Tuesday, September 29

WSJ: Dvorak Users Oppose Qwerty Layouts on Smart Phones, iPhones

Dvorak Users Oppose Qwerty Layouts on Smart Phones, iPhones:
But so far, most smart phone makers have ignored Dvorak fans begging to compose emails and text messages on the devices with their preferred keyboard layout. That has forced Dvorak users to settle for jerry-rigged solutions.
I switched to Dvorak about three or four years ago. It physically hurt. I had headaches for a few days as I reprogrammed my brain to use the new letter positions.

It was worth it in the end, though: the reduced wrist movement I think has been a contributing factor to the end of the RSI I had in college. (Other factors: switching to a thumby trackball and no longer playing Diablo II.)

Nevertheless, I definitely am not interested in Dvorak support on iPhone.

I’m worried that putting useful letters close together would break iPhone’s clever software keyboard. It already gets confused enough with the “u,” “i,” “o” letters, which can often substitute for one another. Imagine throwing “e” into the middle of that!

(I find it amusing that, long after jammed keys stopped being a problem, there still may be a valid physical reason to put commonly-used keys far away from each other.)

Also, I’ve found that I just haven’t forgotten QWERTY enough to make typing on the iPhone’s keyboard a chore. While I definitely cannot touch-type in QWERTY anymore (I suppose one can only hold a single keyboard layout in muscle memory at a time), I still feel pretty comfortable with where the keys are when I’m looking at the screen. The auto-correction is also good enough that speed at which I can actually move my thumb is the limiting factor for my typing on the phone.

(Thanks to Gwen for the link to the article!)