High hopes for Kiwi keyboard app
Thursday, 05 May 2016
MAD Applications, the self described “Fly My Pretties of geeks” have released their latest version of Thumsta, a one-handed keyboard for Android and Apple phones and tablets.
Most keyboards for cell phones and tablets are more like repurposed typewriters on a screen but Thumsta has been designed with the keys in an arc, to better follow the way your thumb naturally moves over your device’s screen.
As one of the collective’s founding members, Anthony Gardiner, explains “There was no keyboard app that was designed around the way people hold their phones. It was one of those ideas that you can explain in two seconds and everyone understands. We were astounded no one else was doing this.”
As well as being able to set the app in either left or right handed mode, users can also set the size of the arc that the keys are displayed in simply by dragging the arc to make it bigger or smaller. The iPad version (available for Android tablets soon) has two arcs, with the keys split in half allowing thumb type without having to put their device down on a surface.
The group has released three other apps over the last few months, despite all having full time jobs and with the centre of operations being a 100-year-old boat moored in Auckland Harbour.
“We do this for fun, making cool stuff that us and our friends want to use. Our first app, Netflix SuperBrowse, is an extension for Chrome and Firefox that allows users to search the often daunting Netflix catalog by secret categories. These get pretty granular – there is even one for ‘Stand up comedy with Cedric The Entertainer’ and ‘Japanese Anime about Horses.’ This free app popped for us, and now has 200,000 users around the world. I guess it meant less time scrolling through Netflix, which means more time to chill.”
At $1.29, the MAD Applications collective are hoping that Thumsta proves to be as popular.
“We have had enough downloads over the first few months for the team to have a great night at our local pub,” (Didas, from where the collective’s name - Made At Didas - comes from).
“That was our goal with our first paid app, so anything above that would be a great bonus. Hitting 200,000 downloads means we could do this full-time and that’s our dream.”
And with the Internet meaning that New Zealand’s traditional tyranny of distance is no longer an issue, it is a dream more Kiwis are hoping can become reality, whether they live in Blenheim, Pukekohe, or on a 101 year old boat.