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Ask Slashdot: A 'Mavis Beacon' For Teaching Smartphone and Tablet Typing? 55

Posted by Soulskill
from the start-texting-conversations-with-a-teenager dept.
theodp writes: "Where have you gone, Mavis Beacon? A nation of smartphone and tablet typists could use your help. You've seen people type fast-and-furiously on smartphones and tablets, so you know it can be done, but how exactly do these one- and two-fingered wonders (YouTube video) manage to do so? Is it their reaction time? Technique? Both? Back in the day, touch-typing teachers showed kids the secrets to higher word-per-minute scores on their Smith Coronas. Later, typing tutor software got kids up-to-speed on PCs. So, with over 1 billion smartphones and 200 million or so tablets shipped in 2013, what are the best software and tutorials that teach mobile typing techniques? And what platform specific features — iOS, Android, WP8/Win8, BB — do you find make your mobile typing life a whole lot easier?"
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Ask Slashdot: A 'Mavis Beacon' For Teaching Smartphone and Tablet Typing?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07, 2014 @01:30PM (#47186753)

    On a real keyboard, I can destroy the world record speed for phone typing.

    I am a decent typist, but by no means near the top of the pack. I'm good for a tad over 100 WPM if I concentrate on it, and 75 if I'm slacking off. Wikipedia:

    As of 2012, Grace Pak (USA) held the world record of 280 character-per-minute for the fastest typing on a smart phone

    Which can be considered about 56 WPM. That's dreadful. I can do 100 on a keyboard, but really fast typists are up around the 150WPM range, and burst over 200.

    Most people will be much, much slower on a phone than Grace Pak. Personally, I don't know if I can enter text on a phone with even 15% of the performance I can do on a real keyboard.

    It really is a dreadful way to enter text.

  • Re:Practice. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by milkmage (795746) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @01:57PM (#47186867)

    try this

    http://fleksy.com/ [fleksy.com]

    I think it's still free. no bullshit, I tried it for literally 10 minutes and was touch typing w/o looking at the keyboard.

    I think it registers your taps in relative position to each other and has predictive correction/selection

    This will probably be my third party keyboard of choice once iOS8 comes out.

  • by reanjr (588767) on Saturday June 07, 2014 @10:37PM (#47188601) Homepage

    The issue is that the traditional keyboard layout. It's designed to accept up to 10 fingers of input. Your phone is only designed to accept two. This is reasonable only for the shittiest of typing skills. Most people who are fast at touch screen typing, get that way by learning to accept spelling mistakes, ignore grammar and punctuation, and let auto-correct generate something close to what you really intended. Their goals are completely different from traditional Mavis Beacon like software, because accuracy is practically irrelevant.

    If you have a real desire to learn to type on a touch screen, toss out all of your QERTY keyboard bullshit and use something that was designed for - you know - touch screens (swype is an abomination that takes auto-correct down to the character level).

    https://play.google.com/store/... [google.com]

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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