My first typing experience was on grandma’s old manual Royal typewriter, a behemoth that eventually became a faithful companion into my late teens. That antique look, the hammering of keys, and the carriage ratcheting back and forth have all been faithfully recreated for the modern era, courtesy of Hanx Writer.
Typinator is the cut-and-paste tool you can only live without until you’ve used it for about five minutes. It’s an auto-corrector that handles more than simple typos, and a way to keep text, pictures, or HTML snippets just a couple of keystrokes away.
If there's one thing that we’d change about iOS, it’s the keyboard. Back in 2007, we may have marveled at its flexible design, but today it feels antiquated—especially when compared to some of the alternative models we’ve tried. Unlike Fleksy or SwitfKey, Jot doesn't offer a new way to type; rather, it focuses more on text selection, sidestepping Apple's somewhat stale tap-and-hold method for a clever cursor-based concept, which dramatically improves upon the way we cut, copy, and paste.
The number of differentiators between iOS and Android has gradually evaporated over time, but one cavernous gap remains: Apple won’t allow third-party developers to create alternate keyboards — a hurdle that hasn’t stopped a longtime favorite on Google’s mobile platform from trying anyway. SwiftKey Note might sound a lot like Fleksy, an alternative keyboard for iOS that actually attempts to build a better mousetrap than Apple’s own. But this is something else entirely: A note-taking app that instead improves upon Apple’s standard touch keyboard.
Word processing on the iPad is far from perfect. No matter how adept I may be at using the touch keyboard, tapping through a document to delete a stray word or dragging blue dots to rearrange a thought is an overly arduous task. Tyype HD leverages iOS gestures to envision a better way to edit text. Power users of Pages already know about the one-character swipe, but Tyype HD kicks it up a few notches with a dramatic re-imagining of how we interact with text on our iOS devices.
Well, even though we're all about the Apple here, we have to recognize what the competition is up to and we are as shocked as anyone to say that Microsoft had what looks like a pretty good week. Windows Phone 8 software is out in the wild and the Metro interface is some of the best work Redmond's done in ages and it looks wicked sweet on the Surface. There were a few stumbles in the MS Keynote, so we'll see if the OS works as well as it looks. So what else happened?
If there's one Mac utility we couldn't live without, it would probably be TextExpander, which saves us countless thousands of extra keystrokes each year. The software got a big update today, but don't go looking for it in the Mac App Store.
A long time ago, typewriter keyboards were laid out alphabetically, but typists got so good and so fast they jammed the keys. The invention of the QWERTY keyboard was designed to slow them down. It's what we all learn in typing classes, but in the age of touch screens does it really make sense anymore? Some app developers are banking on you being interested in something new.
One of the earliest complaints about the iPhone among heavy users of SMS text messaging was the lack of a hardware keyboard -- but it appears that lightning-fast typing is indeed possible on a software keyboard after all.