TouchPal offers on-screen keyboard apps for Android, iOS, and other mobile platforms. Now the company’s virtual keyboard is available for Windows 8 tablets as well.
TouchPal for Windows 8 isn’t yet available from the Windows Store, but you can download the app from the TouchPal website. Right now the installer seems to be in Chinese, but if you click your way through the installation process you can choose English as your default language.
The TouchPal keyboard has a couple of features you don’t get with the standard Windows 8 keyboard including the ability to switch between standard mode and split-screen mode simply by dragging the sides of the keyboard apart so that you can type with your thumbs on a 10 inch or larger tablet.
But the biggest difference is that TouchPal supports gesture-based typing, much like Swype or the default Android 4.2 keyboard. TouchPal calls this feature “Curve.”
Curve lets you enter text by sliding a finger from one letter to the next without lifting your finger off the keyboard.
Thanks to text prediction software, the app does a pretty good job of figuring out what word you were trying to type, even as your finger glides over keys that aren’t part of the word you’re looking for.
Before I upgraded my phone to Android 4.2, I spent a year or so using TouchPal for Android, and I was pretty happy with the experience.
Some folks who have tried the Windows 8 app say that it’s still a bit buggy at the moment, but it’s also available as a free download — so you can always give it a try and uninstall the app if you don’t like it.