Category: Social Networking
TiP rating: 2 stars out of 5
Release date: 12/31/09
Seller: CGactive LLC
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone OS 3.1 or later
Link to app (clicking launches iTunes)
App Store Description: Type n Walk displays a transparent viewport of what’s directly in front of you. This combined with your peripheral vision is just enough visual information to help you avoid obstacles – like walking facefirst into a pole! … Type n Walk was designed to work WITH your favorite apps – NOT try to REPLACE them. Use it to compose your email, text message, Facebook or Twitter update and paste it into your preferred apps (or the web browser) to send.
Summary: The concept behind Type n Walk is commendable – to provide an on-screen view of what’s in front of you
while you are typing, so that you can see where you’re going. And while this app will undoubtedly attract the hardcore texters and multitaskers that want to avoid oncoming traffic, I’m not convinced that it provides the kind of safe, distraction avoidance experience you’d expect. It’s a novelty, a cool trick, at first that wears off.
Review: Have you ever tried to type and walk at the same time? For that matter, have you ever tried to do anything and type at the same time? Not that easy is it? Well the folks at CGactive, LLC, creators of Type n Walk, have a $0.99 proposition for you.
Type n Walk creates a transparent background on your screen while you type, so that you can see what is in front of you. It’s not a replacement for typing apps, such as email and SMS. It’s designed to work with your current iPhone programs. Through the use of the camera, the app provides a real-time transparent background while you text. Users can then transfer their message to apps like SMS, email, Facebook, Twitter, or just do a plain old cut-and-paste.
After using the app for over a few weeks now, it proved to be more of a novelty than utility for one simple reason: Most users look at the keyboard on their mobile device when texting and not at the screen where the message is being created (full size computer keyboards not withstanding). To date, the transparent image Type n Walk displays does not extend to the keyboard area. So you’re still looking at a black background as you type.
It gets worse. After you’ve composed your message, you still need to launch the email or texting application, accept the confirmation pop-up, select your recipient, and send. Not all of this is supported by the main section of the screen (which displays the view in front). Even if you make a concerted effort to look at the view area, your concentration is still focused on the letters, and not the background. The experience didn’t help my ability to multitask or to evade potential hazards while walking – or driving. (Just kidding – please don’t text and drive!)
To be fair, it is a very cool concept and your friends are sure to be impressed by the nifty view screen. It works as advertised, and the image reproduction from the camera is decent. The recent 12/31/09 upgrade was a much needed enhancement. Prior to that, in the 1.1.0 version, users were unable to directly load messages to the email and texting apps which meant you had to cut and paste and then switch over to the desired app.
If you’re looking for a solution that provides a distraction-free texting experience, check out some of the voice-to-text apps such as Dragon Dictation. It’s a free program that allows you to speak your messages and pass them to email and text applications. I found this to be much more useful when running around town and sending the occasional quick text. It is surprisingly accurate, and to send a message that has been composed in the app, it takes the same number of clicks as Type n Walk.
To sum up, despite the recent media attention and 3.5 star iTunes rating, I give Type n Walk just 2 stars. While the idea may be cool, the practical application just does not make typing any easier or safer. Save your money for the next installment of Tap Tap Revenge.