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iPad On-screen Keyboard Typing

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by AQ_OC, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Since i have been a member here I have run across more than one person who says that he/she can type in an effective way using the on-screen iPad keyboard. Of course, everything is relative, so I don't doubt those claims. But my question is can one really learn to put down the words quickly using the on-screen keyboard of the iPad? And if so, then the next question is does one really want to do this? My answers are No and a BIG NO. :) The reason for the latter response is because it just feels horrible and I don't want to get used to that if I still have to use a regular keyboard.

    I did do a search on Youtube and found one video of a lady comparing her typing speed on a MBP, the iPad using the Apple BT keyboard (full sized), and finally on the iPad using its on-screen keyboard. I admit to being quite surprised as she started pecking out words directly on the iPad screen (finally claiming to get 60+ wpm). Doing that to me felt quite strange. The lack of any kind of feedback was totally disconcerting for me, but she seemed to take to it as a fish to water.

    I decided to do a little test. Using Display rec., Taptyping, and iMovie, I made a video of me typing on the on-screen keyboard of the iPad (2012) model. I'd like to hear, or see, how others do on this test. I normally type nearly 50 rpm which is plenty for me. I made no attempt to practice on for this, but I have been using an iPad nearly every day since March 11, 2011, so that is the sum total of my experience.

    Here is my little vid:



    As I said, if you regularly do much better I'd love to see it or hear your report. Do you type lots of words rapidly using the on-screen keyboard and, if so, doesn't the lack of any kind of tactile feedback bother you?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2014
  2. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Just for the heck of it, I downloaded this (free) app and tried it out. Didn't do too badly, TBH:

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1344281939.621193.jpg

    My results amazed me, because I have taken to just using the virtual keyboard for all my iPad typing; I did not realize how comfortable I have actually gotten with this keyboard. It's just easier, for me, to start typing away rather than digging out my wireless keyboard. So, I've gotten pretty good at using the keyboard. And no, I'm not bothered by the lack of tactile response. Guess I'm just really used to it, by now.

    One quibble I do have with the app is it's inability to do autocorrect. Most of my errors that counted (I never went back and corrected myself) were because I've grown VERY accustomed to the auto-correct feature. In fact, I never put the period in at the end of a sentence - I just do the double space at the end to get my period and the auto-capitalization for the start of the next sentence. In fact, my auto-correct does so well that oftentimes, I can just throw the letters out there in a jumble and, a lot of the time, it corrects to the word I meant. Plus, I have the jail break tweak "SwipeSelection" that allows me to, well, swipe back and forth on the keyboard and fix any errors.

    So, with auto-correct, I think most people will find that their typing is actually faster than shown on these types of tests (since I had to put a period, capitalization, apostrophes, etc. in the test).

    I guess it comes down to practice. I use the virtual keyboard a lot and have gotten very comfortable with it. So comfortable, in fact, that I am annoyed when I am using my personal computer/keyboard and the DON'T autocorrect (or I can't use my keyboard shortcuts). It's neat now quickly we get used to things... :)

    Marilyn
  3. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks, Marilyn. I note that I don't use the period trick and I correct every typo and don't use auto-correct, so that may have lowered my scores. I find that autocorrect fails me as much as it works so I'm iffy on it. Most of the time when I use the keyboard I'm holding the ipad in one had and using the index finger of my other hand to peck out words. When I did this test I was trying to use both hands just like a normal touch typist. Saidly, the screen gives zero indication of where your fingers are, so you have no clues to tell you if your fingers in the proper locations. I'm used to those two little tabs on the F and J keys to tell me where I am. So, to me, nothing feels right on a glass screen. I don't see how one can really use it without looking at the keyboard. Normally, when I'm typing, I'm looking at the words I'm typing and just going by feel in terms of where the keys are.
  4. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Well, I tried the app, and was surprised to see that I'm as fast as I thought I was on the physical keyboard, and only four finger pecking at that. Most of my mistakes were from forgetting what I was typing and starting the wrong word, then having to look back at the text. Even so, I'm considerably slower than either of you, and slow enough that I've been playing with dictation a lot lately to see if it's better.

    Not because I'm uncomfortable, just because I'd like to be faster when mobile.

    iPadTypingSpeed.jpg

    But those results got me curious. How fast am on on a standard keyboard? The last time I tested I maxed out a 35 wpm with lots of errors. That was years ago. I was under the impression I was no better, or even worse for lack of disciplined practice. So I grabbed a free program from the Mac App Store and gave it a quick whirl.

    iMacTypingSpeed.jpg

    I guess even casual use, over many years, pays off.

    Both of these were second runs, and paced. I wanted to eliminate my hesitations and mistakes due to unfamiliarity with the apps and simulate how I normally type rather than a race. Good thing no numbers were included. I still have to look when typing those, at least half the time.
  5. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmmmm. Now you've got me wondering how I'd do on my "real" ergo keyboard. Guess I'll have to go find me a free typing test for Windows....

    Oh, and AQ_OC? You DO have the little bars on the "F" and "J" keys on the iPad's virtual keyboard! What, they don't help you?

    :D

    Marilyn

    Who, after two years of iPad ownership, is STILL very amused at those two little marks being on the virtual keyboard... Snicker. :)
  6. augustya
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    augustya iPad Enthusiast

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    @Marilyn what is this App called ? Even I would like to give it a go :p
  7. darkangelwitch
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    darkangelwitch iPad Fan

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    It's called TapTyping, there is a free one and a paid one, gonna download it and give this a go. Will post results later when I have finished work :)

    Dark Angelwitch (Surrey)
  8. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That is too funny. I wish those two spots on the keyboard could vibrate or something so it could impact typing. I do note that autocorrect must somehow be worked into this in a meaningful way. I guess if you are in the business of training folks to type, it defeats the purpose since autocorrect is all about NOT typing.

    At least I have learned some useful tips from this thread so far.
  9. OldDude
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    OldDude iPF Noob

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    Lack of an actual tactile keyboard is what kept me on the fence about the iPad, initially. After spending a little time with one though, I got accustomed to the on-screen keyboard quicker and with a lot less difficulty than I had anticipated. As has already been pointed out here, the automated correction, completion, and capitalization are a big help, as are the visual and audible cues when the "keys" are tapped.

    I'm not a terrific typist, and I'm sure that makes some difference. (I have fewer good habits to unlearn, maybe.) I also have not been doing much typing where I was copying text or having to look at another document while typing, and therefore having to shift my gaze back and forth. The virtual keyboard would have to be a significant disadvantage there.

    When I first bought my iPad, I figured a bluetooth keyboard was in my future for those "serious" typing sessions, but I've since abandoned that idea. In fact, I spent a recent weekend typing on the iPad a lot, and when I returned to work on Monday morning, my PC keyboard seemed almost clumsy by comparison.
  10. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the comments, OldDude. I think this is an area where I am just inflexible. But I am getting some more practice, most of what I type is coming from the noggin anyhow, so it is rare that I need to look away while typing.
  11. f4780y
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    f4780y Super Moderator

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    I tried the app.

    On my dock keyboard I am 51 WPM, with 98% accuracy.

    Using the screen keyboard I dropped to 28 WPM, with 92% accuracy. Oddly though, it does not feel like I am almost twice as fast with a real keyboard. Feels just "a bit" slower on screen to me...

    I don't tend to type tomes and tomes on the screen keyboard, but I find it perfectly acceptable, albeit with the total loss of tactility (half the fun of typing in my book!).

    :D
  12. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, I wasn't trying to say that there is something wrong with the onscreen keyboard, just the idea of actually trying and being proficient in typing tomes with it! ☺

    If you were going to type tomes on the iPad would you use the onscreen keyboard or would you use a physical one? And if the former, would you ever finish and would you develop carpel tunnel issues?
  13. f4780y
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    f4780y Super Moderator

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    Definitely a physical one. I wasn't trying to suggest otherwise. It's just I don't mind using the screen if I need to.... :)

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