Nokia Symbian phones are good but they lacked native Korean input support which prevented me from using it as my daily phone. But now that problem is no more as a Korean developer at SwForge has made a Qt-based Korean/English keyboard called swinput that can replace the default Symbian keyboard. It supports both landscape and portrait qwerty input modes (for both English/Korean) and has the usual symbols and numbers as well. I have tested it working with Symbian Anna also and I’m happy to say it works perfectly. UPDATE OCT 5th 2011: Have tested in the leaked version of Symbian Belle on my N8 and I can say that it works perfectly also.
What’s great about this keyboard is that it seamlessly replaces the default keyboard and even overrides Swype. But it is also very easily “closed” so that you can revert back to swype or default vkb as needed. The flat design looks quite similar to the Windows Phone 7 keyboard and is highly responsive. It does not look or feel like some dodgy 3rd party keyboard at all.
– Latest release version as of writing this article was 0.1.0.
– You will need Qt 4.7.2 or higher installed. (Symbian Anna is already that)
– You will need a Korean truetype font and be using it as the main font. (same way as changing fonts on any Symbian phones)
1. swinput is provided as a .sis file and can be downloaded here. (Important -> It is unsigned)
2. You will need to install both swfepplugin.sis and swinput_unsigned.sis (order isn’t important)
3. Once installed, you will see an app icon for it to “launch” the swinput.
4. It needs to be launched “once” after reboot. From then on, it will appear as the default keyboard everywhere.
5. Simply tap and hold on the Tick/Settings button to show the Settings screen where you can “close” the keyboard permanently. (when you want to use default vkb/swype)
6. Then you can launch swinput again when needed.
0. It can be started like an app, use it, then you can close the swinput altogether from its settings screen. This will allow you to use Swype or default VKB again. There is no need to reboot to switch between Swype and swinput.
1. It supports various forms of Korean input (EZ, CJI, SKY, Qwerty)
2. It supports portrait and landscape qwerty for both English / Korean.
3. It supports side swipes to get access to more symbols
4. Supports full copy/cut/paste with intuitive full screen touch text selection.
5. It can be set to auto-start upon phone powerup
6. It can be hidden so it doesn’t show up in task switcher
7. It supports various font / background colours
8. It supports automatic or on-demand orientation change
There are some things to watch out for if you cannot read Korean however:
– Settings section is mostly written in Korean (but you only need to go in there once or twice)
– Keyboard always starts in Korean layout first (1 tap needed to switch to English each time)
The settings menu is side-scrollable and is in 3 sections. Colours, Input and Misc. (from left to right)
Left = Colours (You can play with the settings here. You’ll see the visual changes immediately)
Middle = Input Mode (Choose QWERTY and choose the AUTO orientation mode which is the third one from the bottom)
Right = Misc (From below it is Exit/Autostart/Hide from task manager. Exit will “close” the swinput vkb and stop it from appearing. Autostart doesn’t seem to work. Use “Hide” if you don’t want it to display it in the task switcher.)
I really don’t expect a non-Korean to use this virtual keyboard. But you never know. So I hope this has helped at least someone out there. =)