I do a lot with my iPad but the one thing that has always been a challenge is typing. I have tried numerous Bluetooth keyboards and cases but I always wanted the flexibility of using my iPad as a tablet and not transform it into a full-time laptop. Although I like using some sort of keyboard, I have recently tried using the iPad onscreen keyboard as my primary keyboard. I have been experimenting with it and have been surprised that I can type pretty well with it,
It has taken some adjustment since I am usually a fast typist. I have had to slow it down a bit but I have discovered that I can still type pretty well on the iPad.
Let me give you some pointers on using the iPad keyboard:
Trust your muscle memory
If you are an experienced typist, you can still type without “pecking” at the keyboard. I had heard that you can trust your muscle memory and it’s true. Even if I can’t rest my fingers on home row, I can still type at a slower speed without looking at the keys. I will occasionally glance down to make sure I am hovering over the right keys but you can trust your fingers to know where the keys are.
Position the iPad at the right typing angle
To get your best results typing on the iPad, you have to get the most comfortable angle for you. It won’t work well if the iPad is completely flat and you might also get in a position where you can rest your palms on the corners of the iPad. Hovering can make you hands and wrists tire easier. You won’t need much of an angle but just enough elevation to help you type better.
Turn on autocorrect
Make sure that you have autocorrect enabled. It will help correct your mistakes and take the frustration out of the experience,
Make edits later
If you are like me, you like to correct your mistakes and typos as you type, but you have to learn how to let it go and edit your text after you have typed your draft. Get in the mindset of typing and correcting it later.
Where is the tab key?
The iPad keyboard does not have a tab key. Why? I have no clue. It is one of the most annoying things about typing on the iPad keyboard. You can install third party keyboards but that can be just as frustrating. The Pages app also includes a tab key in its application although it is in an awkward place.
Sliding upper key
Another neat trick with typing on the iPad keyboard is that to type the characters above each letter you simply pull down on the key so there is no need to shift or use an alternative key combination to type the characters.
Moving the cursor
The iPad keyboard does not have arrow keys either which is another annoying problem however if you hold down two fingers on the keyboard, it turns into a temporary trackpad which allows you to easily move the cursor around in your text.
If you just don’t like the full keyboard, you also have an option to split the keyboard and type with your thumbs as you would on your phone. You can do this with the iPad in either portrait or landscape mode. I can tell you that sometimes the split keyboard is a faster typing experience. To do this you hold down the keyboard key in the lower right and select “split”. You can also move the split keyboard by dragging the keyboard key to reposition it.
Practice and patience
The best way to learn how to use the iPad keyboard is by practicing and being patient. I will often practice while watching TV and typing phrases I hear being spoken. It is also important to be patient with yourself. There are some days I try to type and I’m just not with it. I making lots of mistakes but I keep at it and continue to try to put the work in to train my fingers and my mind in using the onscreen keyboard. It takes time.
I am getting better but I’m not ditching my external keyboard yet. There are times that I need to use it but I am trying to not get lazy and default to it just because I am impatient with learning.
Of course, I typed this blog using the iPad keyboard. Yes, it took a bit longer but it wasn’t a dealbreaker. Sometimes it’s okay to slow down. It was also more convenient and quieter than using an external keyboard.
Try it. You might like it.