Introducing the Input Method Framework

An exciting feature delivered with Android 1.5 is an input-method framework (IMF) implementation. IMF is actually a Java specification that decouples, for example, a text field from the mechanism that delivers text to the component. Example uses of an IMF include interpreters that translate speech into text, translators that convert text written with a pen device into regular text, interpreters that map characters from the Western alphabet table to characters in various east Asian languages (such as Korean and Japanese), and so on. One of the reasons for implementing an input-method framework in Android is to support phones that will ultimately be used in non-English-speaking countries, particularly Korea, China, and Japan. There are other obvious reasons, too. For example, you need an IMF implementation to support voice dialing, soft keyboards, and so on.

The 1.5 SDK actually has several input-method editors and engines. If you are interested in this specialized framework, have a look at the InputMethodService class to get started.

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