Google buys BlindType to help Android users type more easily

Google's acquisition of BlindType could mean a new focus for the company, which first wrote its software for the iPhone

Google has acquired BlindType, a developer of apps to make typing easier on touch-screen phones, the small software maker announced Friday. The move comes just a couple of months after BlindType demonstrated an Android version of its software, which was originally developed for the iPhone and iPad.

With BlindType, touch-screen phone owners don't have to worry about accuracy, the company says.

Typing is harder on the virtual keyboards of touch-screen phones than on physical keyboards, because typists receive no physical feedback about where their fingers are landing in relation to the on-screen keys. BlindType's software tries to guess what they meant to type by looking at what other keys are close to the ones they actually hit.

The company first developed its software for Apple's iOS, but on Aug. 7, posted a video to its blog of an Android version in development.

That same blog on Friday carried the message "We are excited to announce that BlindType has been acquired by Google!"

The posting didn't say how much Google paid. Google representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

What the acquisition by Google will mean for BlindType's support for the iPhone remains to be seen. The Google-backed Android open-source OS is battling for smartphone market share with Apple's iOS and phones from BlackBerry maker Research in Motion.

Google has made over 20 acquisitions this year, but only two others have concerned mobile software vendors. In August, Google bought Socialdeck, a company that develops games for smartphones and PCs.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

Tags business issuesGoogleconsumer electronicsMergers / acquisitionsPhonessmartphonesBlindtypePhone applications

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Peter Sayer

IDG News Service

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