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If there's one thing that we’d change about iOS, it’s the keyboard. Back in 2007, we may have marveled at its flexible design, but today it feels antiquated—especially when compared to some of the alternative models we’ve tried. Unlike Fleksy or SwitfKey, Jot doesn't offer a new way to type; rather, it focuses more on text selection, sidestepping Apple's somewhat stale tap-and-hold method for a clever cursor-based concept, which dramatically improves upon the way we cut, copy, and paste.
As soon as you launch Jot, it's clear that this isn't the same familiar text entry approach. After signing in to Dropbox—a required process that we found to be slightly awkward—you'll see a giant cursor just above the keypad that recalls Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is flanked by a few shortcut keys for common punctuation marks and undo/redo buttons. A nifty pull gesture reveals word, sentence, and paragraph counts, but for the most part, your fingers won't need to stray too far from the keyboard.
A series of simple swipes and taps allow you to select characters and words with ease, and a bit of animation within the circular cursor helps give your movements some real precision. As you write, words that have been autocorrected are highlighted in red, letting you change them back to what you had actually typed with just a tap.
But while Jot is certainly a nice showcase for what could be, we can’t imagine actually using it all that much. Although Fleksy is beginning to gain traction due to its SDK, Jot is sandboxed, so to speak, and the note-taking features it offers just aren't powerful enough to replace the notes apps we already use. And we’re not so sure that an iPhone app (with no native iPad support) is the best possible implementation, since the cursor takes up a rather large chunk of the writing area.
The bottom line. Jot offers a cool, alternative way to interact with text on iPhone and iPod touch, but Apple's pesky rules keep it from being as useful as it could be.
iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 7.0 or later
Unique take on text selection makes it easier to cut, copy, and paste. Shortcut bar puts common punctuation within reach. Excellent auto-correct implementation.
Requires Dropbox account. Giant cursor limits space to write. Note-taking capabilities within app are lacking.