...how the new TypeWay App for iPads Works!
Love your iPad but wish you could touch type on it? Well up until now you had to use the Apple wireless keyboard, which I have to say I love. However a brand new app called TypeWay gives you a simulated touch typing experience you might want to check out!
While still not the same as touch-typing on a regular keyboard that gives you the little raised bumps on your “F” and “J” keys and the bouceback of keys actually depressing it is possible to get more of the touch-typing experience with the TypeWay app for iPads.
I wish there was a video to show you how it actually works but the developers were very interested in that possibility when we contacted them last week. In the absence of video let me walk you through it in pictures.
The picture at the top of the article shows you how TypeWay’s default keyboard looks like right “out of the box.” It looks pretty much like a standard iPad keyboard. However when you lay down your four fingers in either hand you can see in the photo below that the keyboard begins to shift. The developer referred to this as “resting”
“Resting simultaneously 4 fingers of a hand refreshes the keys. This works to start a session, and also while typing. This works with one hand, and with both hands.”
I did this with first my right hand, resting my wrists below a slightly slanted (using the iPad cover stand to allow for the slant) below the iPad, on the table, and then followed suit with my left. This started to shift the keys to where my fingers might automatically reach.
At this point I rested my pointer-fingers on the “F” and “J” keys as I would to touch-type on a regular keyboard and proceeded to type the alphabet. As you can see in the picture below it didn’t take me many lines before I had a key-configuration that was starting to feel comfortable. When I typed a key that proved incorrect I repeated it until the key moved to a position that felt more natural. Once I had them in that position I went on to type “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” which utilizing all the letters of the alphabet and allowed me to test the TypeWay virtual keyboard in a more natural setting. Iused the “freeze” button to keep the keys in those locations while I retested it. At that point I used the “save” button to lock the configuration in place. That way even if I do unfreeze the key-configuration to tailor it further I can still get back to the saved keyboard.
- Supports ten-finger typing with automatic adaptation of the key configuration to hands and typing habits
- Encourages to learn touch typing skills
- Advantages for blind typing
- By “Restore” a favorite key configuration is used
- ”Freeze” fixes the actual key configuration. “Unfreeze” activates the adaptation
- Storage and basic management of text files
- The “Share” function uses Mail, Twitter, or “AirPrint” for text export
- Integrated are iOS 5 features, as cut, copy & paste, spell checker, suggestions for word correction
So what can you and can’t you do with the TypeWay app and what did we think of it? Well unfortunately the iPad actually does not allow replacement of its pre-installed keyboard. However you can “share” what you type in its notepad with email, Twitter or Air-Print. You can also copy and paste outside of TypeWay, although not all other iPad apps accept that paste command. I was able to paste into the default iPad Notes App but I could not paste into my favorite note-taking apps I generally use. You can also simply take your notes right in the TypeWay note-taking album as it allows you basic management tools, although limited.
We do think that it is a great step in the right direction! I am not convinced that I will save enough time touch-typing on my iPad screen to make up for the time it will take me to either share or cut and paste into the other applications. It is the first-generation of an app of its kind and we hope to see more development and great things in the future, including the ability of other apps to utilize the technology. In the meantime it is an interesting concept and anyone that enjoys being on the cutting edge will want to download the TypeWay iPad app for iPads now.