Typing Tip Of The Day- Practice Makes Perfect

On August 7, 2008

The number of iPhone converts in my world are mounting.

After years as a devoted Treo-user my wife finally made the jump into iPhone-ville yesterday. Then I came into the office today only to discover that my colleague, also a Treo-user, now has a shiny new iPhone as well.

Two users closer to iPhone world-dominance!

My wife isn’t a fan of the virtual keyboard and my colleague noted that she is finding it somewhat of a challenge to "hit the space where the key is supposed to be just right".

Having come from years using a physical QWERTY keyboard on my smartphones I had a bit of trouble making the jump to the iPhone at first, too. Now, though, I type incredibly fast on it.

How did I get there? "Clicks", "Practice" and a little something I call "Stop Thinking So Much".


I found it quite helpful to have the Keyboard Clicks set to "On" in the Preferences whenever possible at first. While not as helpful as physical feedback, the audible response makes a big difference by letting you know when you have typed a letter.

"Stop Thinking So Much":

To make the move from a physical keyboard to the iPhone’s keyboard requires a bit of retraining. The iPhone is pretty amazing at predicting the correct word and spelling, but only if you give it the chance to do so. Unlike a Treo (or any other phone with a physical keyboard) where you have to actually hit the correct key in order to get the correct letter, if you think less, ignore mistypes and simply plow forward with the word you are typing, the iPhone usually gets the word right. (It is why I find short words MORE difficult than long ones. The long ones get predicted more accurately.)

In many cases the more you can type and keep going the better.

These only work, though, when combined with "Practice" and I have two suggestions on this front- 

The first is a nifty little web app called TypingTutor

The app is described in this way-

Using this intuitive typing tutor WebApp, you will quickly increase your touch screen speed and accuracy.

Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced lessons, and typing tests will increase your touch screen typing speed with minimal effort.

This service is completely free and easy to use. Just open Safari on your iPhone or iPod Touch and visit https://iphone.typingweb.com/



When I first got my iPhone I spent a good amount of time on TypingTutor‘s site. It really makes a difference.

From there I would recommend making the jump to SpeedType, a nice app that was just released this evening.

SpeedType provides text for you to copy and then gives real-time feedback as you go along. Type the right letter and it allows you to continue. If you type the wrong letter however, the letter turns red and you are not allowed to proceed. It is a good, although potentially frustrating, way to slowly increase your typing accuracy and speed.

There is no question that the iPhone’s keyboard is an aquired taste. However, with patience, trust in the device’s "intelligence", and a little help from these apps, you may find tht you actually PREFER the virtual keyboard over a physical one. I know I have.