Typing iPad's biggest weakness

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Bodhi395, May 18, 2010.

  1. Bodhi395 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    I know the iPad has a number of flaws and weaknesses, such as no central file system, no printing, and incompatibility with many websites. However, I think the iPad's biggest weakness as a computing device is the difficulty in using it to type. While most of the other weaknesses are software and can be addressed in the future, the ability to type properly on the iPad is a hardware issue and can never be fully overcome.

    I think for me, the main difficulty is not so much the actual typing of letters, which while difficult, one can begin to get use to it. I think the main problem is viewing and editing what you have typed.

    The big problem is when you begin to type, automatically half your screen is obscured by the keyboard that pops up. This relegates most text to a much smaller section on the top of your screen. It sometimes reminds me of those old word processors that had 3 or 4 line screens on them. You end up not being able to see most of your document. Then when you want to quickly navigate through the document, its hard to scroll with that keyboard in the way, and while you can get rid of it, that takes time to keep popping the keyboard up and down.

    Also, while the copy/paste is a noble effort on Apple, I find it hard to use and no where close to as accurate and easy as using a mouse. I find it takes a few tries to line it up correctly for it to select the text I want. It also seems slow popping up the select button or copy and paste buttons.

    Another thing is moving text around the document is seemingly impossible, just given the nature of the touch screen. And having no arrow buttons makes things very difficult.

    Overall it just is not an ideal user interface for typing, and I don't see how it could ever be, even if it was improved. While I love the form factor of a flat touch screen device, I can't ever seeing it beat typing on a notebook with a physical keyboard.
  2. huskerchad macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    You're right. It's not a great device for content production. It's a great device for content consumption.
  3. smotheredhope macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2009
    Wow. Really? I type 60 wpm on this thing and made an entire presentation plus 13 page quarterly statement on this thing as fast as I could have done on a desktop. The copy and paste is simple as is pointing to any place in a sentence. Maybe it's your fat slow fingers? J/k :)
  4. Macjames macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    Yorkshire, England
    I wrote a short story in Pages! Typing is a dream in landscape compared to what I thought it might be like.
  5. lilo777 macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2009
    Re-read the original post. The guy pointed out that the main problem is not with key clicking per se but with reviewing and navigating the document while typing. Maybe your presentation did have the 13 pages but what was its quality?
  6. Dogpilot macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2010
    You know, I can actually type faster on the iPad than my Macbook Pro. I think using the really crappy keyboards on aircraft and their really poor user interface keyboards on the nav systems flat panels have made me a better two finger hunt and peck artist than touch typist (which would never be an adjective anybody would have applied to me).

    I do have to agree the naving around the doc with the magnifying circle is a bit awkward. I miss the arrow keys to back and forth one letter on a word at a time. The aim of the circle is a little jumpy for my taste.
  7. smotheredhope macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2009
    Re-read my response. I touched on the editing aspect.

    Yes it was quality. I'd upload it be the stockholders may be pissed. Lol
  8. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
    What is the problem with making the keyboard go away while looking at the document. It is easy enough. The iPad was a compromise in size and would have been much more easy to produce if it could have been bigger but I like it just the way it is!

    Apple could not make everyone happy and the iPad was never meant to replace your laptop. The keyboard was a pleasant surprise to me at how well it worked and from seeing how the supply of iPads are out, I would say most agree with me and most others here.
  9. Bodhi395 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    I agree, there really is no other good way to implement a keyboard or typing on a device such as this, at least nothing I can think of. So I'm not really criticizing Apple for the typing being a weakness, but just pointing it out as a fact of life for this type of device.
  10. lilo777 macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2009
    The supply constraints obviously have nothing to do with the quality of the keyboard and suitability of iPad for content creation. Most (all?) people buying iPads use them for content consumption not creation.
  11. Seamaster macrumors 65816


    Feb 24, 2003
    Sure it can. Buy a Bluetooth keyboard.

    But Chad nailed it:

  12. FlashHead macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2010
    The beautiful part is that you can pair a bluetooth keyboard and solve all these problems when you need to do some serious typing. But, at the same time, you're not stuck carrying around a bulky, heavy keyboard ALL the time if you don't find you have that need. Having the option is one of the big pluses of the iPad, not a flaw.
  13. hsotnicam8002 macrumors 6502


    Mar 13, 2008
    United Kingdom
    The high IQ guy stands out! ;)
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If it is to be a viable computer alternative in schools, hopefully the note taking apps adjust a bit or a nifty clamshell case with keyboard and stand appear.

    As soon as the apps are there, I can see Apple pushing this in the education market as "the product" for schools.
  15. normwood macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2008
    In a house...duh!
    Not to pick a nit....but the iPad doesn't type. The operator types. It is all a matter of getting used to the layout of the keys and finding a method that works for the operator. It took me quite a while to get used to typing accurately on my iPhone...but now I'm pretty speedy. Just takes time and practice.

  16. HelloMikee macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2009
    San Diego
    I'm rarely in a good position to type with the iPad... as someone mentioned, the media consumption part of the iPad is what draws some people in, like myself.

    But I have sat with the iPad in a proper position and typed rather well. Even holding with two hands in portrait mode, I'm able to thumb type pretty good.

    Most of the time though, I'm in bed reading things I couldn't get to, news, rss feeds, blogs, videos, books, etc.

    Oh and there's games that I love playing before I sleep hah. Angry Bird FTW.
  17. supercaliber macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2007
    Completely agree with the OP.

    Anyone that loves typing on the iPad is nuts or a completely lost fan boy. Guy that says he types 60 words a minute is a complete liar. Please post a video. There is simply no way to consistently type fast. Fits and start at best.

    Grabbing text with the touch screen is a lesson in futility. It is comedy nothing more. Grab, release, grab, grab, grab, release, doh, grab other corner, release, try and grab other corner, doh, doh, doh!!! give up and start thumbing through espn pages....

    The reality here is sad because while some of you love the touch screen for editing most would prefer a mouse. And apple could have supported one so easily, why didn't they?????, money!!!. They don't want to cannibalize their notebook sales so they intentionally made it a tween-er device. Not an iTouch and not a macbook, its somewhere sadly in between.

    So while its great for kicking it in the bed reading, surfing and playing games, the iPad will never be a solid text editing tool. Mark my words Apple will never support the mouse on the iPad. NEVER.
  18. mklnk macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2010
    Once I learned how to use the magnifying glass cursor, I didn't miss the arrow keys any more. I type a little slower on the ipad because I don't yet trust the autocorrect/autocomplete and I always watch to see what it suggests or what words it automically changes against my will. For example, I prefer the UK spellings of favour, colour, etc, and I'm worried if I just set the localization to UK, I might wind up with more than I bargain for. I'd hate to type french-fries and find it was auto-corrected to chips.

    I think that all of these people repeating the Content-creation-versus-content-consumption cliche don't know much about content creation in the first place, or at least the not kind of content one creates by typing. I suppose the fact that they're perpetuating the cliche at all should've tipped me off to that first.

    For all of the other complainers, I'm picturing all of those infomercials that remind us of the "hard" way to do things while showing us clips of people utterly failing to cut paper with a pair of scissors or dry a spill with a basket full of towels. I'm sure there will be something AS-SEEN-ON-TV to help all you sausage fingered cyclopses edit your forum posts soon enough. Maybe a smartphone with a full keyboard on top and a trackball on the bottom of it so you can just roll the whole thing around like a mouse.
  19. smotheredhope macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2009
    nope. sorry. not lying.
  20. Shoesy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2007
    Colchester, UK.
    Does the apple case make a big difference? Gonna be getting mine on Friday week - Cant wait!
  21. gostan macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2002
    West of Boston
    My mother made me take typing in HS in 1965. It was a good decision. My GF's in college enjoyed knowing a guy who could type. Tying on the IPad is difficult.

    Who cares. IPad is not for typing.

    & Typing outside of work is Boringgggggg:confused:

  22. Maaz macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2010
    I've typed over 30 papers this semester for my English class using pages on the iPad. Everything is perfect, with the pages update to allow the toolbar in landscape, i have no complaints about pages. And I type 72 wpm on the iPad. So I guess iam just lucky it works perfectly for my needs.
  23. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    I suppose if you are a "hunt and pecker," you will feel right at home on the iPad. I'm a touch typist. It's not home for me.

    I struggle along with the vitual keyboard when I only have a few words. But if I am writing my life story, I fire up to the BT keyboard.

    It's not only faster and more accurate, but it has arrow keys -- as in "Wow! Look how easy it is to move the cursor!" and "Ooo! Shift + arrow selects text!" and "Hey! Option + arrow jumps from word to word." and "Cool. Command + x,c,v can cut/copy/paste text!"

  24. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    I don't get to use the iPad as much as I'd like. When I do get to use it, I'm usually outside taking a break from work, and standing. Typing while standing with the iPad is very awkward. Sometimes I'll just pull out the iPhone instead if I have to type anything longer than a couple of lines.
  25. lilo777 macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2009
    Could you post a video of how you manage to type that fast? A lot of people would benefit by learning your technique.

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