Type vs. Swipe: A guide to choosing the right keyboard feature

The endless amount of apps, functions, and possibilities in the mobile world, both in Android and iOS, make it difficult to decide which to choose. App developers are always attempting to make our lives easier with the next best picture viewer, sharing platform, calculator etc., but when it comes to typing, this decision seems to carry more weight as it affects our everyday life, constantly. Can you recall an entire hour out of the day where you didn’t look down at your phone to type a message to a friend, or comment on a post?  The following is a comparison of the two most common typing methods: typing and swiping

 

The swiping feature on a mobile was introduced to Android in 2011 and enabled the user to enter words by sliding a finger from the first letter of a word to its last letter, lifting only between words. The feature is available in many forms on third party apps, including AIType, and is also currently an option known as Gesture Typing on Android keyboards.

swipe

 

Pros of Swiping

  • There’s no need for pressing space between each word (it spaces automatically)
  • Apostrophes and other punctuation marks are usually automatic, no need to switch between abc and punctuation keyboards
  • Automatically learns names from your contact book for easy auto-correction
  • Erasing a word is done with one backspace
  • The feature guesses the word you are typing

 

Cons of Swiping

  • You need to know how to spell the word right (or 99% right), if you don’t you probably won’t get the right word to appear.
  • When you come across a word that’s unrecognizable, it can slow you down- you try once, erase, try second time, erase, and then finally type it regularly making the entire process quite annoying (I could have typed it in the first place)
  • Doesn’t recognize unique names (try writing Alanis Morissette!) or uncommon abbreviations
  • Doesn’t recognize special slang and won’t complete curse words for you (Duck you, man!)

Now that you have read the pros and cons and if you are still not an avid keyboard swiper, you can decide for yourself if to give this feature a try. Although swiping has become extremely popular, especially in recent years, there are still many people who haven’t gotten on the boat. Why, you ask? Well, either they do not know about it, haven’t gotten used to the features, or still believe regular touch typing is the faster option. What do you think? Have you dared to try the swiping feature and do you like it? Let us know in the comments section below!

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