it has seemed like an ideal tool to keep baby happy. This happiness, however, is one that baby does not want to ever, ever stop. So much so that some toddlers are now said to be iPad addicts.

This curiously adult affliction seems to involve baby undergoing seven aspects of demented ranting, should her iPad be taken away.

As the Telegraph reports, a novel strain of therapy involves easing the strain that little children feel when their gadget is not at hand.

There are examples of toddlers being engrossed in their tablets for up to 4 hours a day. This might not seem like much, until one realizes that many of the very youngest are only awake 10 hours a day.

The Sunday Mirror reported on a case of a 4-year-old who, it claimed, is Britain’s youngest iPad addict. It quoted psychiatrist Dr. Richard ­Graham who runs the Capio Nightingale Clinic in London. The clinic specializes in digital detox, weaning the dependent off their gadgets.

ipad addictionGraham, to whom the 4-year-old was referred by her mother, said that he believes such an addiction is common and not unlike alcoholism or drug dependency.

“Although at this stage her use isn’t a sufficient concern to warrant in-patient care, it would be if her addiction continues to the age of 11, when she has access to other platforms like ­smartphones and the Internet,” said Graham.

Graham thinks it might be a good idea for Internet use advice to be a core element of ante-natal classes.

Perhaps this all begins with mimicry. The children see their parents’ deep involvement in their machines and want to do the same.

The machines themselves are vastly enjoyable. Indeed, visit any bar or restaurant and see supposedly adult humans seemingly unable to focus on anything but screens.

Psychologists worry that when toddlers grow up they won’t be able to have normal, human interactions with their contemporaries.

But when normal, human interactions already consist of Facebook friending and Snapchat sending, some might think an iPad addiction is merely an early introduction into a certain future.

iPad, therefore I am.

 

Source

Categories
Uncategorized

A Case Study of e-Commerce In Nigeria: Why It Pays To Own A Shop Online!

I have previously written about the rise of e-Commerce in Nigeria and how you can profitably take part, so in case you missed out, you can read it here.

Consider this a follow-up article as I will be sharing with you first hand my own experience of how I made close to a million naira within 3 months of owning a shop online!

How It All Began…

My first experience with e-Commerce was selling my business consulting and internet marketing services through my blog naijapreneur.com

Then in January 2013, I came across Kaymu while it was still in its early stages trying to break her way into the Nigerian eCommerce terrain. It didn’t take me long to see the market potentials of such a platform where sellers can be connected to over 60 million Nigerians online. I instantly became a kaymu evangelist. This is partly due to my passion for entrepreneurship development in Nigeria and my successful experience with e-Marketing.

My 1st Month Selling Online

I own a boutique business where I sell both male and female clothing and shoes. So I decided to create my own shop online to test run kaymu and listed the shoes on the platform, this was in February. Oh and if you are wondering why I listed only shoes and left out the clothes? Well, shoes are far easier to snap than clothes. Before the month ended, I was able to sell one shoe despite 5 orders, only one buyer followed through to pickup and paid cash –N3000. This wasn’t so bad since Kaymu opened to the public in February.

 My 2nd Month Selling Online

Towards the end of February, I decided to expand my shop on kaymu to sell in another promising category other than fashion –phones and tablets. Since I didn’t sell phones and tablets, this was made possible by one of my e-Marketing clients who proposed a partnership. I help sell their phones and tablets online through kaymu and earn commissions on every sale.

So because of this collaboration, in March I sold one Blackberry Z10, an iPad4 and a Tommy Hilfiger shoe for a total of N223,000. Not bad huh?

My 3rd Month Selling Online

April was the best month ever, all of the marketing initiatives where falling into place and people were becoming more confident in the brand due to the number of successful deliveries and safe transactions recorded. So in April, I sold 7 Smart phones and 5 male shoes for a total of N613,547!

The total?

February – N3000

March – N223,000

April – N613,547

Total = N839,547

 

Why It Pays To Sell Online

  • ecommerceBesides the number one obvious fact that you get to reach a whole lot more people through an online shop, the most significant reason for me is the 24hrs 7days a week operational nature of an online shop. There’s practically no closing time online, you can be making sales while you sleep!
  • Reducing overhead costs is one other reason why selling online is so super smart. You don’t have to bother about shop space, on the internet there’s unlimited shelf space. The amount of items you can sell is unlimited. As you just saw me explain, I expanded from just selling male shoes to selling smart phones and tablets and it didn’t cost me additional rent!
  • And my personal favorite, growing your brand has never been easier. Online you connect with millions of people you would never have been able to sell to offline. And the bonus part, they become your customers as well not just kaymu’s customers because they buy from you directly not from kaymu.
  •  Safe transactions is another advantage you get by selling on kaymu. Unlike other free classified sites, kaymu is much more than a free classified site. It is an actual e-Shopping mall where you can buy from so many trusted retailers who have physical shops offline. On Kaymu, you are buying from real businesses not just some random individual who has something to dispose.

Over to you

You’ve read my story and as many naijapreneurs have come to know me for, I hardly share what I haven’t personally applied. My own approach to marketing is simple; “don’t tell people what you will do, show them what you’ve done. Why? Because results sell faster than words!”

If this isn’t sufficient proof that Nigeria is in the early days of a heavy e-Commerce boom, then you can choose to ignore this article. But if you are among the few wise ones, you will get in now while many are still contemplating and begin to reap the rewards of selling online. Here’s an invitation, click here to start!

Categories
Gadgets

Samsung Galaxy S3 And The Case Of Failed SanDisk Memory Cards

SandiskMicroSD1copy-thumb-640xauto-1471I have used 2 (Two) 32GB Sandisk Memory cards with my Samsung Galaxy S3 in the space of 5 months, both dying out on me suddenly, taking away with them valuable data. The last happened just last week.

I was very worried and even considered the possibility that the cards were fakes. However, common sense told me the cards were most likely the real deal because they were bought from BestBuy. Idid a quick search on the internet, on the off chance that some whiz kid with some oracle may have found a solution i could benefit from. What i found was very revealing.

They were tales of woes of how Samsung flagship phones and tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy S3 (perhaps the S4 too?) and Galaxy note, have ruined their microSD cards. If you were lucky, you would get some warning signs – your card acting up for a while, starting and stopping intermittently before failing permanently. It will stop being recognized by any computer or phone.

However, most do not get this warning.

Rumour even has it that the issue is not limited to Sandisk MicroSD brands alone. Apparently, something in the phone is destroying these cards. CNET even published an article on this issue in March 2013.

Unfortunately, no solution has been proffered by Sandisk or any other microSD manufacturer. For now, we can only hope and wait.

Categories
Gadgets Mobile

Are Hybrid Tablets the New Netbooks?

Hybrid TabletsHybrids have gotten a lot of hype lately, with a slew of touch-enabled laptops and flipping, folding convertible designs launching so far this year. But with some of these new hybrids—specifically smaller tablets with docking keyboards—there’s been a nagging question that I can’t quite shake: Are hybrid tablets the new netbooks?

You remember netbooks, right? The minuscule clamshell PCs, with 8-to 10-inch screens and crowded keyboards, caught shoppers’ attention as much for their sub-$500 prices as for their compact form factors. For a brief period a few years back, netbooks were the hot new thing, selling like proverbial hotcakes—but it didn’t last. Those hotcakes didn’t even stay sold as customers returned their cheap netbooks in droves.

Complaints touched on everything from screen dimensions (in many cases, too small to display full-size webpages) to keyboard width (too tiny for traditional typing), but the biggest gripe by far was about the processors. Shoppers went looking for inexpensive alternatives to laptops, but found that netbooks’ pint-sized CPUs wouldn’t always support the programs they were accustomed to, or provide the speed they expected.

Though you’ll still see one or two being sold as inexpensive systems for K-12 students, by and large the netbook is now all but extinct. The ultrabook has come on the scene, offering portability with the promise of a full-fledged processor, but the prices usually bottom out around $700. Apple’s MacBook Air models eventually jump-started Intel’s Ultrabook category, but so surpassed the underpowered netbooks of the time that they are rightly considered part of another category.

It’s starting to feel as if the netbook is rearing its head again.

As tablets and hybrid ultrabook designs have begun cropping up recently, it’s starting to feel as if the netbook is rearing its head yet again. Ten-and 11-inch tablets are being released with docking keyboards and Windows 8, designed to provide the convenience seen in iPads and Android tablets, but with the additional productive capability and software support of a Windows PC. These little tablets share many of the defining features of netbooks. Dinky Atom processors? Check. Chintzy 32-bit versions of Windows? Check. Small screens? Check. Cramped keyboards? Check.

But there are some key differences as well. For example, the keyboards are slightly improved over those on netbooks, with many lessons learned from earlier disasters. You won’t see one coming in at less than 10 inches, where keyboards on the largest netbooks topped out at 10 or 11 inches—and most systems were equipped with nearly useless keyboards 8 or 9 inches in size.

Small screens are also less of an issue, as they are now wide enough to display content without cutting off webpages, and the Web has adapted to smaller displays thanks to smartphones and other mobile devices. And where netbooks were often used at arm’s length like a laptop, tablets are more ergonomically suited to cradling and carrying. Higher screen resolutions also play a part, with most hybrids offering 720p and a few even sporting 1080p. The result is a much more readable, usable display.

The current Atom CPUs can run all of the legacy apps that netbooks of yesteryear could not.

Where the Atom processors used in netbooks were slow and clunky, the newest batch of Atom CPUs deliver speedier performance and superb battery life. Intel has pushed hard to close the gap between their mobile and PC chips, desiring a stronger presence in mobile markets, and the Atom platform is the beneficiary of this progress. The results aren’t on par with the latest Core processors, but you will find solid basic performance. More important, the current Atom CPUs can run all of the legacy apps that the netbooks of yesteryear could not.

Finally, the usage model has changed. Only a few years ago, netbooks were expected to be primarily productivity machines, letting you type documents, fill out spreadsheets, and so on. Since that time, online services like Netflix, Facebook, and Skype have exploded. For these sorts of uses detachable hybrid tablets are perfect, letting you curl up with a movie the way past generations curled up with a good book. You can Skype and chat and browse to your heart’s content. And with a docking keyboard, you can actually do some work, whether that means taking notes in a classroom or meeting, preparing spreadsheets, or designing a presentation.

So, although detachable hybrid tablets certainly share a family resemblance to netbooks, they are ultimately their own devices, with their own pros and cons. One of the biggest benefits of these new devices is all-day battery life—and I do mean all day. Some of the latest Atom-powered tablets offer well beyond the 8 hours needed for a full workday, and then supplement this with a second battery in the docking keyboard, letting you go from dawn to dusk and into the night without stopping to charge.

Will 2013 see a repeat of the buy-and-return cycle that killed off netbooks? Between the improved capability of today’s systems and the evolution of buyers’ expectations, I think shoppers are safe. Vendors and manufacturers, on the other hand, have a very different concern: If people can already do most of this with the smartphones and tablets they already have, who will want to buy a Windows tablet?

Between the improved capability of today’s systems and the evolution of buyers’ expectations, I think shoppers are safe.

Source : PCMAG

Categories
Gadgets

Watching porn is bad for your smartphone

We’re not making any moral judgments here. But it is definitively a bad idea to visit pornography sites on your smartphone or tablet.

Nearly one-quarter of malware on mobile devices comes from porn websites, according to a new study from Blue Coat, a Web security and optimization company.

 Mobile users don’t check out porn sites often — less than 1% of all mobile traffic is pornography. But when they do go to those sites, the risk of inadvertently downloading malware to their devices increases three-fold. That makes watching porn on smartphones a far bigger threat than viewing porn on a PC.

Porn led to more malware on smartphones and tablets than e-mail spam, malicious websites, and fake apps combined.

Part of the problem, Blue Coat said, is that the nature of mobile devices makes differentiating legitimate sites from malicious ones a tricky task. There is no way to hover over shortened URLs to reveal their true destination, for example.

“No matter how tantalizing a link might look on a desktop, there are cues that you shouldn’t go there, such as an address that just doesn’t look safe,” said Hugh Thompson, chief security strategist for Blue Coat. “When you click a link on a mobile phone, it’s harder to know what form of Russian roulette they’re playing.”

Porn is a leading traffic driver on the Internet, and for many years, porn sites had been a primary source of malware on PCs as well.

“When you delve into the world of online pornography, you don’t often know where you are, or where the content is coming from,” said Thompson. “But when you’re visiting those sites, you are more inclined to make riskier choices than elsewhere on the Web.”

But cyberattackers are increasingly finding new ways to target an even larger audience, including phishing, uploading malicious advertisements and poisoning search engine results.

Security experts predict that broader-based cybercrime schemes are likely to appear on smartphones and tablets soon. For now though, mobile attacks appear to be mirroring techniques used on traditional computers.

Still, major security firms have widely predicted that this will be the year mobile devices will finally emerge as a major target for cybercriminals. Smartphones have become personal computers that travel around with us at all times, and the vast majority of users don’t even lock them with a password.

Cyberthieves continue to make so much money attacking Windows PCs that there hasn’t been much incentive to change tactics. But we’re about to hit a tipping point. Most people still do their online banking and shopping on their PCs, but those transactions are happening on mobile phones more frequently.

According to research from Juniper Networks (JNPR), 300 million smartphones around the world will be equipped with the near-field communications (NFC) chips needed for mobile payments this year. Juniper also predicts global NFC transactions will total nearly $50 billion.

CNN

Categories
Gadgets

What Features Do You Look For In A Keyboard App?

On any computing device, we want the easiest and most efficient way of communicating. This communication encompasses both information that we feed into the device, and the one we get out.

The effectiveness of this interface between human and machine determines if we are “getting our pound of flesh” from our “investment”

I shall be focusing exclusively on Android, an Operating System (OS) whose modular design allows the stock Keyboard to be replaced by third party ones.

In the quest for the best possible keyboard application, I have tried out quite a number, with different experiences.

Notable, among the numerous I have tried my hands on, include:

swype_logo_featureSwype is my personal favourite.

Modern keyboard apps try to alleviate the problem of typing on small screens. With phablets and tablets now common place, the benefits derivable while designing those apps are easily extrapolated to the bigger screened cousins.

I daresay that the specific keyboard app you are using on your device would affect your productivity significantly. That is why it is advisable to pick the “best”, at any point in time, according to to our needs. For me, the search for “the best” is perpetual.

So, what are the features to look out for, in a keyboard app?

“Swipe” Ability

All keyboard apps allow you to tap on keys. But an elite few also allow you to “swipe’ on your touchscreen. These keyboard apps allow you to type words by sliding your finger across your touchscreen, connecting letters together to form words.

Some of the apps with this “swiping” ability are :

  • Swype
  • Ultra Keyboard
  • TouchPal

and, recently,

  • SwiftKey Flow

In the past, I have tried to make do with keyboard apps bereft of “swiping” ability (because of some other features) , but found that I can not live with such. I always gravitate back to the “swipy ones”

AutoComplete & Prediction

The second compelling feature is how accurate a keyboard app is.

I love “psychic” keyboard apps. When “swiping: or “tapping”, it should be adept at guessing what word you have in mind by suggesting reasonable words once you type a few letters.

Now, the operative word there is –  “reasonable”

A keyboard app should arrange the suggested words in terms of recently or frequently used words.

However, one of the annoying things about lots of keyboards is that they arrange the suggested words haphazardly. Some sort the words alphabetically.

But my favourite, Swype, almost always manages to suggest words, in the right order, with the suggested default being the correct one – most of the time. One of the ways these keyboards improve their smartness is to learn your writing style from your social media activities (like Twitter, facebook, gmail and Contacts).

Ability to define shortcuts

Some keyboard apps allow you to define “replacement text” for cryptic shortcuts.

You type something like:

“Brb”, and you get “be right back”

or..

“hagw”, and get “have a great weekend”

or..

“afaik”, and get “as far as I know”

This can save you tonnes of keystrokes, depending on how you use this wonderful ability.

This ability, sadly, is missing from “Swype” – my favourite. I am eagerly looking forward to when this feature will be incorporated into it.

Personal dictionary

Lots allow you define a dictionary consisting of words that are peculiar to you. You can put words like Naira, kobo, technical terms, etc.

I guess the idea behind the “separation of power” is to make the main internal dictionary as small in size as possible.

Cosmetic Tweakability

There are keyboard apps with tonnes of customizations, ranging from themes, coupled with the ability to change almost all the elements on the keyboard.

If “cosmetics” is your onion, you may want to check out apps like A.I.Type Keyboard, or, Ultra Keyboard.

They give you the ability to tweak to your heart’s desire. Adjustable keyboard size? no problemo!. Customizable toolbar? They have you covered!

Multiple Language Support

If you are multilingual, you would appreciate a keyboard app that speaks your tongue(s).

Usually, there are downloable “language packs” for the different supported languages. That way, you avoid bloat by downloading the packs that interest you only.

Those are some of the features that you may want to consider when choosing your keyboard.

To see the significance of a great predictive keyboard, type on a Tablet with a keyboard like Hackers’ Keyboard,  and see the difference.

The keyboard app is the most used third party app on any modern mobile device. For this reason, only the best is good enough.

What other features should we look out for?