Whoever had the idea of putting a keyboard on a touchscreen was a sadistic maniac. Using your finger to pick out unfeelable keys that are barely wider than a human hair — seriously? Thankfully, the tech has improved somewhat nowadays, and with iOS 8, a whole raft of keyboard apps have arrived to save your badly frayed patience. Let me tell you about my personal favorite: Fleksy.
You see, I’ve long been a fan of Swype — an app that intelligently works out what you’re trying to say as you slide your thumb across the letters that form a word. Fleksy’s approach is similar, but far more precise; you type out the letters you want on a customized keyboard (which can have larger keys than Apple’s standard offering), and the app watches the “shape” of your taps. This allows it to make a more accurate guess of what you intended to write, and I have to say, it is freakishly accurate. Even when it does go wrong, you just swipe downwards across the keys, as if operating a scroll-wheel, to select the right auto-correction. You can swipe to backspace and access punctuation, too.
The description doesn’t quite convey the intuitiveness, I realize. But there’s a good reason why the guy who set the smartphone typing speed world record used this app. Here’s a look at the app in action…
Other notable features include support for 40 languages and numerous customization options (via $0.99 in-app purchases), but it’s worth bearing in mind that you need to be on iOS 8 to use this app. If you have up-to-date firmware, though, I’d definitely recommend giving the Fleksy method a try.
Fleksy ($0.99) is available now in the App Store.
Extra Time — Post It Plus
On the subject of productivity, Post-it — yes, the company which makes the colorful sheets of sticky paper — has just released a brilliant little utility app. In essence, you just point your camera at up to 50 notes full of doodles, and it instantly scans and stores them in digital form.
I’d be tempted to put these files into my Evernote account, but the Post-it Plus app does a fairly good job of keeping notes organized, in its own right. The whole service is free, as well, so I see no excuse not to start digitally archiving your penwork.
Post-it Plus (free) is available now in the App Store.