myKbd by Alex Pruss sports many cool features including an alternate text input system, a way to totally change the look of your statusbar/DIA, and hard-key macros just to name a few, but how did it perform in the real world? I’m not going to keep you in suspense any longer than I have to, this software totally impressed me. It is not the easiest thing to set up, but it is loaded with features. It allows you to “skin” your statusbar and Dynamic Input Area quite easily. Here is a screenshot of my setup.
Keep in mind there are loads of skins available on the internet (you can even make your own), so you can pretty much make your device look like anything. Also if you like a certain element of one skin, you can merge that element into an underlying layer. This in effect can allow you to have a base skin then mesh certain components of others, a very useful feature. In addition, you can incorporate your own images into your DIA on certain devices (T5, Lifedrive, TX, ect.), so this is also a possibility. myKbd can also allow you to use keyboards other than the QWERTY style that comes standard on palm devices. This is a HUGE feature, as it allows me to input data significantly faster than I could otherwise. These new keyboards also differ in the fact that you can slide your stylus along multiple letters, and it will input them all! Meaning, if I use a keyboard layout that has the letters T H E bordering each other, then I can just slide my stylus across those, and it will input the word “THE”! This can speed up data entry considerable, as keyboard layouts often have commonly used letters adjacent to one another. As you may have guessed, these keyboards are also skinable, here are a few examples (found in the 1src.com Freeware section).
As I mentioned earlier, the program can also let hard button presses or holds execute macro commands. Macros can be something as simple as going to your launcher, then turning the device off, or as complicated as fetching email, refreshing RSS feeds, or anything else your can imagine. A significant improvement over the built-in hard key system. The program can even let you set macro commands to on-screen keys. For Palm TX owners, myKbd also can remap the “Find” button on the statusbar to the “home button” found on most other Palm PDA’s. The find command can be accessed by either tapping-and-holding the on-screen home button, or doing the same to the menu button. Along with the possibility to bring up the find command with a tap-and-hold of the on-screen home button, doing this can also bring up a list of recently used applications, and preselected favorites. This can be done within any application, making it easy to switch from program to program.
myKbd is one of the most useful applications on my device, and I would recommend it to anyone. It is available with a free 15 day trial, and costs a reasonable $15. If you are willing to forgo the replacement keyboard options, you might want to take a look at mySkin, it is slightly less expensive, and retails at $10.