Standard: A Dvorak Typist Slumming It Typing QWERTY on the IPad

So, I was hoping that with the release of iOS 5 that support for a software Dvorak keyboard would finally happen. It didn’t. And I was momentarily swayed away from getting an iPad because, as a Dvorak typist, I would prefer not to switch to typing QWERTY just to use the coveted device.

And here I am, typing on an iPad, using the software QWERTY keyboard.

While I cannot type very well on a typical keyboard with QWERTY, using the software keyboard on the iPad is surprising acceptable. It took me a good while to fully transition from QWERTY to Dvorak, but thumb-typing on the iPhone never changed. The small keyboard size on the iPhone and the single-digit touch typing method on the device has never been a problem for me, and I suspect that the experience of typing on the iPad, while closer to normal typing, still isn’t all that different from thumb-typing on the iPhone. With no keys to press, the sensation is basically the same, even though I’ve gone from two digits to ten. The size of the on-screen keyboard is smaller than the split, ergonomic keyboards I use at home and work, and that appears to make a difference.

That said, I did purchase a Bluetooth keyboard for Dvorak typing, and i have used it. That will always be my preference for typing, as long as Apple continues to deny Dvorak typists like myself the option of an on-screen keyboard in our layout of choice. But typing QWERTY on the iPad is a sacrifice I am willing to make, and have managed to conquer without much struggle.

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One thought on “Standard: A Dvorak Typist Slumming It Typing QWERTY on the IPad

  1. Matt,

    Thank you for your post. I too hope that there will someday be Dvorak virtual keyboard support with iOS and all the other mobile OSes used on tablets. [I’ve been using Dvorak layout exclusively since January 1984.]

    I’m typing this on a Dvorak virtual keyboard layout on a (“fire sale”) HP TouchPad. The Dvorak support is thanks to the excellent HomeBrew community.

    I agree with your comment that it is less important to have a specific layout on a virtual keyboard that is smaller than the full size of a hardware keyboard, since the smaller size interferes with the normal feel of touch typing.

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