I was very skeptical of Graffiti.
A then-friend at the time who had a Newton raved about it.
At a trade show — back when NYC had them — he forced me to get a demonstration of Graffiti from a woman at the Palm booth. This was around the time the Palm III was released. She showed me how fast she could write and how similar to real letters the Graffiti characters were. Still skeptical, I asked her to show me how to do a semicolon, a hyphen, and maybe something else.
I can’t say I was impressed or sold. But at least I was no longer stubborn or ignorant.
Well, I wound up with a Palm III, which I bought from a dealer at a trade show — maybe the same trade show — because it was on sale.
I used the hell out of that thing.
Graffiti was actually a joy. I got good at it, I got fast at it. I’d think nothing of pulling the Palm III from my pocket, turning it on, pulling out the stylus, flipping the lid, and jotting a note — a process faster than the time it took to read this sentence.
Palm went on to have a twisted history, with its operating system divorced from the hardware maker.
Down the road, PalmOS was purchased by the Japanese company ACCESS.
And they released a version of Graffiti for Android.
Some of the reviews for it have gotten pretty bad. It hasn’t been updated in a long time.
Being a diehard user — still using it today as the original Graffiti via a buggy hack on my LifeDrive — I’m not keen on giving it up. I’d like it on whatever Android device I eventually get.
So I decided to write to ACCESS, even though others said they had and never got a reply. I’m stubborn:
PLEASE update Graffiti Pro for Android. Make the text area user-selectable. It’s too small on hi-resolution screens and also badly-scaled on tablets.
If you DON’T want to update, why not DONATE it as freeware that interested programmers can modify?
And what do you know? I got a reply, from their European office:
Thanks for your inquiry. Unfortunately the Graffiti app is no longer supported by newer Android versions. The application is now distributed for free but comes with that restriction. Currently there is no update available for newer Android OS versions.
Well, something doesn’t make sense. If it’s now free, why is there still a paid version for US$2.99 listed in the Play Store? Isn’t that stealing money?
I think this is a foolish move by ACCESS. With iOS now allowing keyboard plug-ins, I would have thought someone at ACCESS would have made the connection to updating Graffiti. How hard could it really be?
But these days, people are telling me things like Swype are the way to go. I’ve even seen a video for a swipe-able keyboard coming for iOS 8.
So maybe I’m going to have to leave Graffiti behind. Maybe I’m at the point with Swype-like keyboards that I was with Graffiti originally — stubborn and ignorant. We’ll see.
Oh, and that Everex Freestyle? I eventually bought a used one off eBay years later. My god, what a piece of unusable battery-eating garbage! Getting the Palm III was the best move I ever made.