Type Nine - T9 Keyboard
Description of App
Type Nine Keyboard - The ultimate typing experience
Please note: Type Nine currently supports 34 languages listed at the bottom. Make sure your language is supported before getting Type Nine. If your language is not supported please write me, and I'll know which language to work on next.
Type Nine is the first keyboard ever to combine a keypad layout with swiping. Typing by swiping is a seamless experience and once you've picked up the movements, you will type faster and more effortlessly than ever before.
Multiple languages at the same time:
Type Nine suggests words from multiple languages at the same time. No need to switch keyboard to type in a different Language.
If you're using VoiceOver, Type Nine will be a pleasent improvement to your daily typing.
Remembers your words:
If a word is not in the dictionary you can type it manually with ease, and Type Nine will remember it for you. Every time you write a word, Type Nine will adjust its behavior so that the most used word is suggested first.
Easy to follow tutorials:
Getting started with Type Nine is easy. Everything is put together in an intuitive manner, and if you want to start using all the efficient hidden gems, there are tutorials to explain how to do that.
Type Nine features a handfull of different themes to suite your mood or taste.
All the iOS emojis with easy access. Your most used smileys are easily accessed by a single swipe.
Delete so sweet:
The backspace button in Type Nine is nothing short of a miracle. By swiping left you delete an entire word, but by swiping slowly you can precision delete much better than simply holding down backspace. You can even undo what you deleted or cut it to a different position by swiping down on delete.
Moving the cursor:
No more cramps in your fingers trying to move the cursor to the correct position. Simply swipe left or right on space to move the cursor an entire word at a time, or swipe slowly to position precisely.
Resizing for big screens:
If you're using an iPhone 6 plus or an iPad, you can easily resize the keyboard to a better size for one-handed typing.
Free or Paid
Apple Watch Support
Device(s) App Was Tested On
The keyboard interface is accessible, all the keyboard keys are labeled and support touch typing. About the only thing not read by VoiceOver is the state of the toggles in the settings like sound or swipe.
The one small annoyance I have is with the backspace key. You're supposed to swipe on it to delete more than a character at a time, but obviously you can't do that when VoiceOver is on, and unlike with the iOS stock keyboard double-tapping and holding on backspace doesn't cause it to continue deleting characters.
I haven't spent much time with this keyboard yet, but I feel I might be faster with it than with the on-screen keyboard. I don't think you could be as fast on this than if someone who's extremely skilled at braille screen input, but I think it's worth a look. After using the resize feature of the settings to make it taller, I'm finding the typing experience to be quite pleasant.
Developer's Twitter Username
2 people have recommended this app
How is the experience of typing on this different from using the stock keyboard as a voiceOver user?
If you have ever used an old phone with a number keypad (like old Nokia phones) this is exactly how this works. If you haven't, the keyboard will look mostly like a number pad, with the exception of the number 1 being replaced by a symbols key and a couple of additional keys for enter, backspace, and switching to emojis.
The way Typing used to work on these old phones is that every number had a few letters assigned to it. 1 had punctuation, which is why this keyboard just has a symbols key. 2 had ABC, 3 had DEF, 4 had GHI, 5 had JKL, 6 had MNO, 7 is PQRS, 8 is TUV, and 9 is WXYZ. So for example to get the letter I you'd press the 4 key 3 times.
To speed this process up, the old phones also had a "dictionary" feature, which came down to you having to press a number for each letter once, and the phone would predict what word you're typing. So if you want to type "iPhone" you'd press 4 7 4 6 6 3 (and yes, this keyboard does have that in its dictionary). So this is how you type with Type nine. It's much easier to do if you're one handed compared to the stock keyboard and you're less likely to make mistakes.
I would love to make Type Nine perfect with VoiceOver, so thanks a lot for the feedback given here. If you have any questions or suggestions I would love to hear them.
I understand some of the swiping options are not useable with VoiceOver, and I would like to provide a way to use them.
I think an important gesture is the one to delete the previous word, so that it's easier to start over if a mistake was made while typing the word. Do you have any suggestions how this could be implemented the best with VoiceOver?
I am not a VoiceOver user myself, so I am not sure I know which gestures / input methods are the best for some scenarios.
Your input on this is greatly appreciated.
It's nice to see developers coming on here to discuss their apps! ☺️
One way I can see Type Nine could be improved for VoiceOver users is by adding what VoiceOver calls "direct touch" to the keyboard (https://developer.apple.com/documentation/uikit/uiaccessibilitytraitall…)
This will pass through all taps directly to the keyboard immediately rather than only after you lift the finger from a key. It would also let you swipe over the special keys like space or backspace just fine with VO turned on.
The keyboard is very small, so I don't really need to hover over the keys to see where they are, I'm basically typing with muscle memory at this point so it would also make the keys react faster. However, I think the other views like symbols or Emoji as well as the suggestion bar above the keys should work how they do now, IE not have direct touch on them, as there's more things on those screens so they can be explored with the finger as there's a lot more information there and it can change often.
Other than that, I don't think there's anything else that needs improvement. I really like Type nine and will definitely be recommending it to more people, as you did an awesome job!
Thanks a lot Piotr.
I don't know any VoiceOver users in person, so I'm very happy if I can get feedback here ;)
I have just realized now that Direct Touch doesn't work when selected in Accessibility settings, that's really unfortunate, of course that should work as you describe! I will start figuring out immediately how to make that work properly, and hopefully include it with the next update.
I suppose it's important to enhance Type Nine for both Touch Typing and Direct Touch.
Currently I know some of the gesture activated features are not usable with Touch Typing. Even though that should be fixed for Direct Touch I would still be very happy to receive feedback for how to enable them with Touch Typing.
Some of the features I think which are important to have easy access to, that doesn't work with Touch Typing currently are:
1. Delete entire previous word
This is currently done by swiping left from the backspace key (not possible with touch typing)
2. Insert a period / comma, then space in one action
This is currently done by double tapping space for period and double tapping symbols for comma
3. Input manual words if missing in dictionary
This is done either by holding down a long time on a letter button, or activating manual mode in the menu.
4. Making suggestions primary / deleting them
This is currently done by swiping up or down on the word in the suggestions bar
5. Choose next suggested word instead of selecting a specific one.
Currently not possible.
I think a button in the suggestion bar above the smiley button would be a good place for this?
I would appreciate ideas / input for ways these things could be activated in an easy way using VoiceOver?
Also. Is there anything in Type Nine that could benefit from using the Magic Tap?
Something tells me that direct touch typing not working might be an Apple bug, because I have only seen it work on the stock keyboard, but not with third party keyboards like Type nine or SwiftKey. So this might be something you'll need to add an option for Type nine itself which would either add or remove direct touch from the keys.
For backspace, apart from the swiping left working with direct touch, the best way would probably just be to make it work how it does with every other keyboard. So if you hold it down, it would continue deleting characters until you release it. Also, there might be a good use case for 3D Touch here, where 3D touching a key would activate its alternate function.
For adding and removing words from the dictionary, this would be a good place to use the "actions" feature of VO, which lets you add additional functions to a control that you can access by swiping down or up before you double-tap an item. For an example of how this works, the built-in Mail app gives you actions on a message to mark it as read, flag, reply, delete and so on. This would probably work for the suggestions in Type nine. They might need to be changed to not activate after you lift the finger, but it would let you add actions to each word to make it the default or so on.
And as for Magic Tap, I initially couldn't think of anything, until I thought about adding words to the dictionary. The magic tap could be used to quickly change from automatic to manual mode, to make adding new words easier.
This is great feedback!
The backspace button should already work by holding it down, but I'm not sure the experience is good with VoiceOver since there's no way to know how much has been deleted. (or maybe there is?)
About swiping up or down, I've just checked out that feature, and I'm not sure if it might be better to use that to select the next / previous suggestion?
Maybe holding down on a suggestion could be used to make it the primary, and if holding down while it is the primary it is removed as the primary?
3D touch is an excellent idea! That could solve deleting previous word, comma + space and period + space.
Deleting by holding the key down is fine, or at least I haven't heard anyone complaining about it. It's not as precise as swiping left to delete a word but VoiceOver does announce what's being deleted so you can keep up with it.
For swiping up and down to move through suggestions, that could certainly work as well, though keep in mind that if you add direct touch to the keyboard you'll probably have to process the down/up swipes yourself as VoiceOver won't see the gestures if you're on the keyboard, hence my suggestion of adding actions to the suggestion bar itself. Making the down/up swipes work from the keyboard would certainly be convenient.
Good to hear delete works as expected. When I tested it myself, it didn't read during deletion which I felt made it hard to know when to stop.
I've made a board on Trello to collect all VoiceOver feedback, and a roadmap with discussion around features and bugs.
I am certainly no expert, so I don't even know if this is possible, but maybe it could be done so that when the backspace key was highlighted, a two-fingered swipe left would delete the previous word? Just an idea.
I've just released a new version of Type Nine where I've tried to introduce new features based on all your feedback. I'm still waiting for Apple to get back to me on fixing "Direct Touch Typing", but I don't know how long that will take unfortunately.
Here is a list of the new features in version 2.1.0, I'd be very happy if you would see how all of it works for you.
- Three finger swipe down for next word
- Three finger swipe up for previous word
- Three finger swipe left to delete entire word
- Three finger swipe right to insert period and space
- Magic tap to toggle manual mode
- Speak letters of buttons after the number eg. 2 A B C
- Fix number toggling button state
- Speak current word after each letter insertion
- Fix speaking state of menu buttons - manual, sound & sound
Thank you all for the help so far.