6 Tips to Improve Typing on the iPad
I love the iPad but I really hate typing on it. Though touch screens are magnificent for some tasks, frankly typing just isn’t one of them. Maybe it’s my hands and fingers fault or maybe I’m just a grouchy old school tactile typer, but I struggle to get in any kind of real workflow that involves typing more than a sentence or two on touch screens. I’m probably not the only one to feel this way, so here are six helpful tips to improve the typing and writing experience on the iPad:
- Keep Keyboard Clicks Enabled – Though the sound effects can be incredibly annoying, they’re also one of the only forms of feedback you can get from typing on a touch screen. Keeping this enabled helps to type more accurately, that’s probably why Apple enables it by default. If you disabled these, here’s how to turn it back on in Settings:
- Tap on “General” and tap “Sounds”
- Switch “Keyboard Clicks” to ON
- Trust in Auto-Correct – Autocorrect can be a source of frustration, but it’s actually very smart, and learning to trust it a bit can really speed up typing on the iPad. While you’re typing and you see a disaster of letters that isn’t even close to what you intended to write, just keep typing, chances are good that it’ll autocorrect to the proper word. Make sure autocorrect is enabled:
- Open Settings and tap on “General” then tap “Keyboard”
- Swipe “Auto-Correction” to ON
- Use Dictation – This is a big one, though it’s limited to iPad 3 and iPhone 4S users. Dictation works very well. The downside to Dictation is that you’ll need internet access to be able to use it, because each phrase is analyzed by some service somewhere off in Apple’s cloud. Strangely, some iPads came with Dictation disabled, if that’s the case for you here is how to turn it on:
- Tap on “Settings” and “General”
- Tap “Keyboard” and make sure “Dictation” is switched to ON
- Use the Split Keyboard – Splitting the keyboard is by far the most useful typing tip for when holding the iPad in your hands. It’s also very forgiving, because there are 6 hidden keys that let you type the letters directly across from each other if you accidentally tap in that direction. We have recommended this tip on several occasions for good reason, it’s that useful.
- With the keyboard visible, tap and hold the keyboard icon in the lower right corner, raise it up to split the keyboard and move it to a comfortable position
- Use a Bluetooth Keyboard – If you’re planning on typing anything of length on an iPad, do yourself a favor and just connect an external Bluetooth keyboard to the iPad. It’s very easy to do, turn on Bluetooth and find the keyboard:
- Open Settings and tap “General” then “Bluetooth”
- Select the keyboard to pair
- Use a Mac Keyboard – Don’t have a Bluetooth keyboard to spare? No problem, you can use a Mac keyboard to type on the iPad itself with the help of an app called Type2Phone. Type2Phone costs $4.99 on the Mac App Store (App Store link), which is about $45 less than the cost of a new Bluetooth keyboard, not a bad deal when you consider that. The other fantastic feature of Type2Phone? You can copy and paste from a Mac directly to the iPad.
Bonus tip: If you have the iPad camera connection kit and a powered USB hub, you can actually use a USB keyboard too. A perfectly acceptable solution for those without Bluetooth keyboards.
What do you think? Do you like typing on the iPads touch keyboard? Do you have any tips or tricks to make the experience better? Let us know in the comments.