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New keyboard layout promises to increase tablet typing speed

02/11/2014 13:45

KALQ split-screen keyboard

 

The KALQ keyboard for touchscreen devices rejects the usual QWERTY layout in favour of placing vowels on the right side of the keyboard and most consonants and most first letters of words on the left.

The key to optimising a keyboard for two thumbs is to minimise long typing sequences that only involve a single thumb, say the researchers. Experienced KALQ users learn to keep both digits moving so that while one is tapping a key, the other is moving towards its next target.

After only 10 hours of training with the KALQ keyboard, researchers found that testers were able to type 37 words a minute compared with the average 20 words a minute on a QWERTY touchscreen device.

KALQ split-screen keyboard

Project leader Dr Per Ola Kristensson, a lecturer in human computer interaction at St Andrews, said: "The legacy of QWERTY has trapped users with suboptimal text entry interfaces on mobile devices.

"However, before abandoning QWERTY, users rightfully demand a compelling alternative. We believe KALQ provides a large enough performance improvement to incentivise users to switch and benefit from faster and more comfortable typing."

The St Andrews team plans to release KALQ as a free app for Android-based smartphones and tablets next month, and users will be encouraged to tweak the layout of the patent-free keyboard however they like.

Earlier this year, Black Berry's head of design Todd Wood told Dezeen that the smartphone maker's latest touchscreen keyboard will eradicate the "embarrassing" mistakes common on rival devices – see all technology news on Dezeen.

We recently reported on a transparent computer that allows users to re ach inside the screen and manipulate content with their hands – see all computer design.

How To Improve Your Typing Skills with TapTyping

02/11/2014 13:34

When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad in early 2010, many people thought it impossible that you’d be able to type accurately at any reasonable rate on a glass touch screen. After all, pundits still regularly mention the iPhone’s lack of buttons as a limitation, and that’s just a phone!

Surely no one would want a netbook-sized device without a physical keyboard! While you could always get a bluetooth keyboard or the keyboard dock, the hinderance to portability is a consequential downside.

So, is it actually possible to type fast and accurately on the iPad without an external keyboard? It turns out, you can definitely type fast and accurately on the iPad virtual keyboard. Keep reading to discover some tips to improve your typing, and find out more about TapTyping, an app that can help speed up your iPad typing.

Use the iOS Keyboard Better

First, there’s a few things you can do to make your iPad’s virtual keyboard easier to type on. As you may have already noticed, it’s always easier to type when your iPad’s in landscape (wide) mode. In fact, I prefer most apps in landscape.

The virtual keyboard is nearly as large as a normal keyboard in landscape mode, and is quite easy to touch type on. Then, to avoid hitting other keys accidentally, hold your fingers around a half inch above the keyboard. Finally, you can often enter special characters easier than on a normal computer; just tap and hold vowels and other letters with extra characters to see the others available.

It’s also worth mentioning that if you need to type in another language, you can easily change your keyboard language as well. In many ways the virtual keyboard is more flexible, you just have to adjust your usage to make the most of it.

Press and hold keys to enter alternate characters

Speed Up Your iPad Typing

If your iPad typing speed is still lacking, or you find yourself having to correct your writing all of the time, TapTyping might be the app you need. It’s a typing instructor designed to help you get the most out of the iPad’s virtual keyboard, with lessons that work on the easiest to mistype characters. You can try out TapTyping Typing Speed Test for free to test your current typing speed and try sample lessons, or purchase the full TapTyping Typing Trainer for dozens of detailed lessons that can help you type at the fastest possible speed.

Start a test to see how good your typing is on iPad

The lessons work much like traditional typing programs on computers you may have used when you first learned to type. As you type in the characters, they’ll be lightened out. Your current character will be highlighted in green, while mistyped characters will be highlighted red. Along the top, you’ll see the time elapsed, your average words per minute (wpm), and your accuracy percentage.

Try to type in the words as fast as you can without looking at the virtual keys!

Test your speed or practice typing specifically for iPad

Once you finish you’ll get your test results, where you can see your words per minute, accuracy, and total elapsed time. At the end of a full test, you’ll be able to share your scores with others, and view the characters you have problems with.

I was amazed that I type around 58 words a minute on my iPad! Considering I’ve only had it since January, and didn’t use TapTyping prior to taking the test, it’s obviously not that hard to get a quite a good speed on the virtual keyboard.

Get an overview of how good your are at typing on iPad

TapTyping includes a leaderboard of the best typists on both virtual and external keyboards on the iPad, and amazingly, some have even gotten over 100 wpm on the virtual keyboard!

Sure, you could just get an external Bluetooth keyboard and type just like you would on a computer, but if you can improve your typing speed this much on the virtual keyboard you’ll never have to lug around anything other than your iPad. It’s typing simplicity at its best!

Amazingly, someone typed 111 wpm on the iPad virtual keyboard!

Improve Your Typing With Writing Apps

There are still some other ways you can improve your typing on the iPad. Some apps include extra keys at the top of the keyboard to make it quicker to enter special characters. Nebulous Notes lets you configure the extra key row with a variety of keys to make it easier to enter special characters or common code snippets. iA Writer is designed to be one of the easiest ways to just sit back and write on the iPad. It’s keyboard includes common writing extras like dash and quotations, as well as navigational buttons to quickly move through your text. With these apps and others like them, you can improve your iPad writing speed even more.

iA Writer is excellent for typing on the iPad Virtual Keyboard

Conclusion

With some typing tips, lessons, and special writing apps, your iPad can be turned into the perfect writing device. Even on a glass touchscreen your typing speed doesn’t have to be pitiful. I’ve been amazed at how easy it’s been to get used to typing on the iPad, and I currently prefer to write my most creative pieces on the couch or outside, with just a plain text editing app on my iPad.

So, how do you feel about typing on the iPad? Do you find it difficult? If so, be sure to give TapTyping a try; their lessons can definitely help boost your typing speed. And, if you do have an external keyboard, you can use TapTyping to increase your normal typing speed, too!

9 Tips For Increasing Your Typing Speed

02/11/2014 13:31

Increasing your typing speed is one of the best practices for Time Management. It will help you to become more productive and you can save hell lot of time. I picked up 9 simple tips to increase and improve your typing speed.

Recently I came to know about this report from a blog, “If a computer user double his typing speed, he is saving 300 hours in one year!” Amazing! Isn’t it?

Comfortable typing#1 Position : Choose a comfortable chair and sit straight. Place your fingers correctly on the keyboard. Type using the pads of your fingers, don’t use finger tips or nails. The Keyboard should be at waist level approximately.

#2 Placement : Use both your hands for typing. You can check this visual tutorial for understanding placement of your fingers on the appropriate keys easily. Use the thumb for Space Bar. It is better to memorize the location of the keys.

#3 Avoid Seeing : Yes, you should not see the keyboard while you type. You should have military level of discipline. Look at the screen or the source paper. After you are familiar with the finger placements you can try this. While riding bicycle, what will you see? The road or the pedals? :P

#4 Use Emoticons : Emoticons are nothing but textual expressions representing the face of a writer’s mood or facial expression. You can find them in many portals including social networks, forums, IM, blog comments and so on. Emoticons usually have symbols. By using them often you can be familiar with symbols location in keyboard and you can type it without seeing soon.

#5 Type Along : Try to type what you hear, like news reports, songs, two people talking around, so on. It will help you to become more familiar with various words.

#6 Avoid Typos : While practicing don’t spend time on fixing your typos. Instead carry on typing. Because you are just training your hands and concentrating on typing faster.

#7 Get Addicted : I improved my typing speed by using TypeRacer. It is a multiplayer typing game where you race others by typing quotes from popular books, movies, and songs. You can also find TypeRacer applications in Orkut and Facebook.

#8 Software : You can purchase a typing lesson software or try the free ones available online. But make sure that program is capable of measuring your typing speed. You can also try free Flash typing games.

#9 Practice : Last but not least, nothing can be done without practicing. Practice as much as possible. Do it regularly with extreme patience. But don’t practice if your fingers become tired. Leave some gap.

Why don’t you practice right now by commenting here? 

How to Improve Your Typing Speed

02/11/2014 13:30

Recently while helping my brother fill out some job applications it occurred to me that he should include his typing speed so I hit the web to find free typing speed tests. To see what my brother would be experiencing with the test I decided to take it myself. At that point I made a point to improve my score. About a week and a half later I had increased my typing speed by 30% and almost every day am still working on the increasing it even more. I have decided to perfect it for professional reasons and to complete a personal goal of mine. For anyone that has similar aspirations about their typing speed here are some key tips to help you along the process.

Before you approach increasing your speed you need to figure out where your current typing speed is at. To figure this out I would consider taking a typing test online a couple of times. This will insure that your fingers are warmed up and will be able to perform more efficiently. If reading is difficult for you and you find that you can type better typing original stuff then set a minute timer as you write and then count the correct words you typed in one minute. Make sure that you can constantly think of something otherwise this will penalize your speed. As long as you have a variety of words on your mind while doing this you will likely find a comparable speed, which is what happen to me. Once you have an idea of what your current typing speed is at you can work on improving it.

Next you will want to set a goal. What I had been doing is giving myself the goal of increasing my words per minute typing speed by five words every day or so. This is more difficult than it sound and the difficulty grows exponentially for obvious reasons. When your goal or goals are met and it is impractical to make the same goal again reduce it. Now I would just be happy to be able to type one or two words more in a minute. Your goal may be a percentage or to simply reach a specific number of words per minute that you can type, this is the goal that my brother decided on. He picked a number that he thought would look good on his resume and made his goal that. It might be good to start off with a smaller goal because it may take you some time if your goal is significantly faster than what you are use to. Typing and testing your typing speed over and over again is not the only thing you need to do to reach your goal.

Before you get too deep in the typing practice verify that you are using the correct finger to type in each letter. This will allow you to assess whether you need to break any bad typing habits and what you need to work on to be sure you can type to your fastest potential. To see which finger to use remember that Q, A, and Z are typed with your left pinky finger, W, S and X are typed with your left ring finger, E, D and C left middle finger, R, T, F, G, V and B are typed with your left index finger, Y, U, H, J, N and M are typed with the right index finger, I and K are typed with the right middle finger, O and L are typed with the right ring finger and P is typed with the right pinky finger. Watch yourself as you type to make sure the correct finger is lining up with correct key. Next comes the practicing.

Once you have verified your goal and that you are typing correctly it is time to practice. Consider typing as often as you can if you do not normally get a lot of practice in your general day. Set aside some time at least once a day to take a typing test a few times, to be sure your fingers are nice and warmed up for the exercise. Keep track of your progress and push yourself to get a slightly better speed than the day before prior to concluding your practice session. This way you can feel accomplished about taking the typing test and this will make improving your typing speed less stressful. One last thing to remember is to not overwork yourself, you will drive yourself crazy taking a typing test over and over again when your hands and fingers are positively exhausted. The degree of your goal will determine the length of time it will take. Do not become discouraged, keep practicing and good luck with your typing speed. 

How To Improve Typing Speed On The Keyboard

02/11/2014 13:27

Do you want to type at the speed of thought? Do you think it is too daunting a task and it is left best only to the professionals? This is where you are wrong. Anyone can improve their typing speed on the keyboard. All it takes - just a few easy tips and the determination to pull them through. An improved typing speed not only saves you time but also increases your productivity manifold.

Listed below are few easy tips which you can follow:

Tip 1: The first and foremost is the posture while you are typing. Sit straight in a comfortable chair and don't slouch while typing. Type with the pads of your fingers. Also the height of the keyboard should be about waist high.

Tip 2: Don't fall to the temptation of pecking away at the keyboard with one hand or few fingers. Use both hands to type even though it may seem awkward at first. Eventually you will get the hang of using both hands to type.

Tip 3: Another useful tip is to try and memorize the various keys on the keyboard. This will help in increasing your speed of typing considerable.

Tip 4: Use every ounce of your will power not to peek at the keyboard. Keep your eyes glued with military precision to the screen or the source of your typing.

Tip 5: If at all down the line you find the prospect of typing from a text boring, you can type listening to someone speak or even a radio or television news broadcast. This will make the typing a little more novel and you will also end up familiarizing yourself with some new words.

Tip 6: Remember that you are now in practicing mode. Do not stop now and then to correct the typos. This will tend to break your speed and hamper smooth typing.

Tip 7: Along with practicing typing the alphabets you also have to remember the various symbols on the keyboard. A good way to practice symbols is typing emoticons. Emoticons use symbols to show various facial expressions. A fun way to practice symbols.

Tip 8: Another fun way to practice improving your typing speed on the keyboard is to play some online games which will increase your typing speed and also help you to relax a little.

Tip 9: There are many free typing tests available online to practice and improve your typing speed (for example, www.ratatype.com/typing-test). Check one which measures your typing and gives feedback.

Tip 10: Another fun way to practice typing is to write emails or online letters to family members or friends. You can not only constantly keep in touch with them but also earn brownie points and also improve your typing speed.

REMEMBER: Each person differs from another in their typing capacity and speed.

Don't fret if your friend or colleague types faster than you. It is only a matter of time when you too can improve your typing speed on the keyboard. Just practice, practice and then practice some more. Practice makes you perfect...

Happy Typing.

5 Shortcuts to Increase Your Typing Speed

02/11/2014 13:25

increase_your_typing_speed

We all know that typing speed matters.  Whether you’re applying for a job as a paralegal or an executive assistant, being able to type quickly and accurately might be the only skill that stands between you and another equally qualified applicant.

Can you type 65+ words per minute?  If you didn’t have the benefit of taking a typing course or two in school, that might not be the case.  So, how do you get those skills up to par in a short period of time so that you can compete for these high paying positions?

Here’s 5 shortcuts that will help you increase your typing speed in no time.  We don’t guarantee overnight results but, if you follow these tips you’ll definitely get a leg up on the competition.

 

Technique Matters

Touch typing is 80% technique, 10% accuracy and 10% speed.  People who are masters at touch typing will tell you that without proper hand position and typing technique, you’ll only be able to type so fast.

Think about it, there is no way that the person using the hunt and peck method will ever be as fast as someone who uses proper technique on a QWERTY keyboard.  Using the proper technique will make learning to type much easier and open a world of opportunities when it comes to increasing typing speed.

Errors are Opportunities for Improvement

When you first start learning to touch type, you’re going to make some errors.  In fact you might make a lot of them.  Your success really depends on how you view making those mistakes – do you see them as a failure or as an opportunity to improve?

People who see their mistakes as an opportunity to improve generally learn faster than people who don’t.  Your mindset plays a big part in how quickly you learn and how much information you are able to take in.

Repetition Never Gets Boring

Touch typing is all about muscle memory, which means that your muscles will need some time to adjust to the new techniques that you are learning.  The best and quickest way to do this is through repetition.

By doing the same exercise over and over you will be able to ingrain those movements into your muscle memory.  If you are using an online typing tutor, set a high standard for yourself.  Make a decision to master a technique 100% before moving on to the next lesson.

This may seem more time consuming upfront but, if you do this the subsequent lessons will be easier since they are built upon the techniques taught in the previous lessons.

Good Posture Can Work Wonders

Posture is one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to learning to type quickly.  Poor posture not only takes a toll on your muscles, but can affect your energy levels and accuracy as well.

Good posture while typing will keep up your energy levels and also allow your fingers to rest in the correct position.  Keeping correct posture allows you to type faster, more accurately and will help prevent injury.  The correct posture to have while typing is relaxed with feet squarely on the floor and wrists level with the keyboard.

Don’t Look at the Keyboard

Another great trick to help you increase your typing speed in a short period of time is to avoid looking at the keyboard. Initially, this may result in more mistakes, but you will learn the positions of the keys at a much higher rate without using the keyboard as a crutch.

Because it can be tempting to simply look down at the keyboard, try covering the keyboard and your hands with a piece of paper while you type.  Or, if you really want to challenge your self, Das Keyboard Ultimate is a keyboard with blank keys that will literally force you to learn the keys via motor-skills.

Practice, Practice, Practice…

Finally, the best way to increase your typing speed is through good old practice.  While practice isn’t necessarily a shortcut and requires dedicated effort, it really is the best way to see results.  Even if you practice your typing skills for 30 minutes each day for a month, you will see an improvement that can make all the difference in helping you land your dream job.

Tools That Improve Your Typing Speed

02/11/2014 13:21

There are many people who are very slow to type and use only two fingers while typing. If you are the same kind of person then you need not to worry. There is an availability of a variety of web apps, utility software, and other tools on which you can count your typing speed and it will help you to improve accuracy and speed which are necessary for a good typist.

The following is a list of the top five tools in use in order to improve the typing speed:

  • Rapid Typing

    - this tool helps to learn the position of the right hand and provide training for some specific groups of letters on the key board which are present next to each other. Rapid Typing includes some bunch of simple exercises by which we can learn a lesson of typing without looking at the keyboard. program also provide custom texts for advanced typing training, At the end of the lesson it provides some colorful statistics from which we can get the information regarding our improvement and performance. Portable version of Rapid Typing is also available. It also includes some animated picture and background images which are quite distracting. But these can be disabled and learner can use white, plain background for their lessons.1

  • Bruce’s Unusual Typing Wizard

    Bruce’s Unusual Typing Wizard is very useful for both the experienced and beginners and help to improve accuracy and speed. This software contains a unique algorithm which detects slightly off typing and adjustment of the position of the typing by the user. It helps to eliminates many typing mistakes and also includes game that contains unusual combinations of letter. It is a multiple user’s supported wizard and users can practice customized tests that include a series of lessons with variety of difficulty levels and keep the statistics of improvement of the learners. This wizard also offers different language to practice and provide an onscreen key board. Both the key board and the game can also be modified to any language or any keyboard layout.

2

  • Klavaro Touch Typing Tutor:

    This tool helps to improve speed and accuracy while typing. It includes a series of lessons with different difficulty levels. These levels become more and more difficult as the learner progress through them. Klavaro Touch Typing Tutor supports many languages and different keyboard layouts.

3

  • MaxType Typing Tutor

    It is advanced typing tutor that help to improve typing speed. Any TXT file can be used as training test. In case of speed test one can compete against an opponent controlled by the computer and keep the record of typing speed performance. The program can measure up to 20 parameters of typing.

4

  • GS Typing Tutor

    – it is one of the best typing tutors for beginners and advanced users. It helps to learn typing from scratch with basic lessons that use two-finger, or provides professional touch to enhance typing speed and skills with the programmed lessons and games. GS Typing Tutor keeps statistics of progress and help to practice with problematic letters.5

How to improve typing speed online

02/11/2014 12:30

We all work today in a world of competition. The needs of daily to day life are hard to meet at times. New clothes, good living, good education is all we dream off. How do you feel little extra bucks would be? Great no? One of the good ways is by earning part time from home. But you don’t have any such skills? Why not try typing… there are lots of companies seeking type writers and they are part time jobs too.  All you need to do is gear up your typing speed first.

Some of the great tips to start you off.

1. Place your fingers right

How to improve typing speed - finger placement tips

How to improve typing speed – finger placement tips

  • Type from the start the proper way.
  • type the home row keys A, S, D, and F with the left hand
  • The left hand should do for J, K, and L.

2. Best typing position

sitting position while typing

sitting position while typing – source: walkerptblog.com

Good posture has a lot of benefits

  1. It will keep up your energy levels high.
  2. It lets your fingers to rest in the correct position. 
  3. let’s you to type faster and  more accurately

What is the correct posture?

The feet should be squarely on the floor and wrists level with the keyboard. Have an upright position of the back. 

3. Take online typing tests

online typing tests to speed typing

online typing tests to speed typing

A good to learn error free typing also giving a boost to your speed. There are number of free sites for learning how to type.

Type better with Games

Type better with Games

Check out the best free sites to learn how to type better.

  1. Typingweb
  2. Goodtyping
  3. Senselang
  4. Typeonline
  5. Typeracer
  6. Ratatype
  7. Typingarena

You may want to visit these recommended sites to know more about typing and how to accentuate your skills.

4. Practice is the key

The way to excellence has always been practice…and lots of it.

More will obviously help the most. The more familiar you will become with the computer keyboard and the position of the keys the better your speed will gradually increase with time.

5. Look at the screen not the Keyboard

The best way to memorize the positions of the keys at much higher rates is by not looking at the keyboard. This is the hardest part for most people, but is a skill that should be learned. This is the easiest way to increase typing speed.

Consider yourself driving a four wheeler. If you have to look at your gear each time you changed it, it would definitely decrease your speed. So let typing also be an automatic response.

6. Online Chatting helps.

It is a great way to increase your typing skills. Make sure to use right punctuation though.

7. E-mail, online bulletin boards and forums

Write a lot of emails… good way to keep in touch with family and friends along with increasing your typing and vocabulary too.

Become a member of online forums and newsletters and contribute there too.

8. Type type and type

Do lots of typing. Explore different kinds of books, magazines, cover pages. All these not only help improve your typing of unfamiliar words but also adds to your other skills too.

Creating your own web page, blog, or online journal that you frequently update is another great way to practice your typing while also doing something productive at the same time.

9. Typing games

A great way to learn the position of all the keys on the keyboard is by typing games. Please refer to the tip 7 above having number free sites to increase typing speed also has games to practice for typing.

10. To err is human

Have a positive approach to your goal. Initially errors are too common. Don’t give up. Continue to strive till you gain perfection.

Consider Touch typing here.Your muscles need some time to adjust to the new techniques that you are learning.  The best and quickest way to do this is through repetition.

5 Online Tools to Test your Typing Speed

02/11/2014 12:26

If you are involved in a job that requires you to write loads of stuff – and if you want to improve your efficiency and work speed, check out the below following five online tools which will not only help you to test your typing speed but will also in the process help improve it.

10fastfingers is one of the simplest websites online to test and improve your typing speed. The website has a simple user-interface so using the service is easy and simple.

10FastFingers

You can see a list of words in the top box, with one highlighted. As you start, typing in the box below, the timer starts ticking and you have one-minute to write as many words as possible.

In the end, you are given a result with the number of words per minute you write, the keystrokes struck, correct and wrong words. You are also given a position among hundreds of thousands of people.

TypingTest is an online website that allows users to test their typing speed and improve alongside if they keep on testing themselves. As the quote goes, “practice makes perfect”.

TypingTest

Unlike other websites, TypingTest allows users to choose the language in which they want to test, which include – English, Dutch, Espanol, etc. You can also choose the time limit (from 1 – 3 minutes) and the context of text you wish to be tested on.

You are then given the text and the timer starts when you start typing. At the end of the result you are shown the result, and also compared with the average typist and also shown how much time you save in 1 week if you type at that speed for 10 hours a week.

Typing Test allows users to exercise their typing speed, improve it, and know how much they type per minute.

Learn2Type

You are given a context, which you have to write and click on the button that reads “Test Me”. Once you write the whole paragraph, you are shown the WPM count (Words per Minute) and your accuracy along with, if any, mistakes you made during the typing.

Speedtest is one of the simplest ways to test your typing speed online and improve it while you at it. Just visit the website and start typing the highlighted words – the more words you type in the time limit the more WPM (Word per minute) you have.

Speedtest

However, any mistake deducts your points from your overall CPM (Characters per minute).

You can even tweet your result to your friends and followers on Twitter to show them just how good you are, and to compare results.

Keybr has one of the best web layouts online, and stands out from the rest of the crowd from the hundreds of typing test websites.

Keybr

Keybr allows users to keep on typing until they eventually improve their typing speed – and while you are testing yourself, you are shown the speed at which you type and the number of errors you make.

One of the best features of the site is the graphical representation of the errors on the keyboard, which shows you what key you mistyped the most. This allows users to improve their typing speed.

The website also has a whole paragraph written below with tips and tricks to help you improve your typing speed, with the least errors.

There you have it folks, these five online websites will help you know what your average typing speed is and can help you improve those results if you test on a regular basis.

First blog

02/11/2014 04:51

Our new blog has been launched today. Stay focused on it and we will try to keep you informed. You can read new posts on this blog via the RSS feed.