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Quick Tip: Increase iPhone Typing Speed & Accuracy

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One day while walking and texting I had a revelation: I discovered an entirely new way to type on the iPhone (s aapl) and cannot believe that it had not occurred to me earlier. My old method of typing, which I am guessing is how most people type on the iPhone, involved me looking at the letters that I was typing, not at what I was actually writing.

Now, I “touch type” when I’m typing. Instead of looking at the letters when I type, I look at where I am typing (exactly like I do on my computer). This method has drastically improved both my typing speed and accuracy. Before I switched to my touch-typing method, I would send SMS messages riddled with mistakes because the iPhone would auto-correct words and often times change the entire meaning of the message. You should definitely give it a whirl; it sounds more difficult than it actually is, your hands just know where the keys are though, and it takes no time to adjust!


Bonus Speed Tip: If you’re trying to type a word that your iPhone does not know, simply type an extra letter on the end of the word and then delete it. So if I was trying to the type the word “Apple” and I knew my iPhone would not recognize it, I would type “Applez” then delete the “z” off the end of it and then can just press spacebar without the phone trying to auto-correct me.

Do you have any tips that help you type faster and more accurately on your iPhone? If so, please post them to the comments!

26 Responses to “Quick Tip: Increase iPhone Typing Speed & Accuracy”

  1. Aseem

    Wow. I just tried this out on the notes application and it really does work! I was able to type a whole 100 word paragraph in less than 5 minutes (a huge improvment for me!) ! Thank you!

    • Gosh that makes me sad…I type 130+ wpm on the computer, and about 75-85 wpm on my Blackberry. But 100 words per … five minutes, ack I don’t know if I could stand that. This is the only thing preventing me from iPhoning…

  2. I actually find that when I’m typing while looking at the keyboard and see the individual letters spring up that I get caught in a trance, it just works. Maybe I’m in the minority here but I’m far more accurate and actually quicker than if I don’t watch the keyboard, where I would more mistakes and have to go back and fix them.

  3. If u want to change a letter in the middle of the word just hold ur finger down on the word. A magnifying glass effect will appear, and you will be able to place the cursor anywhere u wanted.

  4. Is there a way to delete or change a letter from text in the middle of a sentence? So if I have typed the sentence “Don’t Forget to get the dog food” and I want to change the cap F to a lowcase f the only way I can see to do it is to insert the key after the word Forget and backspace all the way to the F. I would like to be able to insert the key between the F and o. Is it possible?
    Also, I tend to bump the return key too often. Maybe trying the ‘watch the screen’ technique will help me with that.

  5. Any time I’ve showed my iPhone off to people they freak themselves out when typing and it only makes things worse. I’ve always told them to not look at what they’re typing. Just bang it out on the screen and don’t correct every little mistake. That little bit of advice is more than enough to get a noob typing smoothly.

  6. Rohit

    This is what I do. I assume most folks would grab the iPhone with both hands and use both their thumbs to type. Till iPhone 3.0 upgrade brings a landscape mode keyboard for SMS app, I guess most of us would feel for more free movement and with the thumb it becomes a little constrained.

    Instead, I hold the iPhone entirely in my left hand and use the left thumb and the right index finger (leaner). This should be equally fast compared to using both thumbs, if not faster.

  7. Well, I’m glad this works for so many people but I don’t see how. It doesn’t for me. The reason this is easy on a normal keyboard is the tactile feel and knowledge of where the keys lie in relation to the others. On my iPhone, I have nothing to feel and the keys are so small it is just lucky when I guess where the key I want is. The only thing that might make this remotely possible for me is the auto-correct feature.

    I don’t know how you all do it. Nice thought though.

  8. I’d love to do this, except I touch type with Dvorak, which Apple won’t put on the iPhone! It is odd because Apple was first to do it on computers, which made my life simpler. I’m ADD and Dyslexic, so learning to type on a Mac in my thirty’s was a joy! It was something I couldn’t attain in high school or college. Now in my mid-fifties, I can’t touch type on my iPhone because Apple won’t make what I learned accessible! Very frustrating.

    Great tip from Clay on doing contractions. Thanks a lot.

  9. Don’t know if this one is well known… I was driving one day and I thought “wouldn’t it be cool if there was a better way to type words with apostrophes without switching to the symbol keyboard?” Like, just type another letter and it should know what you mean. When I got to my phone to try it, it worked! Nice, Apple.

    Here’s an example:
    I want to type we’ll but if I just put in well it doesn’t correct it. But if I type welll with the extra L on the end, it offers up the auto correction.

    Handy for words like:
    welll = we’ll
    shelll = she’ll
    itss = it’s

  10. Colin

    Hmm. I wasn’t aware people weren’t doing this…but the tip at the end was worth it. If that works as well as you say that will improve my speed even more!

    Thanks Jenny!

  11. Gazoobee

    I’ve noticed this before and it’s a good tip. I find a lot of people who have problems with the keyboard are those who basically ignore the advice that Jobs and Apple gave them in the first place.

    Jobs said “trust the keyboard and just type away” and you will be better off than focussing intently and trying to pick each letter exactly. It works.

    The people I see having problems are those that are hunched over on the train biting their tongue with concentration, or those that awkwardly put the thing down on the table and try to type on it like a keyboard.

  12. I was just going to say that that’s actually how I’ve always typed on the phone, but then I got a text, went to reply to it, and realized that I was in fact looking at the key pop-ups and not the text. Huh. Go figure. Anyway, excellent tip. Thanks!