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Tag - Mobile

Messenger තියෙන්නේ chat කරන්න විතරද ?

bots for Messenger

Messenger කියන්නේ අද වනවිට smartphone භාවිත කරන අයගෙන් හැමෝම වගේ භාවිත කරන app එකක්. ගොඩක් අය Messenger භාවිත කරන්නෙ තමන්ගෙ Facebook මිතුරන් සමග chat කරන්න. නමුත් අද අපි කතා කරන්න යන්නේ Messenger වලින් තවත් වැඩ රාශියක් කරගන්න පුළුවන් Messenger Bots ගැන ….

Messenger Bot එකක් කියන්නෙත් web apps, mobile apps වගේ තවත් එක් පරිගණක වැඩසටහන් විශේෂයක්. Messenger Bot එකක් සමග කටයුතු කරන ආකාරය, තමන්ගේ Facebook friend කෙනෙක් සමග Messenger වලින් සම්බන්ධ වන ආකාරයට ගොඩක්ම සමානයි .ඒ වගේම Messenger Bot එකක් භාවිත කරන්න කිසිම අමතර app එකක් අවශ්‍ය වෙන්නෙත් නෑ. දැන් නම් smartphones භාවිතා කරන කවුරුත් කියන්නේ “ඕකට app එකක් තියෙනවා” කියලානේ. ඒත් අනාගතයේදී ඒක වෙනස් වන බව හුඟක් පරිගණක විශේඥයින් මත පළකරනවා. ඊට පස්සේ ගොඩක් අය කියයි මේකට bot එකක් තියෙනවා කියලා.

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Smartphones that charge in 5 minutes could arrive next year

charger

If we compare a smartphone that was released five years ago and a smartphone that was released two months ago, you will notice the differences from a glance. High-quality cameras, pixel rich displays, slim design and the list goes on. Among all these advances there is one feature that has hardly improved from five years ago to today, and that is the battery. If you take an average smartphone, it takes almost two hours for it to charge fully. (Except devices that support Dash Charging and Fast Charging Technologies)

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Fuchsia – The newest mobile Operating System by Google

fuchsia-open-source-os-by-google

Is your life stuck around either Android or iOS? Don’t you want a change?

Here, Google is going to provide you that incredible chance to encounter a new experience with Fuchsia. You may wonder what Fuchsia is. It’s the newest mobile OS implemented by Google. We don’t know yet for sure, but it might be a  replacement for Android down the line.

I’m pretty sure, as a tech enthusiastic, you will be curious about the technical aspects of Fuchsia.

fuchsia-open-source-os-by-google

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Here is what we know about Google pixel phone

පසුගිය October 4 වෙනිදින San Francisco හිදී පැවැත්වුණු Google Hardware event එක කාගේත් කතාබහට ලක්වුණු දෙයක්. ඒ Google සමාගම හඳුන්වා දුන් නවතම උපාංග නිසයි. ඒ අතරිනුත් Pixel Phone එකට විශේෂ තැනක් ලැබී තිබුනා. කලින් ලිපියේ සඳහන් ආකාරයට Pixel සහ Pixel XL නමින් smartphone දෙකක් හඳුන්වාදුන් අතර ඒවා Quite Black, Very Silver, Really Blue යන වර්ණ වලින් වෙළඳපලට නිකුත් කෙරුනා. Read More

Monument Valley – A unique mobile gaming experience

What makes a good game? Is it the graphics? the gameplay? or the storyline? Actually all that aside, it is how playing the game makes you feel, that really defines it. In that sense Monument Valley a puzzle game tops it off, as the experience playing the game is fantastic. Although there have been a bazillion games released on Android, I haven’t enjoyed a game this much since Royal Revolt.

Monument Valley Screens

In short Monument Valley, is puzzle based game where you have to direct Princess Ida through 10 beautiful levels of 3D mazes. Beautiful might be an understatement. The mazes are minimalist and gorgeous, together with the geometric illusions are a treat to the eye. I agree with the Designer Ken Wong, that the image of each level is beautiful enough to frame and hang it. Princess Ida is guided through the maze by touching the pathway. The path needs to be altered through the movement of ledges and columns to bring her to the end point. The animations and gameplay is smooth, but that is on a Quad core phone so can’t really comment on whether there will be performance issues on lower end phones. The lovely background music complements the graphics and together creates a wonderful experience. The puzzles are enjoyable, designed with imagination and creativity, but not that difficult. It would have been nice if the difficulty was notched up higher.

Monument Valley Screens

Monument Valley however disappoints with having only 10 levels. For one the game can be finished in a couple of hours. Secondly since the game costs around $4 dollars, 10 levels might seem a bit insufficient for that price. But looking at the number of downloads on iOS and Android it seems people don’t mind dishing out a bit extra for novel game.

Monument Valley brings out a unique experience that you should definitely try out if you are willing to pay $4. And hopefully we will see a sequel with a lot more levels released in 2015.

Download it on Android from the Play Store or on iOS from the Apple appstore

The zero bezel Sharp Aquos Crystal

Back in the days I used to own a Sony Ericsson K700i, since those days I hate the big bezels and thick front glasses. I always tell my friends that I love to have slim bezels and big screens but they always laughed at me. However thanks to Android finally we started to see new innovations and the new screen technologies from vendors. When the Samsung Galaxy S4 came out it had slimmer bezels than the Galaxy S3, when the LG G3 came out it had a Slimmer bezels than the G2, but here is something interesting, few days back Sharp has launched an Android phone which is almost zero bezels. Yes it’s called the Sharp Aquos Crystal and Sharp Aquos Crystal X.

Sharp Crystal Phone

The Sharp Crystal smartphone has a 5inch 720P display, it measures 131mm X 67mm X 10mm and 140g in weight, inside it is powered by Snapdragon 400 clocked at 1.2GHz, 2040mAh battery, internal storage 8GB (SD slot included and it supports upto 128GB) and 1.5GB of RAM. Out of the box it runs Android 4.4.2 Kitkat and it has Harman Kardon audio. According to the Softbank press release this amazing phone will be available for US consumers through Sprint on 29th august.

The Aquos Crystal X the flagship version currently is only available for Japanese consumers. It has a 5.5inch 1080p display, it measures 139mm X 73mm X 11mm. Under the hood it has a Snapdragon 801 SoC, 2GB RAM, 32GB internal storage and 2610mAh battery.

Sharp Aquos Crystal

Image credits phonearena.com news.livedoor.com

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha and its 20nm Exynos 5430 SoC

Finally the rumored Samsung Galaxy Alpha is available for sale. The Galaxy Alpha is the first Samsung metal phone which features a 4.7inch 720p super AMOLED display, 12 megapixel camera, 2K video recording and 2GB RAM. Nowadays smartphones come with a 3000mAh to 2500mAh battery but this phone has only 1860mAh battery. Yes it’s a pretty small battery compared to the midrange specs it has, but Samsung claims it doesn’t need a bigger battery because it’s powered by their latest SoC called Exynos 5430.

The Exynos 5430 is the first Samsung 20nm SoC and Samsung claims it’s 25% more power efficient than its predecessor

Samsung Exynos 5430 is a big.LITTLE octa core processor which is manufactured under 20nm technology which means it has four big Cortex A15 cores clocked at 1.8GHz and four small Cortex A7 cores clocked at 1.3GHz. The Exynos 5430 is the first Samsung 20nm SoC and Samsung claims it’s 25% more power efficient than its predecessor Exynos 5420 which was manufactured under 28nm. Anandtech mentioned the use of the 20nm process a “significant leap forward” compared to the previous generation.

Samsung Exynos

Exynos 5430 has a Mali-T628 MP6 (six GPU cores) which is the same GPU Exynos 5420 (at 533MHz) had but now it’s clocked at 600MHz. This SoC has a dedicated H.265 hardware decoder and a dedicated Cortex A5 core to handle audio and voice recognition tasks. Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone is still new so neither battery benchmarks nor battery reviews are out there yet.  When they are available we can determine exactly how this new processor works with less power.

Images Via [www.androidauthority.com]

An Introduction to Android Mobile Game Development – Part 1

We all love mobile gaming and it has become a booming market today. Majority of the smart device users use their device for gaming. Most probably you might be a mobile gamer too. But, have you ever wanted to make your own mobile game?  And still don’t have a clue where to start?  Then this article will guide you for a quick start. We will be focusing on the Android platform in this article.

How mobile games differ from PC games

Though they have a less processing power compared to modern personal computers, smart devices are considered as small computers. Some smart devices are capable of running high quality 3D games.

Games themselves and developing games for mobile differs from conventional PC game development in several ways.

Simple concept

Most of the mobile games are built on a simple concept and a storyline. Think of the popular game “Angry Birds”. The player has to destroy different structures using a slingshot. Another example is “Cut the Rope” where the objective is feeding a monster with candy. These games became popular because of the simple design and easy to pick up playing mechanics.

 Simple controls

Mobile games use easy to use controls such as touch, tap, swipe, tilt etc. These are actions which are familiar to all smart device users. So it makes the learning curve of a game less steeper.

 Development team size and development time.

Conventional PC/Console game studios use hundreds of individuals for the development of product. But most of the mobile games are made by small teams, sometimes by a single person.

Usually a mobile game can be developed in few weeks to few months (This can change depending on the project). But most of the PC games take years to complete (Eg. Skyrim V took 3.5 years).

Larger audience

The global smartphone users are expected to reach 1.75 billion in 2014. In most of the developed countries higher percentage of the population owns a smartphone than owns a personal computer. 2013 became a lousy year for PC sales but the mobile devices are on the rise. Another thing to consider is that most of the casual gamers tend to play game on a mobile device instead of a PC. Because of these reasons mobile games have a larger potential audience.

Available game engines and frameworks for Android game development

Andengine

andengine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link: http://www.andengine.org/

Programming language: Java

Price : Free

Supported Platforms: Android

Pros

This is a free and open source game engine with an active user community. There’s a lot of tutorials and sample code out there to get started.

Cons 

The Major drawback of Andengine is that it lacks an official API reference . And it supports only for Android. You can make only 2D games using Andengine.

Cocos2D-x

cocos2D

Link: http://www.cocos2d-x.org/

Programming Language: C++

Price: Free

Supported platforms: Android, iOS, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8

 Pros 

This is a free and open source game engine so you can modify it according to your needs. And you can publish games on several platforms using the same code base. Cocos2d-x is one of the best engines out there when it comes to the performance.

Cons

Beginners may find the learning curve quite steep.

Libgdx

libgdx

 

 

 

Link: http://libgdx.badlogicgames.com/index.html

Programming Language: Java

Price: Free

Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Web

Pros

This is a free and open source cross platform game engine. This game engine performs well compared to other java game engines out there.

Cons

Beginners may find the learning curve quite steep.

GameMaker

Gamemaker

 

 

 

 

Link: https://www.yoyogames.com/studio

Programming Language: Game Maker Language (GML)

Price: Depends on the version (A free version is also available)

Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Web

Pros

The GameMaker is one of the easiest game development tools to use. You can just drag and drop objects into the scene and apply pre defined behaviors to those objects. You can make more advanced things using the GameMaker’s own scripting language GML. This is widely used by hobbyists and professionals both.

 Cons

The free version of GameMaker comes with some limitations. You can’t publish on mobile platforms using the free version. The paid versions are pretty expensive compared to the other solutions out there. You have to learn a new language just for GameMaker.

 Corona SDK

coronalabs
Link: http://coronalabs.com

Programming Language: Lua

Price: Depends on the version (A free version is also available)

Supported Platforms: Android, iOS

Pros

If you need to program a complete game from scratch without dragging and dropping, this is the easiest solution you have. The language used is Lua and it’s very easy to learn. You can even publish for iOS and Android using the free version of the Corona SDK. It is documented well and provides sample apps to get started easily.

Cons

The free version of the Corona SDK comes with some limitations. You can’t implement in-app purchases etc. Another drawback is that you can only make 2D games using the Corona SDK.

Unity3D

unity3D

 

 

 

 

Link: http://unity3d.com/unity

Programming Languages: C#, Unity Script, Boo

Price: Free and a Pro version is available

Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry , Flash,

XBOX, Playstation etc.

Pros

Unity’s main advantage is its cross platform capability. You can publish your games on every popular platform out there. Unity3D has a strong asset store where you can buy 3d models, scripts, sounds etc. And another huge advantage of using unity is that you can publish your game on most of the platforms even if you use the free version. However, when you reach a particular revenue limit you have to buy the Pro version.

Cons

Not observed.

Why I recommend Corona SDK and Unity3D

I’ve been using Corona SDK for a year and I believe it’s a good game engine to start game development for Android. Because of the very active community of developers and resources out there, you can get started easily. You can program the game in Lua instead of C++ or Java and this makes the development process fast. And it gives you the native performance. If you need to implement in app purchases in your game you have to buy the Basic version of the SDK which costs 16$ per month.

One disadvantage of Corona is that you can’t make 3D games using it. That’s where Unity3D comes into the action. Actually the latest version of Unity3D officially supports 2D game development. Unity3D is a game engine with an editor which allows you to create levels, manage game assets etc. It supports several languages such as C#, Unity Script (A modified version of Javascript) and Boo. Unity 3D is easy to learn but I recommend using something like Corona SDK because it improves the programming skills and gives you a better understanding of how things are tied together in a game. After getting some experience in game programming you can choose something like Unity3D.

Await Part 2 of this series!

5 Reasons you should buy the Google Nexus 5

On the 1st of November Google unveiled its latest offering in the Nexus line up, the Nexus 5.
The specs and the shape were known well in advance, due to various leaks leading up to the launch. We have lined up 5 good reasons on why you should make this your next smart phone.

  1. Processing power – With the powerful Snapdragon 800 quad core processor and the Adreno 330 GPU, the Nexus 5 has been bench-marked as the best current Android gaming phone.
  2.  

  3. HD Display – The Nexus 5 boasts a HD display of 4.95 inches, with resolution of 1080×1920 pixels. This gives a pixel density of 445ppi which is just above the pixel density of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (441ppi) and way better than the iPhone 5S (326 ppi). The high pixel density will result in crisp graphics and text.
  4.  

  5. Value for Money – This is surely the top reason to buy a Nexus 5. Being loaded with some awesome specs(given below) the 16GB model is modestly priced at $349 and the 32GB model at $399. If your getting the Nexus 5 through Kapruka it would cost you around Rs 57,000 in total. When comparing with the prices of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One which are both in the Rs 80,000 range, the Nexus 5 is obviously a steal.
  6.  

  7. KitKat OS – The Nexus 5 runs on the latest Android version 4.4 (KitKat). With features such as  improved Google Now integration, printing capability, faster multitasking and immersive display, the Nexus 5 would provide a richer experience than its other Android counterparts.
  8.  

  9.  Feature packed camera – The 8MP camera might not be the best phone camera out there, but with HDR+, Photo sphere and its advance editor, it just might exceed your expectation.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ0XTJqFLIE

The full specifications are given below

Network: GSM, WCDMA, LTE

Display:  4.95-inch Full HD IPS (1920×1080, 445ppi), Gorilla Glass 3

OS:  Android 4.4 (Kit Kat)

Camera:  8MP rear facing with Optical Image Stabilization (1.3MP front)

Battery:  2,300mAh (17 hours talk time, 7 hours internet on LTE)

CPU:  2.3Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (quad-core)

GPU:  Adren 330, 450MHz

Weight:  4.59oz (130g)

Dimensions:  69.17 x 137.84 x 8.59mm

WiFi:  Dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4G/5G) 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

GBG Colombo: Mobile for Business – Live Blog!

Welcome to the Live blog of Mobile for Business event organized by the GBG Colombo.

 

Samsung Galaxy S4 – Champion yet again?

Last year Samsung Galaxy S3, the leader in Android based mobile phones sold a whopping 30[1] million plus devices in 2012 alone. This year, the Galaxy S4 is off to a good start with 10[2] million units sold in less than a month after their launch. With the Galaxy S4, Samsung has introduced a whole bag of new features, while some of them may not be all that practical they definitely are some cool stuff to show off to your buddies.

The Galaxy S4 comes in two main flavours:

–          Octa-core variant (I9500)

–          Quad-core variant (I9505)

Before you get ahead of yourself, YES the Octa-core variant comes with two Quad-core processors, but NO they do not work simultaneously. Instead, the Exynos Octa-core processer packs two quad-core set ups being 1.8GHz and 1.2GHz respectively. Whereas the Quad-core variant is armed with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 1.9GHz processor. Apart from the processor, not much is different except the fact that the Quad-core variant comes with 4G LTE and the Octa-core sadly with 3G only.

Here’s a look at the key specs for the Galaxy S4 (both I1900 and I1905)

Galaxy S4

DESIGN

The Samsung Galaxy S4 may be one of the most anticipated phones of the year, but the design fails to surprise. Owners of the Galaxy S3 will see little difference on the look and feel of the Galaxy S4. Don’t be disheartened, the S4 is a looker but subsides when compared to Sony’s flagship Xperia Z and HTC’s One X, where the Galaxy S4 has a hyper glazed plastic finish. However, on the upper hand, the back panel of the phone can be accessed allowing users to change the battery if required – which is a No-No for both Sony’s and HTC’s flagships’.

The Galaxy S4 does bring slight changes on the outer bezel of the phone making it look sleeker adding to the only 7.9mm thickness of the device. The premium feel is lacking on this handheld even though Samsung have an aluminum-like finish covering the side of the phone. Samsung however have done a fantastic job in maintaining the height and width of the S3 albeit the larger screen. The build of the phone is quite good as well and feels sturdy and solid in the hand.

DISPLAY

Once the screen turns on, all subdues of the design are soon forgotten. The Samsung Galaxy S4 has an eye-popping display supported with the Super AMOLED screen and offers image quality that is par to none other. Both the high contrast and super colour saturation combine to provide the user with superb viewing pleasure. Some users aren’t great fans of the bright and toned look, and Samsung offers such users the ability to change the bright saturated look to a more natural display of colours. Additionally, S4 users will have nothing to complain about when viewing the phone in broad daylight and the viewing angles are great as well.

Galaxy S4

Image: Acquired from http://images.anandtech.com/doci/6832/DSC_9891.jpg

OS & USER INTERFACE

The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with the latest release of the Google mobile platform i.e. Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and is loaded with Samsung’s Touch Wiz 4.0. While some users may prefer the vanilla user interface by Android, the Touch Wiz update does bring some advantages. For instance, the lock screen that supports minimal functions on Jelly Bean; Samsung has gone all the way to introduce multiple panes with support for many widgets such as Email, Google Now, Messaging, Music Player, etc. The Lock Screen on the S4 can be thoroughly customized to one’s taste with background images, personal messages or clock with a desired colour and font.

Galaxy S4

Image: Acquired from http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s4-review-914p4.php

The notification bar contains five customizable toggles that allow users to quickly enable or disable the feature, and users may slide across to view other toggles as well. Or user may simply tap the newly added button that lists out the total of 21 toggles.

Galaxy S4

Image : Acquired from http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s4-review-914p4.php

The notification bar also displays the brightness control slider along with the general notifications that come with Android. 

Home Screen

The home screen hasn’t changed much from the predecessor, and you can pinch zoom to get the overlay of all home screens with a maximum of 7 separate screens.

Galaxy S4

 

Image : Acquired from http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s4-review-914p4.php

Apps Drawer

The Apps Drawer too hasn’t seen many changes, and you can access both your apps and your widgets from the Apps Drawer itself. The dedicated download tab shows you all the apps you have downloaded.

galaxy_S4_6

Image : Acquired from http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s4-review-914p4.php

One interesting feature is when you drag out apps and widgets to the home screen, you would see below a small layout of all your home screens with existing widgets and apps and gives you an indication of how much space is available on the home screen. Once added, the widgets can be resized and moved across the home screens with ease.

Galaxy S4

Image : Acquired from http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s4-review-914p4.php

 

Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S4 sports a picture-crisp 13.1 megapixel camera and the picture quality is fantastic, but is it fantastic all round? And the answer is yes, it is! Pictures taken from the S4 during the day are quite amazing. They are crisp and full of colour, and with amazing detailing as well spanned across 4128 x 3096 pixels.

The S4 brings its users a vast set of options and modes. Here are the modes the S4 has in store for you:

–          Auto Mode

–          Panorama

–          Sports

–          Night

While the above are seen on most smart phones, here are some of the more creative modes:

Sound & Shot

Sound & Shot does exactly what the name suggests; you can record sounds while taking the photo. Even though, a practical use for this would be hard to find it is a unique feature none the less.

Drama

The Drama mode is loads of fun! If you have a planned action sequence you would like to take, you can use this mode to take a series of still images combining the shots of the animated subject against a steady background.

Galaxy S4 Drama mode

Animated Photo

Simply lets you take a series of images which will be combined to give you a nice little animation.

Rich Tone (HDR)

In this mode when capturing a photo, a series of images are taken at various exposure levels and merged to give a rich saturated result.

Galaxy S4 Drama

Eraser

This intuitive mode works by capturing a series of images and removing moving objects from the final image.

The S4 also allows you to set further options such as ISO, White Balance, Exposure Value, Face Detection, Anti Shake, etc.

galaxy_S4_11

Video

Video recording with the S4 isn’t the phones strongest suite, but there’s nothing to complain either. The S4 supports 1080p@30fps.


A Sinhala touch keyboard for mobile devices

Reproduced with permission from http://zen.lk/2013/05/21/a-sinhala-touch-keyboard-for-mobile-devices/

Google Transliteration for Sinhala has probably done more to encourage active participation of Sinhala speakers on the Internet than any other technology or initiative. Using a simple English character based transliteration scheme that most Sinhala speakers are familiar with, it enables the average user to input Sinhala text into a computer at moderate speed without any knowledge of local layouts such asWijesekara.

However, things are not quite so simple when it comes to touch-based mobile devices. While placing a standard QWERTY keyboard on a mobile touchscreen is in itself an awkward attempt to use a layout meant for one type of device in another, using the same thing for transliterating a different language is doubly awkward. No solution exists in any of the dominant mobile platforms — Android, iOS or Windows Phone.

An innovative and widely used touchscreen keyboard scheme known as Swype may point the way. As many users would tell you, Swype allows you to drag your finger across the letters that form your word in one smooth motion. A prediction algorithm generates the word when you lift your finger off the screen. While this is a good scheme for any language, the nature of the Sinhala alphabet affords special advantages when using it.

sinhala_keyboard_2

While the Sinhala language has a large number of characters (without even counting combined ones), the most basic characters are:

ක ග ත ද න ප ය ර ල ව ස ශ හ ට ජ ච බ ම අ ඉ ඊ උ එ ඔ

When we consider ‘mahaprana’, ‘sanyaka’ and ‘murdhaja’ as alternate forms and combine these characters with the various ‘pillas’, almost all Sinhalese characters may be formed.

Features of this keyboard are as follows:

  1. The user may swipe his finger from one character to another to form words.

  2. Swiping over a ‘pilla’ key immediately after a basic character causes that character to be modified by the selected pilla.

  3. Tracing a small circle over a ‘pilla’ key causes it to become its long version.

  4. Swiping over the ‘shift’ key immediately after a basic character causes that character to become its mahaprana or murdhaja version (the software determines which, based on the base character).

  5. Swiping over the ‘binduwa’ key causes the preceding character to become its sanyaka version. When the key is tapped in isolation, it produces a ‘binduwa’ character.

  6. If a predictive dictionary is present, the user need not always be explicit about long pillas, mahapranas and especially murdhajas. The software will be able to pick out the correct form from the dictionary, given an approximation.

  7. Punctuation characters and numerals may be typed by a press-and-hold action (similar to the Swype keyboard).

  8. There are no dedicated characters for the vowels. Using a pilla character at the beginning of a word produces the corresponding vowel.

Rationales:

  1. Unlike English speakers and the QWERTY layout, Sinhala speakers have not become accustomed to the Wijesekara or any other Sinhala layout. This will allow them to quickly become accustomed to a new one.

  2. The layout can cut the number of strokes required to produce a word by about one third to one half, depending on the frequency of ‘pillas’. For example, the word ‘ලංකාව’ requires six swipes (or seven taps) on QWERTY. In this layout, it requires only four swipes.

  3. Reaching for keys on the higher rows naturally results in keys on the lower rows getting obscured by the user’s finger. Therefore the number of rows must be kept to a minimum and difficult-to-memorize keys should not be placed on the lower rows.

  4. The number of columns must be kept to a minimum so as to not make keys too small. Sinhala characters require more display space than English ones.

Improvements:

  1. The consonants here are placed in near-alphabetic order. However, the most optimal placement can be determined by statistical analysis of a large enough sample of frequently used Sinhala words and phrases. For example, ස, ය, ල, ම should probably be in higher rows than they are in this crude layout.

  2. The placements of the enter, backspace, comma and full stop keys may require rethinking.

  3. Infrequently used keys such as ‘rakaranshaya’ and ‘binduwa’ may be converted to shift functions to make space for ශ (which is currently considered a shifted ස) and more punctuation