Thumbnail 5-tiles sms

Leave The Smartphone In Your Pocket, It’s Time To Text From Your Wrist

By on January 6, 2015 in News, Press Releases

LONDON, Jan. 06 , 2015 – ETAOI System’s revolutionary new 5-TILES keyboard for touchscreens of all sizes is now available for free as a text sending application on the Samsung Gear App Store for the newly released Samsung Gear S, as well as all other smartwatches from Samsung. 5-TILES SMS Text Messager allows Samsung smartwatch users to send and reply to text messages instantly from their Gear device.

5-tiles sms gear devices

The 5-TILES keyboard only uses 1/5th of the screen on the Samsung Gear S and 1/4 on the Gear 2 and Gear 2 neo , making text input much more comfortable and enjoyable in comparison with the full QWERTY keyboard pre-installed on the Samsung Gear S – which takes up almost 4/5 of the screen. (QWERTY is not available on the Samsung Gear 2 or  Gear 2 neo)


The compact & colourful keyboard with its 5 comfortably-sized keys leaves lots of room on the screen for writting letters, numbers, punctuation symbols and special characters all having their own easy to learn combination of taps or swipes.

Underlined letters are a single tap. For other letters, place your finger on the key where it is written, and slide your finger across to the key shown by the order it is written in. As you move your finger across the keyboard, the Grey Arrow will guide you to the letter you need.


5-TILES SMS abcde

Learn How to Use 5-TILES SMS on your Samsung Smartwatch

ETAOI Systems founder and CEO Michal Kubacki said:

“The first generation of smartwatches have largely been “dumb” alert receiving gadgets, but with the 5-TILES Text Messager app for Samsung Gear, you can finally reply to messages straight from your smartwatch.”

Fabio Carta, CTO and main developer of 5-TILES SMS, added:

“Voice entry solutions still lack on accuracy and even if they were perfect, there will always be situations like for example entering passwords, names or email addresses that will require a text entry solution. We are breaking the barriers of text input on smartwatches with a solution tailored for touchscreens, opening the possibilities for manufacturers and other applications like social networks that are still reticent about moving to smartwatches.”

Downloaded by thousands from the Google Play Store since a quiet release of its first prototype in April 2014, the 5-TILES keyboard demand shows how consumers are eager to move away from the 150-year-old QWERTY design and start typing with a keyboard designed for the future of touchscreens and wearable devices.


5-TILES is now officially in BETA and FREE

By on September 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

— see our press release here

This release is the effect of almost three years of intensive work of our developers and a huge group of testers of our Live Prototype version. At some points we were working with up to 3000 people all around the world – from movie writers, multilingual translators to prime ministers, using different combinations of all the languages available in 5-TILES. We were getting their feedback, listening to their ideas and suggestions, and sometimes just having long, friendly chats, as 5-TILES seems to attract some of the nicest and most interesting people we have ever met 😉

Surprisingly little has been changed in the main concept of the keyboard – having letters, symbols and commands always available by the combination of slides between five large keys. It appeared to us early on that the main task was to make this concept as user friendly and self explanatory as possible.

It’s a challenging task – 5-TILES is a completely new writing system and it requires learning a new behaviour and interaction with the touch screen.
We have done a lot of research around the letter layout, moving from ENDUW to EABCD (with many other versions in between, which we had to learn and test), just to discover that for many reasons traditional alphabetical order is optimal when considering such factors as user friendliness, intuitiveness and speed of typing. Of course – the previous layout is getting a full support in the new version!

Similar amount of work was done around on-boarding process, tutorials, learning mode and cheat sheets. Each of the new ideas was tested internally first, then by the limited group of power users and if it made it that far, the final test was always our Live Prototype, which was openly available on the Play Store.

This year our team was joined by mobile industry legend – Christian Lindholm, creator of Nokia’s Navi-Key interface, probably the most popular phone interface in the world. His expertise helped us to shape the latest version of the product, which we now proudly present here: (link).

Back in 2011 we decided to use a freemium model – with free version of the app having limited functionality and the full paid version. It seemed like a good solution at that time and the most popular model, with some of other keyboard manufacturers charging up to £5 for their products. We were charging a modest £1.99.

As most of the apps in this field are now moving to free model, we have decided to make the same transition. We decided that the current paid customers will receive the whole amount back as a credit towards in-app purchases, which we will be offering in the near future.

We were planning to make this transition over the last week of September, following announcements and a press release, but it was all rushed by an unique opportunity – on September 14, 5-TILES was covered by BBC Click. With such a high visibility, we decided to launch the new Beta earlier and go free on the day of the airing.

We are now thrilled to see the positive response to the new version and to welcome thousands of new users in just few hours after the show!

BBC Click

By on September 13, 2014 in News

This Thursday we had a fantastic surprise – 5-TILES was featured on BBC’s Click by Kate Russell.

What made me particularly happy was the fact that Kate didn’t go for the “hot” smartwatch angle, but focused on a smartphone. Yes, 5-TILES is a great solution for watches, but it’s been created to work on all touch screen devices and smartphones are still the majority there.
It was a pleasure to see that a person presenting was quite proficient with the keyboard (I’m not talking about two pieces of my YouTube videos, but about BBC shots)!
The download rate after the program was great!

As Kate said: 5-TILES requires a bit of training – after all it’s a completely new writing system – but once you’ve learned it, it offers a completely new experience of creating text on portable devices.

Give it a try today!

5-TILES founders story

By on September 6, 2014 in Blog

I just had an absolutely amazing day today with 5-TILES team, working on our application for Techstars competition.

I was most excited about recording a short video, where we were supposed to introduce one another and say something about the team members. So many good memories!
Then we realized that we actually have only around 12 seconds each to talk, as the video has a strict 1 minute time limit!

So I had to make a difficult choice. I decided to introduce Fabio Carta, our CTO. This story tells a lot not only about how amazing Fabio is at what he is doing, but in general, how we do things at ETAOI Systems.

In spring 2011 me and Fabio worked together in a café in London City. I had the idea of the keyboard crystallized at that time, but I was looking for someone to write the code. I started pitching this idea to all the customers, especially the guys with ponytails wearing jumpers. Few days later Fabio said to me:
– Can I borrow your phone for a day?
The next day he brought it back and there it was! The first version of my keyboard, working!
Just then I asked him:
– are you a developer?
– Yes. – he said.

I would never guess, he wasn’t wearing a ponytail.

I wanted also to talk about Piotr. He is our CFO. Outside ETAOI he is one of my closest friends. He is an Oxford man and has quite impressive CV, as you would expect from a guy who is in charge of all the legal and financial matters in the company.
But what is most important for me personally, he is the first person in the world who really understood my vision. It might sound easy now, as we are preparing Mark III version of the product, won number of competitions and even presented our keyboard in front of the rulers of the world, but few years ago all this was nothing but a crazy dream – to be able to touch type on a phone. Having Piotr supporting me at that time and helping me with fascinating (and painful) process of patent application – it was invaluable!

Finally, Margaret. Let me say this: after I met her on a hack day in London, I decided that I have to get her on the team. I showed her LinkedIn profile to Piotr and he said:
– There’s no way in the world you can convince her to work with us!
Well, somehow I did!

I guess I’m good at convincing, but also – I’m incredibly lucky guy!

The 5-TILES Keyboard on Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Neo

By on August 8, 2014 in News

The 5­-TILES Note Pad brings the revolutionary 5-TILES Keyboard to your Samsung Gear, allowing you to take notes and save your thoughts while on the move – without having to dig out your phone!
With the 5-TILES Note Pad you won’t forget that fleeting thought, shopping list item, or important reminder for later. (This is a stand-alone app, and therefore does not require a companion app to be downloaded on your phone)

With 5-TILES, you’ll be ready for the NEXT 150 years, across ALL of your touch screen devices.


5-TILES Note Pad step 1If you fancy giving it a try yourself, first make sure that you’ve set up the Gear Manager app on your companion phone and that it is connected to your smart watch. Go into the Gear Manager app, and select ‘Samsung Apps’. Then simply search for 5-TILES Note Pad, and click to download it. Then open the Note Pad by selecting the 5-TILES icon in your Apps list.


Open the Note Pad by selecting the 5-TILES icon. You can either continue to edit an existing note by clicking on it, or start a new note by clicking on ‘New’ at the bottom of the screen. The first few words you type will form the name of the note when you save it.
The compact and colourful keyboard with its 5 comfortably-sized keys leaves lots of room on the screen for note taking. Letters, numbers, punctuation, emoticons and special characters all have their own easy to learn combinations of taps or swipes.
Keyboard on Gear2
Underlined letters are a single tap. For other letters, place your finger on the key where it is written, and slide your finger across to the key shown by the order it is written in. As you move your finger across the keyboard, the Grey Arrow will guide you to the letter you need.
For example, to type the letter F, you place your finger on the green key where F is written, and slide to the blue key.
A number of letters and commands can be typed by swiping up or down, also indicated by where they are written on the keyboard. For example, the letter U is a swipe up on the orange key.


To guide you while you’re typing, a small grey arrow appears above the keyboard to show you what letter you have activated at them moment (simply lift your finger to select). The keyboard itself will show what letters you can select from this position by sliding your finger to that key.

photo1For example, when you place your finger on the yellow key, the letter M shows as selected on the arrow, but by sliding left or right you can select K, L, N or O.




Underlined letters: single tap
U: slide up on orange
Z: slide up on red
Other letters: place finger on the letter, the keyboard will show were to slide to
Grey Arrow: shows what is currently selected




Space: tap on red
Delete letter: slide up on blue
Delete word: slide down on blue
Enter: slide down on green
Shift: slide up on green
Save Note: slide up on yellow
Delete Note: blue – green – blue – green




Start on red, slide left until you see your punctuation on red, move back to red
.  red – orange – red
,  red – yellow – red
!  red – green – red
? red – blue – red




1  start on blue, slide to green, back to blue
2  blue – yellow – blue
3  blue – orange – blue
4  blue – red – blue
5  green – blue – green
6  green – yellow – green
7  green – orange – green
8  green – red – green
9  yellow – blue – yellow
0  yellow – green – yellow