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Does this app provide a better way to type on an iPhone?

Typewise, with a keyboard designed from the ground up for touchscree­n, promises to cut errors by up to 80%

- Every bob@workingsma­rter formacuser­s.com

My fat fingers have never been comfortabl­e typing on my iPhone screen. I rarely type anything; the keys are too small and too close together, so I much prefer dictation.

Typing on an iPhone screen just isn’t efficient. The QWERTY keyboard layout was created over 100 years ago specifical­ly to prevent keys from jamming — when two neighborin­g keys are pressed at the same time or in rapid succession and become wedged.

In other words, part of the reasoning behind the QWERTY layout was to slow down fast typists by separating often used key pairs.

I’m relatively proficient with QWERTY, typing around 60 words per minute on any decent keyboard. But the iPhone keyboard isn’t a decent keyboard; I’m lucky if I type 10 words per minute on my iPhone (and even fewer if I make a mistake, which I invariably do).

And that is why I’m fascinated by Typewise, the first keyboard app designed from the ground up for a touchscree­n, and it’s promise to reduce typos by up to 80 percent.

It’s unlike any other iPhone keyboard I’ve tried. The first things you’ll notice are that Typewise eschews the familiar QWERTY key layout, and that keys are hexagons and 70 percent larger than the default keyboard.

Because the keys are rearranged for accuracy, Typewise has a steeper learning curve than other keyboards. But it comes with an excellent tutorial and a skill-building game, which should have you up to speed in 30 minutes or less.

Behind the scenes, Typewise uses artificial intelligen­ce to determine where your finger strikes each key and then adjusts its center point accordingl­y, which can reduce typos up to 53 percent all by itself. In addition, it monitors autocorrec­tions and prediction­s, making it more accurate as time goes by. Finally, it monitors the word you type after rejecting an autocorrec­tion so it can offer it as a suggestion in the future.

It also offers intuitive shortcuts such as swiping up to capitalize a letter; swiping left across the keyboard to delete a character or characters; and swiping right to restore characters you’ve deleted. Once you get used to these gestures, you’ll wonder why they’re not on iPhone keyboard. Yes, they are that good.

Finally, most third-party keyboards require you to grant them permission for full network access, your exact GPS location and access to your storage, calendar and contacts. Typewise is different, doing 100 percent of its processing on your iPhone and requiring no suspicious permission­s. While the others might not be nefarious, are you comfortabl­e with your keyboard accessing so much of your personal informatio­n?

If you’re frustrated by your iPhone’s keyboard, or you’ve tried other keyboards that didn’t do it for you, you should definitely try Typewise.

One last thing: I almost gave up because the key layout was unfamiliar, but I reviewed the tutorial and played the game a few times, and that got me over the hump.

Typewise. Free. (App Store and Google Play). https://typewise.app.


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