Monday, December 19, 2011

The Poke Siines - some of our favourites

Siine Writer has teamed up with premiere comedy web site to produce a series of special “excuse” Siines.
The Siines, which are included in the latest update to Siine Writer, provide the perfect excuse for all kinds of social mishaps, from missing a meeting to forgetting somebody’s birthday.
Some of our favourite excuses include:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Siine Writer and literacy: help or hindrance?

We received an interesting comment this week about Siine Writer, one that made me think at length about the role our keyboard can play and how it fits into the ever evolving world of language.

The comment came via Twitter from Peter Toi (@p_toi), who works for web / mobile developer Organism.

He Tweeted, “Literacy 0: Canned Text 1 - Siine Writer Keyboard App Arrives on Android Tablet”, in response to the The Next Web news story about the launch of Siine Writer.

As someone who loves languages, it made me wonder if he had a point. After all, as we have said many times, Siine Writer isn’t intended for perfect, formal language. We don’t want to correct your grammar or spelling. If you write “how are you doing?” as “howudoin?” we think that’s great.

Also, Siine Writer is an attempt to get away from typing out words letter by letter, as it allows you to write words and even whole phrases with the touch of a button.

You can see, in other words, why you might think Siine Writer is a strike against literacy. But the key term – and in my opinion the wrong term – in what Peter said is “Canned Text”.

Certainly, Siine Writer does come pre-loaded with icons that express set phrases. But for us that is very much the starting point of the user’s experience with Siine Writer.

One of the key attractions of Siine Writer is that you can edit these icons to express your own words and phrases. That’s how you can make Siine Writer YOUR Siine Writer.

As we often say, we don’t know how you speak and we don’t want to tell you how to do it. Quite the opposite, in fact. We want you to tell us how you speak and how Siine Writer works for you.

In other words, Siine Writer puts a focus on language and all the wonderful ways in which different people use it. We’re obsessed with language and we hope that Siine Writer can help to spread this love of words.

Ultimately this is why we think Siine Writer, for all its use of buttons to express phrases, can help with literacy, rather than hinder.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Siine Writer and the sarcastic font

Sarky, mildly annoyed and English people all over the world over rejoiced grumpily earlier this week at the news of the creation of a new sarcastic font.

A typographer, who operates from, has launched a new website as the “official site of the sarcastic font movement”, with the terminally sarcastic invited to download and use the new “arial sarcastic” font, which leans backwards in an attempt to denote sarcasm thus:

In a rather light-hearted manifesto, the founder writes of his decision to create the site.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Siine Writer Tablet Edition released exclusively to Samsung Apps

Siine, the company behind the world’s first ‘tone text ’ service, has today released the Tablet Edition of its innovative Siine Writer keyboard through Samsung Apps.

The Tablet Edition includes all the features that have made Siine Writer a hit among Android phone users – editable icons, intelligent text and bespoke screens for different types of communication – as well as a number of important upgrades.

”Siine is very pleased with this announcement which shows the market interest for new and innovative ways to empower users.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Siine presents at AppCircus San Francisco tonight

Siine CEO Ed Maklouf will present Siine Writer at the AppCircus San Francisco tonight (November 30).

The event is part of AppNation, which is taking place at the San Francisco Design Center.

Maklouf will present Siine Writer Pioneer Edition – the first icon-based keyboard the user can edit and personalise. Siine Writer, currently in Beta, is available for free for Android devices from Samsung Apps and the Android Market.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Between "WTF" and "profoundly important"

There aren’t that many things that are both “profoundly important” and “WTF” but we are pleased to announce that Siine Writer is among them – at least according to our feedback.

We are, of course, very pleased to get any feedback – it genuinely helps us to improve Siine Writer.

But these two comments about Siine Writer – the first from project management consultant Dr James Bayley and the second from Android Police - really pleased us.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Siine Writer runner up at AppCircus

Siine Writer Pioneer Edition was runner up at the AppCircus at TechHub in London yesterday.

Dozens of apps were submitted to the competition, with Siine Writer making the final ten, then losing out narrowly to Echo Echo, with Runtastic getting an honourable mention.

Judges at the event included The Next Web UK and media editor Paul Sawers, Vodafone principal manager developer marketing Sanj Matharu, Mobext UK MD Chris Bourke, Telefonica head of BlueVia marketing James Parton and NAVTEQ developer marketing manager Lauren Sarno.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Siine Writer is now available on Samsung Apps

Siine Writer launches today on the Samsung Apps marketplace, allowing millions of users to easily access this innovative keyboard for touchscreen devices.

In addition to a fully-fledged Qwerty keyboard, Siine Writer contains icons that users can edit and personalize, making communication more instinctive, more personal and more fun.

“We are really excited to have Siine Writer on Samsung Apps marketplace, as it gives us a strategic channel to reach new users. As the platform of a market leader and a pioneer in innovation, we think it is the perfect fit for Siine,” said Siine VP of Sales and Business Development Raphael Vergnaud.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The First English Dictionary of Slang

In the Siine office we have all kinds of wonderful books about languages. They’re for research – naturally - but some of them provide excellent entertainment too.

Take, for example, The First English Dictionary of Slang, a reprint of a tome first published in 1699 by an enigmatic author B.E Gent. It is a treasure trove of slang, some of which we think is ripe for re-introduction.

Is there a better word ever invented for “puny little fellow” than “Dandyprat”, for example? Or how about the wonderful “Jumble-gut-lane” a word used for “any very bad or rough road”?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Swear Your Way

Did you know that in English roughly 80 to 90 of the words spoken every day - or 0.5% to 0.7% of the total - are swear words? By comparison, first-person plural pronouns (we, us and our) make up around 1% of spoken words. 

Did you know, too, that swear words exist in all human languages

There’s even swearing in the Bible: the Authorised King James Bible from 1611 talks of men who “eat their own dung, and drink their own piss” which, while not the strongest language in the world, you’d still think twice about saying in front of your Gran.

Siine Writer Q & As

How do I install Siine Writer?

It’s easy:

·                  download Siine Writer from Android Market (it’s free!),

·                  activate it

·                  enable it as your pre-defined keyboard.

·                  You may get a default note in your Android phone setting warning that Siine Writer could be used to collect personal data. If you do – don’t worry: Siine will NEVER store or use your personal data unless you SPECIFICALLY allow us to.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Accents open Siine Writer to new languages

Siine today releases an update to its innovative Siine Writer beta keyboard including accents, “ç”, “ñ” and more – following feedback from users around the world...

The update, which is available for free from Android Market, allows Spanish speakers  to enjoy the most unique touchscreen keyboard available.

To access the new symbols, just hold down the “e”, “u”, “i”, “a”, “c” or “n” keys on Siine Writer and then choose the accented letter you want to write by tapping on it. Simple.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Siine Writer is looking for Pioneers

Siine Writer is the first icon-based touchscreen keyboard for Android. We have just released an updated free beta of Siine Writer (Pioneer edition).

We plan on releasing a commercial version in November and would like as many Pioneers as possible to check out the free beta before then. You can download the app on the Android Market by following this link:

Before the big release, we will be constantly updating the Pioneer Edition – so we can develop any idea you may have.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What people are saying about Siine Writer

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

The Guardian

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The history of "hello"

In the English speaking-world “hello” is such an important part of every-day language that it is nigh-on impossible to imagine life without it.

So it may be some surprise that it was apparently only coined in the 19th Century – and its origins are something of mystery.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “hello” is an alteration of hallo / hollo, which came from Old High German, halâ / holâ, the imperative of halôn / holôn, which mean “to fetch”, typically used in hailing a ferryman.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Siine launches the iconic keyboard into beta

Siine Writer is a unique keyboard that makes touchscreen communication more personal, colorful, and fun.

Siine Writer contains not only a normal keyboard of letters and numbers, but also screens of special icons called Siines, which are tapped to build messages phrase-by-phrase.

These customizable typing icons can be tapped multiple times to “intensify” a phrase.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Saying hello is important

The simple greeting – just saying hello - is the glue that holds society together.  

It has always stood for co-operation and peace, as it creates a bond: before you say hello, you are strangers. Afterwards, you are friends, family, colleagues and more.

We can identify our friends by the way they say hello. It’s like a code. Sometimes it can be an elaborate performance. Sometimes it is just one carefully chosen word.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Siines they are a-changing

Yesterday saw us release some cool new features for Siine Writer Pioneer Edition.

I’d like to say we celebrated by going out for cocktails but we contented ourselves by updating the Android Market page – you can see it here if you’re interested.

So what’s changed?

Let us introduce some new Siines

Call me
Can't talk
Email me

Let's talk
Skype me

Friday, September 16, 2011

An important note

If you download Siine Writer you may see a default note in your Android phone settings, warning that Siine Writer could be used to collect personal data.

Don’t worry. Siine will NEVER store or use your personal data unless you SPECIFICALLY allow us to (for example on the Installation Wizard). 

So why the note? 

Predictive text can only end in tears.

Speech is an incredibly complex thing. Some people even say it is what makes us human.

It’s an oddly comforting thought in this fast-moving world.

But what this means is that simulating speech is incredibly difficult. From Alan Turing in the 1950s, scientists have spent decades trying to make computers engage in intelligent conversation and have largely failed.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What is Siine Writer anyway?

So what is Siine Writer? And why are we so excited about it?

It’s a good question: for us the answer lies somewhere between “a touchscreen keyboard” and “the future of texting”.

“A touchscreen keyboard” – because that is what, fundamentally, Siine Writer is. Download it here (Android 2.2 and above, other phones coming soon) and you can use it for anything you might use your normal keyboard for: texting, emailing, accessing the internet etc.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Originality Bites – CEO Ed Maklouf kicks off our blog.

There is a hum of activity at the Siine office as we pull the wrappers off what we’ve been working on: Siine Writer.

It’s always exciting to be able to offer something new to people and the long days and nights that we have put in make ever more sense as we use Siine Writer for different situations and enjoy the results of our hard work.

As we test, too, one message always comes through – this is different, this is really original. But being different is a double-edged sword. It feels good to be working on something original but when people get their hands on it, “different” can be daunting. The keyboard is the most used interface on the mobile phone, so by definition people are used to it.