Older cell phones had a keyboard known as a numeric keypad, consisting mainly of a key block with numbers and symbols that contained all the letters of the alphabet distributed among 12 keys. For those of us who owned a cell phone with a keyboard like these, we learned to develop strategies for typing faster. One of them was to learn how many “touches” you needed to hit the key to write the letter you wanted.
With the advent of touchscreen cell phones, all this changed. Most of the current mobiles incorporate a QWERTY keyboard directly on the device screen, which includes a better distribution of all the letters of the alphabet. However, many people continue to have problems typing on these types of keyboards, so here are some tips to help you type faster on your mobile screen.
REGARDING DEVICE ORIENTATION
The most common ways of holding a mobile consist of (1) holding the device horizontally with both hands and using your thumbs to write; and (2) use one hand to hold the device and the index finger of the other to touch the screen.
Either of these two forms is correct, everything will depend on the comfort of the user and the size of the device that we hold. Because sometimes the bigger the device the more space we will have to cover and the two thumb technique may not work properly.
Another way to help us write on the screen of our mobile is to use a rigid case that allows us to hold the mobile to have both hands free and use all the fingers, just as we would do on the keyboard of a laptop.
SELF-DIRECTION AND WORD PREDICTION
The spell checker is the best or worse ally as we write. It is common for all smartphones to have this functionality, but if you still do not see it, you may need to activate it from the text input settings of your device.
The spell checker suggests word alternatives as we write to select the one that best suits what we mean. On the other hand, the autocorrect —that has caused us more than a misunderstanding— automatically corrects words that it considers incorrect for those that most closely resemble those written by the user.
The advantage of these two writing systems is that they learn the more we use them, so it is a good alternative to use them on a daily basis so that their correction alternatives are improving and adjusting better to our way of writing.
Instead of spending hours trying to write correctly, you can use alternative solutions that are much more comfortable for users, such as voice typing. The text input voice is much more common than before thanks to improved algorithms that enable this functionality.
This feature is already configured in almost all smartphones on the market, which appears regularly as a microphone icon next to the letters on the keyboard or in some other applications. By pressing this button, the system will record everything you say and automatically convert it to text so you can send the message faster.
Siri is a useful assistant that we can use on iOS devices. On Android devices, an interesting functionality is the one incorporated by Google Now, with Ok Google.
The Swype keyboards are designed specifically for touchscreen devices and were originally created for Android devices, but thanks to some third-party applications are now possible to install on iOS devices.
Swype is a predictive text input model where the user places himself on the on-screen keyboard and slides his finger through the letters to form a word. The path followed by your finger lights up with a pretty fun colour line. These types of keyboards have the same structure as a QWERTY keyboard and it has a database where it stores unknown words to detect them the next time the user types them.