Update: For people, who faced issue of not opening up any keyboard after install, I have updated the link now, try this link in place of last one and follow the same instructions.
This app is not new and was reported by Jay and Asri-Al-Baker earlier, but the interest I received on twitter after mentioning about it made me think that no many knew about it. So thought to bring it as a post for all of you.
If you been following me on blog or twitter, then you might already be aware that how irritating Symbian^3 T9 input been for me. This was one of the biggest reason that I was most excited when @janole decided to bring portrait QWERTY to Gravity.
Thanks to @HardikLive for almost pushing me to try the Baidu Input again otherwise I was permanently away from it after trying the last version that was a mess for me. Let’s see what is Baidu?
What is Baidu Input?
If we go by comments then Baidu Input is the follow-up to Dayhand Input – Dayhand was purchased by Baidu.
As per their own post translation, it says
Baidu has a point designated mobile phone input method combining patented technology, a key regional +4 direction = 5 kinds of input, with the innovative human-machine interface, touch screen device the perfect solution with one hand fast input problem.
Not only this but they say more of it …
This input method is not only its own input and high efficiency products, as well as a strong self-learning ability, it can enter your habit of learning, automatic adjustment of frequency, you can remember your own coinage. At the same time, it also constantly learning new words on the network. After the continuous learning, it can better serve you, and will subsequently increase input efficiency.
I think this was made for Chinese people specially as most of the mobile world is US/UK oriented, hence the input system been more of English than the native languages. It was a solution for native language that become bigger later on.
How to install it?
But I don’t think that any of you really wishing to read this blah blah…. but want to read about the real thing.. that how to get it? First of all, here goes the official link for the app
Next is about Installation .. then
Sorry to say that its not that straight forward installation like most of the app you encounter with. Its not a one-click install like Swype, its not available via Ovi Store or Nokia Betalabs. It is basically a Chinese app that is available via their Chinese only website and will have settings etc in Chinese only.
Many of leading mobile forums/ blogs have demonstrated the installation method in details. I am using the same instructions and screenshots from @asrialbaker ‘s blog post (the post was about the old version but instructions are valid even now).
1. To configure Baidu Input, first download the file and install it on your device. Note that it will ask many things in Chinese and you have to press Yes/Ok each time means left side of the button (never touch right side button in any prompt).
2. After installation, please REBOOT your device. This is very IMPORTANT!
3. After reboot, you can launch it from the application launcher. It will be a white icon with du written on it.
4. The next step is to enable Baidu Input system wide. It will be used as the main text entry method in all text areas in all applications. When you launch Baidu Input, you will be presented with a list of 8 options. Select the first one as highlighted in the screenshot (the one on the right) above.
5. A new screen will be opened. Again, please select the first item in the list where AknFEP is displayed. A pop out selection will appear. Select the one that’s written in Chinese or as boxes. This method also can be used to disable Baidu Input if you dont want to use it or you want to uninstall it from your device.
6. After reboot, once you tap on some text input, you will be greeted with something like the left most picture. Tap on the bottom right most icon of keyboard and whoa…. the portrait QWERTY. Also tap on the third button from bottom left to enable English as shown in screenshot.
If you still face deadlock condition like nothing opening on tapping, then try a restart and then configure again.
For people, who are finding this text rough enough, here goes the video made by The N8 Blog, simplifies the things a bit (though steps are for the older version, but you will get an idea at least).
How to Customize it? Hindi etc
Yeah! I know, for the Indian users the most exciting part was the first picture in which I posted that how you can tweet in Hindi via our own Gravity only. Question is .. how to do the same. Let’s see…
Once you are with the installation then there are many skins that could be found on internet or on their own site. But be careful, not all might be the safe one. One wrong file in wrong pace and though keyboard might be working but options may be lost.
Here are the steps to install and applying the skins ..
1. Download the skin files like a few here. Those file will be of extension .bdskt and will come in pairs if provided for portrait and landscape both.
2. Then transfer the files in your mass storage first and then move the correct files into the phone memory. Portrait skin file into C:\Baidu\Input\TouchSkin and Landscape skin into C:\Baidu\Input\TouchSkinW (though exact paths are C:\Data\Baidu\Input\TouchSkin and C:\Data\Baidu\Input\TouchSkinW, if you check via some third party file manager) Thanks to @asrialbaker for pointing the mistake.
3. Next is applying the skins. Open the app via du icon and then option 3 as shown. First two options will be of portrait skin and landscape skin respectively. It will automatically detect files kept there. Select the one and you are ready to go.
Does it work? Does it pose issues with rest of the apps/ OS?
Well! I would say being a non-English release, it was hard to check out all the options or making a proper review of the app, but as its an officially Symbian^3 supported release from Baidu, you can be assured that it should work at most of the places.
So, as you can see, it works, it works with Ovi Store, it works with Nokia Chat, it works with Qt Apps like Borg, it works with Gravity. You can move the position of QWERTY as well…. but what’s more interesting for me, is the fact that all these skins might be very different from each other like see the swype look-alike skin that provide the arrow key while others don’t.
Interesting, very interesting… it really makes you feel more eager about the official portrait QWERTY that will be coming to Symbian^3 via #SymbianAnna, but till then with Baidu, you have one thing less to wait for. Learn Baidu as input and use Opera for browser … Symbian is back again.
Loveliest of all was the Hindi input that I am still looking for on Android and iOS. Wondering if the official QWERTY will also bring such features…
So, what you think about this app? Do tell me… I am always listening you here or on twitter @nkumar_ or at my mail id firstname.lastname@example.org.