Meet Hub Keyboard From Microsoft Garage For Android Users. Hub Keyboard aims to save time by providing in a small bar quick access to contacts, Office documents or to the clipboard and translation tool.
“Personally I don’t like switching between apps to do different things on my smartphone,” says Steve Won, a senior designer on the Office team who came up with the idea for Hub Keyboard about a year ago. “But all these different apps on a smartphone, they have to conform to rules of a keyboard and that got me thinking about the project as an interesting idea I wanted to explore more. We’re giving users a wider gamut of tools.”
A small bar sits on top of the keyboard, and tapping on its icons lets you grab information from elsewhere on your phone without having to hop into another app. Tapping on the contacts button, for instance, let me search for a friend and then have their name and phone number automatically inserted into my document. The translate button let me type in English and have it automatically transformed into Spanish, or a selection of other languages.
After installing the Hub Keyboard and configuring it as the on-screen keyboard for Android, users will notice two main changes: a new row of icons above the keyboard and another new icon in the “soft button” strip at the bottom of the screen.
The top row buttons are specific to Hub Keyboard and have an explicit function. The first is for the clipboard, which allows users access to previously copied texts. Users will be able to access multiple clips from the app and select which ones to paste on to the text field.
The second button is for documents, which allows users to search for files in OneDrive as well as SharePoint using a work, school or university Office 365 account. Users will have to type the word and the documents will appear above the keyboard.
The next button is for searching contacts on the device, and the process is similar to searching documents. Once a contact is selected, the app will show their information such as name, mobile number, home number and more.
The last button enables users to translate what they are writing to another language.The Hub Keyboard app is available as a free download from the Google Play Store and the file weighs 12 MB.