typing on iPhone and rotor

iOS & iPadOS

Ok so this is weird, but I have been using an iPhone since 2013 and am still dissatisfied with my typing speed on iPhone, and with consistently performing the router gesture.

I use touch typing and only have word feedback, and have the werty keyboard memorized, but still feel like I hit the wrong key like a third of the time. Any tricks you guys have to type faster on the default keyboard or good third party keyboards? I know about Flicktype but nothing else. I also do dictation but hate it in public settings.

Similar issue with the router gesture. I have been using an iphone since 2013 and it feels like it takes forever to get through the options even though I have performed this gesture thousands of times. Anyone else? Any tips?



Submitted by JLove on Thursday, August 19, 2021

I use predictive a lot of the time and I slide until I find the letter I want then let go.

Submitted by Curtis Chong on Thursday, August 19, 2021

If one knows braille, Braille Screen Input can speed up typing but has been researched to achieve a typing speed only as much as 23 words per minute. If one expects to do a lot of typing, a wired or Bluetooth QWERTY keyboard is a far more effective (albeit not portable) way to type efficiently. That, I fear, is the bottom line.

Submitted by Jenna Pepper on Thursday, August 19, 2021

Enable it in the rotor settings and choose your Braille table. I started using it once the death of Flicktype was announced. It's far from perfect, but it's better than pecking at the screen for eleventy-billion hours just for one sentence or spending minutes correcting the dictation that inexplicably adds extra articles to what you said over and over.

Submitted by peter on Thursday, August 19, 2021

In reply to by JLove

Yes, I am familiar with the predictive options when typing on the Apple keyboard. Sighted people make use of this very easily and frequently.

Using Voiceover, however, how do you quickly get to the predictions in order to accept one without a ton of flicking around.


Submitted by Justin Philips on Thursday, August 19, 2021

Predictive is just above the letters; go up, double tap, and then begin the next word

Submitted by Jo Billard on Friday, August 20, 2021

You can change the rotor gesture from commands in the Voiceover settings. I use BSI and love it, but it has its limitations. I think it could work well in combination with a keyboard.

Submitted by zeirus-fr on Friday, August 20, 2021

Pypin on iPhone or iPad using on-screen braille, is a nice and comfortable thing. I type enough quickly, moreover using different languages. but...
The on-screen braille option in the rotor is swimming.
Id est, the option is not at the first place as I want, though I have put this option before characters.
Do you know if it is possible to get rid of swimming on-screen braille option and simply to fix it at the first place.
Though it is not so critical. But it would be a very nice bonus.
Thanks a lot for your help.

Submitted by Holy Diver on Friday, August 20, 2021

You can change the gesture for the rotor in the gesture commander under voiceover settings. Of course you'll probably have to replace another existing gesture but such is life. If the tangent is allowed this is one of the main parts of android I find more accessible than on iPhones, I love voiceover but hate that silly rotor.

Submitted by PinkCupcake5 on Friday, August 20, 2021

I don't know how I didn't think of this before, but I changed the router gesture to 2 finger left swipe for previous router, and 2 finger right swipe for next router. Oddly, that gesture was not assigned to anything, so I didn't have to change something else. It has been a game changer as far as how much easier it is to navigate. Thank you for the recommendation!

Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Friday, August 20, 2021

I like using setting>general>keyboard>text replacement abbreviations for phrases I commonly use, abbreviations pre-defined by me to be only a few characters long. For example, I defined "ih" to be "I have". Whenever I type ih, text replacement automatically expands the ih into "I have". I have several hundred pre-defined common phrases. It definitely speeds up typing. Just pay attention to what you write, and I'm sure you'll come up with dozens of phrases you can boil down into onlyt a few letters. Omg for Oh my god! Btw for by the way. omw for on my way. ilu for I love you. sul for see you later. wul for would you like. You get the idea.

Submitted by Kelsey Nicolay on Sunday, August 22, 2021

I echo everyone who suggested braille screen input. I gave up on the onscreen keyboard a long time ago and use braille screen input when my braille display is not available. It takes practice, but it’s a great feature once mastered.

Submitted by Shawn T on Sunday, August 22, 2021

The Mosen At Large show just released covers the flicktype saga in more detail along with a detailed demo of braille screen input from Judy Dixon.

Submitted by Mabbs92 on Monday, August 23, 2021

So I have actually found that with practice, direct touch typing is the fastest way to type. I can type just as fast as sighted users or just a touch slower. I pair this with autocorrect; once your phone learns common misspellings I find that it's pretty good at fixing mistakes. I leave character echo on because it's easy to catch mistakes and fix them right away rather than having autocorrect put in the wrong word and having to start the word over. Regarding autocorrect, if the wrong word is put in, just backspace enough to where you can correct letters that are wrong while leaving at least one letter at the beginning if you can. It will learn that the correct word you put in is the word you'd like in future when you make similar mistakes while typing that word (at least to my findings). If you clear the whole word and start over I find that it doesn't learn well that way. Also, if you are typing along and hear the bubble noise indicating autocorrect is suggesting a word to replace and you don't want that, backspace on the last letter you typed and put it back; carry on with what you were writing and the autocorrect will learn that what you wrote is spelled how you want it in future.

I hope this makes sense! if you have questions please let me know

Submitted by roman on Monday, August 23, 2021

Good morning everyone. hope everyone is safe. I like the dictation option on the IOS because it is efficient and it works. if you can articulate yourself well the dictation can be an alternative. cheers and stay safe.

Submitted by kool_turk on Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Braille screen input is great, until you forget or don't know how to write a certain symbol.

I've had that happen to me a few times.

It's fine if you're messaging and don't use emojis, but what if you neeed to write a percent or an underscore, I'm sure there are other symbols that I can't think of off the top of my head.

Eventually you're going to run into a problem where you either can't remember or know a symbol and need to look it up like I had to do.

There is also the translation issue that I've seen pop up on here quite a few times, this is why I type in grade 1 braille.

Another thing to keep in mind is, sometimes typing passwords doesn't turn out properly like when setting up your gmail to work with ios, I've had to use the normal keyboard for that.

I know, I'm being negative here, but I guess what I'm trying to say is, you need to be able to at least know how to use the main keyboard, just incase you do happen to run into some of these problems.

Submitted by Will on Tuesday, August 24, 2021

So i heard the podcast on direct touch typing. I hear the bubble sound as i am typing now in braille so i assume that is auto-correct. Yet, under keyboards when autocorrect is on typing with direct touch typing isn't giving me suggested words in speech as i type, so what please am i doing wrong? i use an iphone 11 pro.

Submitted by Mabbs92 on Tuesday, August 24, 2021

In reply to by Shawn T

Not OP but this makes a big change; I didn't know to do this, so thanks for sharing!

Submitted by Mabbs92 on Tuesday, August 24, 2021

In reply to by Shawn T

Not OP but this makes a big change; I didn't know to do this, so thanks for sharing!

Submitted by Will on Tuesday, August 24, 2021

As the op i didn't know this either so again, thank you. Always wondered what that featured did. does that work when typing on the regular touch typing modes as well? or is it only used for the direct touch typing setting? , ,,

Submitted by Ekaj on Tuesday, August 24, 2021

I've tried out BSI but couldn't quite get the hang of it. This coming from someone who learned grades 1 and 2 Braille at a young age, and is fluent in them. My tutor at Second Sense here in the Chicago area recommended I not use Landscape orientation, and I'm wondering if that's the reason I got thrown off with BSI. I'll have to listen to Judy Dixon's demonstration then. I've used the typing dictation feature, and it seems to work best in quiet environments. For instance, when I have the window AC unit in my kitchen going as I do now, the dictation is somewhat jumbled. This can make for some pretty fun conversations, as I've found out on multiple occasions. But when it works, dictation is fabulous. I've also found Voice Control to be rather good, but only with standard? headsets. My Aftershokz does not seem to work with VC.

Submitted by Curtis Chong on Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Greetings: Landscape orientation is definitely the only way to go if one is using braille screen input. The only decision point after that is whether to use the table top mode or the screen away mode. I myself have grown quite fond of the screen away mode. Mastery of BSI takes a bit of work, but please do not give up. For braille users, it is extremely efficient once mastered.

Submitted by Jo Billard on Tuesday, August 24, 2021

In reply to by Kelsey Nicolay

I use BSI and I type quickly, and thanks to the word being announced after the space, I often miss errors. The alternatives offered are extremely limited and usually don't help at all.

Submitted by zeirus-fr on Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Direct touch typing is accessible for who can see a little or who can touch the needed character exactly or almost exactly.
My choice is on-screen braile input.
Either iPhone or iPad.
More comfortable to work on iPad.

Submitted by Shersey on Wednesday, August 25, 2021

In reply to by Curtis Chong

I'm very fast with Braille Screen Input, and would wager that I would be faster with it than with a QUERTY keyboard. I once did a typing test with a QUERTY keyboard for a job application and got 50 WPM, but that was after practicing for a little to make sure I could anticipate the upcoming words. I had to get sighted help through Aira to do that test, but that's beside the point. Anyhow, I would love to know where you found this research that claims that at the most, you'd only be able to type at about 23 WPM, because that seems rather unbelievable. I'm pretty darn sure that I'm typing at more than 23 WPM, by quite a long stretch.


Agree with Curtis on all points but especially when it comes to screen away mode. I just find it's easier to orient my fingers.