Tag Archive for ‘Typing’

Compose Key Shortcuts in Linux ➝

I discovered the compose key yesterday when exploring Gnome Tweaks and then I found this resource, which explains how to enable it and lists many of the key combinations. The compose key allows you to type special characters on Linux by pressing the configured compose key followed by a sequence of, typically, two or three characters. It makes it a breeze to type an ellipses, em-dash, and a whole host of others. Very neat.

➝ Source: fsymbols.com

Comparing iPad Pros ➝

Ben Brooks weighs the pros and cons of both iPad Pro form factors and concludes that the larger, 12.9-inch iPad Pro is better for productivity while the 9.7-inch model is superior for portability. I couldn’t agree more. And while I’m more than capable of getting all my work done on a 9.7-inch device — an iPad Air 2 — I can see where the larger display would come in handy.

From what I’ve gathered — by reading numerous takes on the two iPad sizes — most, including Ben, cite a couple major areas in which the larger iPad Pro improves upon the smaller model — the keyboard and multitasking. I’m all-in on the idea of multitasking being a huge step-up in the larger iPad Pro. I use the feature dozens of times each day on my Air 2, but too often I feel constrained by the physical limitations of the display. I just want to see more content without having to scroll so frequently.

But as for the larger iPad Pro’s on-screen keyboard, I completely disagree. I haven’t used the 12.9-inch iPad Pro full-time like Ben has, but every time I’ve had the opportunity to use one I’ve felt lost while typing. Perhaps that’s because of how accustom I’ve become to the 9.7-inch keyboard, but I find my hands floating in one direction or another beyond what autocorrect is capable of compensating for.

This’ll put me in a pretty tough position when I’m ready to buy my next iPad. I love the idea of seeing more of my apps while I’m multitasking, but I don’t know if that’s worth sacrificing my typing experience. Maybe I’ll buy the larger iPad anyway with the idea of returning it after a few weeks, if I’m not able to get used to typing on it.

The 12.9-Inch iPad Pro’s Typing Advantage ➝

Jason Snell, writing on Six Colors:

Last week I was writing a story on a warm, summery day—rare for early April, even in sunny California—and I was despairing about being inside rather than in my backyard. I ended up sitting out in the backyard and writing the story on my iPad Pro’s software keyboard, sitting under a redwood tree in a hammock. I kept the iPad flat in my lap and typed as I would on a laptop keyboard. And I was shocked at how fast my typing speed was when I really focused on the large software keyboard—not hardware keyboard speeds, but noticeably faster than my experience with the smaller iPad software keyboards.

After seeing this piece, I decided to install TapTyping and do some typing tests on my iPad Air 2. My average speed was 65 words per minute with 97% accuracy. This was much closer to my typical hardware keyboard speed than I expected it to be — about 90 wpm.

Perhaps I would be faster on a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, as Jason suggests, but my brain isn’t able to work that fast most of the time and I still prefer the 9.7-inch form factor. I’m also only one year in using the iPad as my primary computer, in another year or two, I might match my hardware keyboard speeds.