Personally, I’m not a big fan of keyboards which don’t have physical keys, but if given the choice between a virtual full-size keyboard and the tiny virtual keys on the touchscreen of my smartphone, I’ll go with the bigger keys.
Touchscreens have made it so much easier for us to interact with gadgets. Except if you’re blind, that is. Fortunately, there’s a new app for iOS devices that can guess the right word to produce, even if the user picks all the wrong keys.
If there’s one thing that I miss from my old Nokia cellphones, it’s the simple but efficient T9 typing system. I don’t know why Apple insists on packing so many tiny buttons on the iPhone with the QWERTY layout when the numeric keypad works just fine for many of us.
Touch-based interfaces have generally made it easier for the user to interact with devices, but that’s not the case when it comes to typing. Virtual on-screen keyboards have small keys, provide no tactile feedback and take up a significant amount of the screen.
When I type using my iPad, I become a one-finger typer. I usually type with at least four to five fingers when I’m using a regular keyboard, so that’s saying something. Instead of being able to bang out sixty-five words a minute, I’m now limited to approximately just somewhere around the fifteen word mark.
Redditor Torontoitguy shared a console typing software that he invented. He’s calling it the Circboard, and it’s easy to see why. Letters and symbols are mapped to each of the four face buttons on a controller, while switching between the circles are done using the left analog stick.
Android smartphones have long benefited from the Swiftkey keyboard app. Now that same convenience will be coming to Honeycomb tablets, and it really looks promising. Unlike the iPad keyboard, which has more or less the same layout as an actual keyboard, the SwiftKey Tablet app splits the keyboard into two, so that you can use your thumbs to type.
And I thought typing on a touchscreen was hard. A company called Citta Consulting Inc. is currently developing a portable Bluetooth keyboard that can be operated using only one hand. The tiny gadget is called the Kee4, and it has an interesting approach to typing – all of the characters that you can type on a traditional keyboard can also be typed on the Kee4, except almost all characters will have to be typed using more than one keystroke because, well, look:
The keyboard only has four keys!
While I’ve been touch-typing for years, sometimes as fast as a secretary, I’ve never tried any of the so-called ergonomic keyboards out there. Supposedly they will make you type faster and reduce some of the stress on your wrists.
While the big G is promoting their newfangled Instant search, it’s not the only newly unveiled technology from the company. Released just a few days ago, Google Scribe is a text completion service. Google says that the tool’s suggestions are based on what the user has already typed, but that’s not the whole truth.
Considering the fact that I type like a million hours each day, you might think I know how to type like a normal person. You would be wrong. I skipped typing class in high school because all the cheerleaders were taking cooking class.
If you’re an avid iPhone user, but long for the tactile feel of a real keyboard, this might just make your day. 4iThumbs new overlay screen gives your touchscreen keys you can actually feel when you press them.
The Hunt and Peck Keyboard sports an alternative layout, one that has the letters arranged alphabetically. You can toggle between the traditional QWERTY layout and the “logical” ABCDE layout with the press of a button. The function keys are also mapped to type in commonly used abbreviations like ASAP and IMO.
After releasing the croissant wrist support, Brando is back with another pastry prop. I think this time they’re aiming for people with simple taste. Crazy people with simple taste. The White Bread Wrist Rest is what it says it is: it’s a white bread wrist rest.
Think you’re a speed demon on your keyboard? This goofy gadget lets you figure out how fast you can type and displays it on a speedometer-like gauge as you click away feverishly on your computer.
In addition to tracking your typing speed (in words-per-minute) the gauge also keeps a running total of how many words you’ve typed so far today.