iOS Update

Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:16 pm
Platform: Mac

Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:18 pm Post

Dear Keith and the iOS team,

Although you all most likely know all about it, just in case you don't:

Since I am not a programmer, I stumbled on this site by accident but was very pleased to see it and now I cannot resist bringing it to your attention. If I am not mistaken, this is a free, open-source code to add the tap-and-drag ("swipe") style extra key row to any app.

I very much hope you will consider adopting this technology (at least as an option or maybe for version 1.1... : -)

I am familiar with a couple of apps that have adopted this method of text entry (Textastic, Heart Writer, adnotatus, Wonder Writer). I myself was initially skeptical but after using it for five minutes it's like second nature and it's one of those things that you wonder how you ever lived without it! Swiping, for me at least, doesn't always work but the tap-and-drag method is 100% reliable: you tap, then, without lifting the finger, swipe or "drag" in the direction of one of the four corners of the key. Always works, never a mistake.

The enormous increase in efficiency and productivity is obvious. In one extra row we can have 40-50 additional characters, punctuation marks, navigational keys, etc., all always visible, all always accessible without any extra tap or swipe or scroll of the extra key row (i.e., without a pause in the workflow or the "think flow") .

As far as I can tell, the free code at github is not user-definable, but if you would add that, then I think you would actually have achieved the holy grail of text entry on an iOS device. (By the way, unbelievably and completely against intuition and expectation, this method works fine even on the small screen of the iPhone. I tried it on Textastic for the iPhone and typing is remarkably easy and error-free, in spite of the tiny size of the keys and the five symbols on them. Completely counter-intuitive.)

Apple's built-in keyboard already has a number of hidden or swipable keys (apostrophes or quote marks from the comma and full stop keys) or tap-and-drag keys (accented vowels, for example), and I think people are discovering and starting to use these features, so an extra key row of this type will not be too unfamiliar. User responses in the App Store to the addition of such a key row are usually extremely positive. As I said, once you try it, you don't understand why it's not used everywhere, by everyone.

Sorry for the long post but all the bells and whistles, and even Scrivener's sensational organizational powers, are not enough to make a writer *completely* happy if the very first and most elementary step in the writing process (text entry, typing, or what we used to call in the old days "writing") is clumsier and harder than it needs to be.

Below is a link to an image of this key row for readers who may have no idea what I am talking about.

Thanks for putting up with my long—winded ranting.
Dee ... 592e706e67

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Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:19 am Post

Hi Dee,

Thanks for drawing that to our attention. We have always had the intention of adding an auxiliary keyboard row, and this looks promising. I've brought it to the attention of our iOS developer, and we'll test it to see what works best.

Thanks again and all the best,
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."

Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:16 pm
Platform: Mac

Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:21 pm Post

Thank you, Keith, for considering it! This makes me VERY excited! Can't wait to move my life into iScrivener and type away...