Siine Launches Innovative Icon-Based Keyboard For Mobile Phones

Think there’s only one way to type on your phone? Think again.

Siine, a Spain/UK-based developer of software that aims to change the way we communicate using touch-screen phones, is today formally launching Siine Writer for Android, a keyboard application that basically lets people personalize text messages and save time while they’re at it, in public beta.

In addition to a traditional keyboard with letters and numbers, Siine Writer features a screen with special icons (called Siines, pronounced ‘signs’) that people can tap to build messages phrase-by-phrase, thus cutting short the time it takes to add greetings, signoffs, contact info and whatnot.

The keyboard app can be downloaded with several Siines pre-loaded, but user can change them to fit their own styles, create new icons or adopt new ones from a virtual gallery.

From my limited testing, I’d say it takes a while to get used to Siine, but once you do you start seeing the potential of the app rather quickly. I suspect it could be a hit with the teen crowd.

Siine was founded in 2007 by Ed Maklouf, who previously did communication research at Stanford University.

Earlier this year, the startup raised £550,000 in seed funding from Atomico Ventures, the investment vehicle established by Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis.