With smartphones and tablets increasingly being used to replace laptops and PCs, people are using their mobile phones more than ever, whether it’s to send out emails, reply to text messages or even to chat to friends on messaging services like Skype or Whatsapp. But one feature that many smartphone users simply cannot grow to love is their phone’s keyboard, which is often too large to use with one hand, or too slow to type efficiently.
Breaking news: Google releases Gboard for Android
The keyboard app might be the solution and these quick type keyboards can simply be downloaded to your smartphone to make typing that bit less of a chore on your mobile phone.
In this article we will take a look at:
The Dvorak Keyboard
The Dvorak keyboard was developed by a Dr August Dvorak in 1936, and has been known since as the American Simplified Keyboard. Because of the layout of the keys, it is said that the Dvorak keyboard app increases typing rate and reduces typing errors compared with the traditional QWERTY keyboard.
A Dvorak keyboard app is available to download on your Android or iPhone tablet or smartphone, and is absolutely free.
SnapKeys is another Android and iOS-compatible keyboard app that revolutionises the way you use your smartphone to type. The app might look alien when you first download it, but after using it for just ten minutes, you will realise how much easier it is to use than the QWERTY keyboard you’ve been so used to!
The SnapKeys app calculates the 12 most-used letters in the English language and has placed these letters within four colourful boxes that display on your screen. You simply touch the box where the letter you want to type is located, and if a letter is not displayed, simply press on the blank space behind the boxes. The app automatically guesses which letters you want to type, and predicts your text for you. If the word you want doesn’t come up immediately, simply select it from the list that displays on the screen above.
The science behind SnapKeys is based around the fact that QWERTY keyboards take up too much room on your phone’s screen, meaning you waste time by scrolling up to read earlier messages. With SnapKeys, the keypad takes a background role, even merging into the webpage, email or message that you’re looking at, to make it a less intrusive on your phone’s screen.
SwiftKey is an Android-only app which can improve your typing ability on your smartphone by offering you a top of the range predictive text service.
The app measures every word you type, whether it’s in texts, emails, Skype messages or even on social media posts in order to get an insight into your personal linguistic habits, enabling it to accurately predict what word you might want to type next. In some instances, you might find yourself typing out an entire email without even touching the keypad on your screen!
Typing errors are common when you’re typing messages on your phone, especially if your fingers are as clumsy as mine. That’s where SwiftKey comes in; the app automatically corrects text when it gauges that there should be a space between words, avoiding the need to go back and make corrections manually.
Last but not least is the swiping keyboard that comes installed on all Android devices v4.2 and above. If you find it too much effort to laboriously press on each and every individual letter on your phone’s keypad, why not try swiping your finger between the letters you want to select without taking your hand off the screen?
The Android operating system collates the letters that you select with your finger swipe, turning them into a coherent word. There’s no need to press the spacebar between words either, simply lift your finger from the screen, then begin swiping the next word.
What’s great is that you can use your Android’s swiping keypad alongside your usual keyboard, without having to switch between the two.
Why not download each and give them a go. Let us know in a comment below or on Twitter how many seconds it takes you to type: The furry cat wore a hat while typing quickly on a keyboard app.
Don’t forget to let us know which keyboard you used!
Enjoy discovering more mobile apps here.
Written by: Michael Brown