So as many people will know, there are three typing methods, known as Typing Styles in settings, when using VoiceOver and the standard Apple keyboard on iOS.
Standard = move around the keyboard until you focus on the letter or character you want, then double tap, just like how you navigate normally with VoiceOver.
Touch typing = move your finger around the keyboard until you find the letter or character you want, then lift to type it. This is the most popular method, as it is quicker than standard, but still offers the ability to be accurate.
Direct touch typing = this is effectively the same as how sighted people type. You simply tap the letter or character, or where you think it is, and it is typed. There is no finding and confirming it first. VoiceOver does of course speak as you type though.
While direct touch typing has been around for several years, I had never really given it a try before, I just didn’t think it sounded realistic. Recently though I decided to give it a try, as I really want something faster. And I’ve surprised myself, I think I actually like it.
I haven’t done any proper tests, but I’m pretty sure I’m a good bit faster, and it is rather satisfying.
It’s the closest experience I’ve found to Flexy or Flicktype, albeit without the ability to swipe up and down for alternative suggestions, and I do sometimes tap the delete, shift or enter key by mistake when aiming for a letter. You need to be fairly accurate but the auto correct does a pretty good job for the most part.
The other challenge is when you do really need accuracy, such as when typing punctuation or a password. My solution has been to place my finger on the keyboard, but don’t lift. You can find the character you want, and even when you lift, nothing is typed. As long as you then tap in exactly the right spot, you’ll get what you wanted. Of course you could also just temporarily switch to one of the other typing styles either.
I’m curious to hear if others have tried direct touch typing and how you have got on with it, or what is your preferred method. Please don’t go down the road of talking about braille screen input, as there are already enough threads about that, and I’m keen to hear from people who are not on the BSI train.
Happy typing, Dave