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June 16, 2008 / Marco

Searching Made Easy with T9 Nav

If you need an efficient application which can act as a universal content finder and launcher on your S60 3rd Edition handset, T9 Nav® might be what you’re looking for. T9 Nav which has been developed by Nuance Communications allows you to locate whatever you might imagine by simply typing the first few letters of its name. The application quickly reacts to your key presses via a T9-based mechanism, meaning you shouldn’t press keypad keys several times to type a certain character. For instance, if you want to find a contact entry whose first name starts with “John”, simply type “5646”. Of course, in almost all instances there would be no need to type the complete name because you’ll reach what you want by typing its first few letters.

Getting started

Once you finish installing the application, it asks you if you want T9 Nav to autostart. This can later be modified by pressing “Key 1” and going to the “Settings” window. As you launch the application you can start typing, and the results which T9 Nav calls “high-frequency” items appear at the top of the list. You can press Up/Down to move around the results, and press “Select” on each item to activate it. Each found item is preceded by an icon which indicates to which category it belongs. Needless to say, pressing “Key 1” on each item displays a menu which begins with context-sensitive items. For instance, if you press “Key 1” on a contact entry, you’ll see the following:

  • Open,
  • Call, submenu:
    • Voice call,
    • Video call.
  • Ptt options, submenu:
    • Talk 1 to 1,
    • Talk to many,
    • Send callback request.
  • Create message,
  • Send,
  • Help,
  • Tutorial,
  • About,
  • Exit.

Similarly, pressing “Key 1” on a found entry which belongs to the Media category displays the following options:

  • Open,
  • Send,
  • Settings,
  • Help,
  • Tutorial,
  • About,
  • Exit.

Also, you can press Joystick right to move to other tab sheets which display items belonging to a certain category. These tab sheets are:

  • All,
  • Contacts,
  • Settings,
  • Media,
  • Bookmarks,
  • Applications,
  • Calendar,
  • Key words.

Few things to mention

T9 is currently available as a beta application and the current built, V00.05.06_RC11, expires on July 31st. Nuance will send periodic feedback forms to the email address you provide upon downloading T9 Nav. Personally speaking, I’d like the following features to be implemented in future releases:

  1. Make it capable of running as a service, optionally. This will force T9 Nav to leave the “Task manager”.
  2. Modify T9 Nav so that it can initiate more than one search in a session. Currently, if you finish searching but don’t leave the application and decide to initiate another search, pressing the “Clear” key a few times sends the application to the background rather than removing the first typed character.
  3. Extend its searching algorithms — it should become capable of locating SMS, MMS, and email messages.
  4. Make it capable of integrating into the “Standby” window, optionally. This way, users can initiate searches without moving to a separate window.

Notes for Symbian screen reader users

If you use Nuance TALKS to access T9 Nav, note that you should set the “Full list items” setting to “No”. Otherwise, TALKS wouldn’t read the found items. Simply use the “App-specific settings” feature so that this TALKS-related change can affect T9 Nav not other applications. Finally, if you’re into labeling icons via TALKS, you might be happy to know that all T9 Nav icons which indicate the category of results can be labeled. This helps with easier navigation in the “All” tab sheet. I’m not sure if those who work on Nuance TALKS&ZOOMS are simultaneously involved in the development of T9 NAV, but I hope the final release remains a truly accessible application.

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4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Vlad / Jun 16 2008 4:26 am

    This is very interesting. I’m anxious to see how it compares to SkyeQuiKey, that I’ve been using for a long while.

  2. Hamish / Jun 16 2008 6:20 am

    Is my Jaws just misbehaving or is this a very dodgy download page, as in where do you check the agreement before downloading? Managed to get it sorted with some helpfull available eyes but was struggling without.

  3. Donni / Jun 26 2008 1:09 am

    Hi – This is Donni from Nuance, the makers of T9 Nav. I have some further questions about your feedback, can you send me your contact info?

  4. Mark / Sep 4 2008 12:51 am

    This is a message/suggestion for Donni at Nuance. I use Talks, and if I hadn’t known to change the “Full list items” setting as mentioned by Amir, this litle app would have seemed to be pretty inaccessible. Given that they are both ritten by Nuance, my suggestion would be that if the installation of T9Nav notices that Talks is installed, it could display a simple popup to let the user how best to configure the app. It wouldn’t need to make the change (although there’sno reason why it couldn’t) but it would be one way that Nuance could help. Thakns.

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