Bring Colemak to Android! Oh wait, we can already use that via keyboard apps like SlideIT. Sometimes I forget just how locked down Apple products can be. Some may argue for not allowing for customization but in the end customization is the king of usability. We all may use the same tools in life but we don’t use them in exactly the same manner everyday.
I used to strain my hands after using a Qwerty keyboard layout for hours of typing but Colemak, an alternative layout, has helped me in using my computer more easily. What Colemak does is more evenly distribute typing work between the left and right hands by modifying 9 keys of the Qwerty layout. I have never found a physical keyboard that uses Colemak for its’ layout but luckily enough I’ve been able to make the change via software in Windows, Linux and Android.
I hope that Apple will eventually allow for iOS to become more customizable for its’ users. I may not use their hardware personally but I do support it and I do believe that people should be able to modify their software and hardware with ease. You shouldn’t have to become a programmer and an amateur engineer to make a change as simple as a keyboard layout. Google offers language changes but Google also allows for completely replacing most applications as the default in Android. Without that option I probably would be using a Blackberry as my primary smart phone.
If you’re interested in alternative keyboard layouts then grab a document you’ve typed, throw it into this analyzer and give the layout suggested a try. Honestly, any sanely developed keyboard layout will be better than the default qwerty layout since they all seem to give better distribution of typing across both hands. Newer layouts often take into account the most used letters, most typed words and other relevant data in their creation. Some are focused on programming while others may be marketed to more casual users that don’t want to use qwerty.
Dear Santa, I don’t ask for much geeky stuff, but one very good gift in that area would be a Dvorak keyboard for my iPad. And please don’t give me a side real hardware keyboard, I am talking of a touchscreen keyboard (the combo external keyboard + iPad looses the battle with my Mac Air…).
I switched to the Dvorak keyboard map not so long ago, last July. Reason for that was not to be faster (like many others) even if this would be a nice side effect, but exploring solutions to solve the pain of a recurring carpal tunnel syndrome. My friend Paolo advised this, explaining it would make my finger, hand and wrist move way less, as a result, it should reduce the inflammation and then the pain. If you are interested in the Dvorak keyboard, jut read it on Wikipedia, or from Ma.tt already almost 10…
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