Helakuru. It’s a name that needs no introductions. With over 4 million downloads, it should come as no surprise. The latest announcement from Bhasha, the team behind Helakuru, is something that most users have been waiting for. Helakuru on PC is finally here.
Easy as 1, 2, 3
Getting Helakuru on your computer is pretty straightforward. Just head on over to their website. On the lower right corner, you’ll see 3 download options, each for Windows, Linux and Mac OS. Once you make your selection, a popup will appear asking you to fill in some details. On the popup, you will have 2 options before downloading the setup. You can either pay Rs. 990, or get it free if you’re unable to make the purchase. The commercial option Rs. 1,990 per computer as well.
Once downloaded, just extract the files, install, and that’s it. Select “හෙළකුරු keyboard” from language preferences from your Windows taskbar. In case you’re wondering, yes, you can switch between Wijesekara and Phonetic layouts.
Should you switch from Google Input Tools?
So far, I’ve found Helakuru on PC to be a smooth regardless of what I’m using it for. It definitely feels a bit faster than typing Sinhala from Google Input tools. The Google tool usually provides a drop-down selection for each word you type in singlish. This is helpful especially when you’re trying to type out something specific and you’ve messed up the letters of the same-sounding word. Helakuru, on the other hand, doesn’t have this drop-down option. So typing Sinhala feels a tad bit faster.
But it does get tricky when you’re trying to type certain specific things. If you don’t know your way around your Helakuru keyboard, you might find it a bit inconvenient. For example, when you’re trying to type words like සමඟ (samanga). On Google input tools, this is typed ‘samanga’, as per how it sounds like. But on Helakuru, this is typed as ‘samazga’. So if you didn’t know already, there are specific ways of typing certain specific Sinhala letters. I’ve never really noticed this much on PC as I’ve been using the Google tool all this while. But this is really nitpicking here. The Helakuru mobile app has a complete guide as to how you can actually type these said specific letters.
One other thing I actually like about Helakuru on PC is that its available for all 3 platforms. This isn’t really the case if you’re using Google Input Tools. Yes, you can use it via Chrome (or Chromium in Linux’s case). But its pretty much limited to Chrome if you’re on Linux or Mac OS. To be fair, both Linux and OS X does include native multiple keyboard support. But I’ve found Sinhala typing here to be lacking, at least on my Ubuntu. Hence why Helakuru for Linux is a decent alternative.
Overall: It’s a welcome addition
As mentioned before, Helakuru on PC is a smooth experience and comes as a welcome addition for users. But with features like Sinhala voice typing already on the app, can one expect more things to come from Helakuru in the future? Possibly. Only time will tell.