Last Updated: October 4, 2023


Leena Sanap


Necessity is the mother of invention. The creation of this app cannot be better explained than this phrase. There was a problem and one man decided to fix it. We are evolving each day. Newer technologies are coming up. But in the hustle to go far, we forget to pay attention to the tiny details.

The Backdrop:

Most technological discoveries made today are the result of an attempt to solve certain difficulties. Like the Qwerty keypad. Surprisingly, the Qwerty discovery was made to slow down the typing speed of typists who would type very fast and lead to jamming of the mechanical keyboards at the time of typewriters.

They developed the layout based on findings and principles of the “Bigram Frequency of key combinations”. Under this algorithm, the keys with maximum frequency were placed apart. While the experts in the field may argue about the placement of ‘e’ and ‘r’ together but that’s for another day’s in-depth discussion.

That being said, this was a technological advancement made in 1868. Today we live in an era where everything is digital and mostly touch and type. We can no more rely on our default keyboard qwerty which is designed for different needs. We need a different framework for mobile devices. The creator of “Keybee”, Papalia Marco realised this and decided to work on it for good.

The Idea:

The designer and inventor of Keybee had a simple concept in mind which was complex to implement. He understood the need of the hour with mobile devices. The standard qwerty keyboard designates the use of both hands inevitably. In the case of mobile phones too.

So, however compact your phone is, you have to put both your hands to use. And, what’s more, is switching tabs that add to the drudgery. The idea that became a seed for the development of “Keybee” was to provide a great user experience and typing experience with mobile devices for both iOS and Android operating systems.

The Concept:

Keybee has a structurally hexagonal layout. It resembles the beehive and hence the name. Starting at the center which is the most convenient place on the typing space, we have the spacebar as it is most often used key.

Next, we have the set of most use alphabets around it keeping the concept of single-handed use in mind. The less-used alphabets are placed strategically near the margins but easily accessible at the same time.

This shape and optimization of space help substantially for the size of keys/alphabets to be larger in size, almost double than qwerty. In addition to these perks, one can simply slide as the most used words in the English language have been grouped accordingly. Like “ing”.

With the hexagonal shape, there is a 40% reduction in distance and a 50% increase in size.

The Journey:

Papalia Marco, a software engineer by profession had sound knowledge of the technicalities involved in developing his concept into a functioning mobile application.

His first achievement was when the Keybee EU patent started in 2013.

He received an award and recognition for his great achievement on 31st May 2014. It was the prestigious “National Italian Award for innovation in Computer Science”. This gave a great boost to his morale and he was now determined to be successful in putting his idea into practice.

In June 2015, Papalia Marco entered the ABC Network’s “Shark Tank” reality television show wherein the contestant pitches ideas for businesses to 5 judges in order to secure funding and investment. His idea was very well received and he was successful in impressing 3 judges who were willing to invest.

With a prototype app in hand on the Google play store, Papalia was now in search of the right development partner for taking it to the next level by July 2016. After posting an advertisement, he partnered with Narola Infotech who loved the idea and developed the Phase-1 of his app in a short span of three months only. The core Keybee was now ready with all the basic features and set to enter the phase-2 of development.

He also developed the Keybee app on the iOS platform for iPhone users which was live for nearly 2 years. But, due to the restrictions by “Apple” on input methods, he decided to withdraw the work and cancel the project on the iOS platform.

At the same time, more and more features kept adding to the Android version to make Keybee the best android keyboard app along with attention being paid to the aesthetics. Today, the layout is available in many wonderful and attractive themes to suit the likes of all audiences. There is the night mode and every themed-layout imaginable.

The app has a unique layout and is available in all 4 languages including English (default), Italian, German, and Spanish.

The Present:

The way the app has shaped today from the seed of an idea is the result of coordinated and relentless efforts of many people with the vision of Papalia Marco. No, making the best and award-winning mobile keyboard app is not an overnight success.

It is challenging, involves a lot of criticism, financial models, ups and downs, and above all a lot of courage and determination. But, if you have an idea, and work hard towards your goal, you can surely achieve it.

As of now, Keybee has successfully more than 60,000+ installs and happy users. There are regular updates with the app removing bug fixes and bringing in newer features each day. So, try your hand on this top-notch user-friendly keyboard specially designed for touch-screen devices on the Google Play store.

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