Okâ€¦ itâ€™s rather unlikely that they even saw my old story, but back in June of 2010, I wrote an article titled â€˜Iâ€™m dying for Dial Keys on the iPadâ€™, the gist of which was that Apple should add a split-keyboard to the to make it thumb-typeable. I used Dial Keys, an old UMPC program, to make a mockup of a split keyboard on the , but it wonâ€™t be until nearly a year later, with the coming iOS 5 update, that Apple will add such a keyboard to the iPad.
I remember prior to the announcement of the first-generation iPad, back when it was just rumors and speculation, I was hoping that if Apple released a, theyâ€™d do something that would improve the typing experience on such a large device.
Apple totally revolutionized touchscreen typing with the originalby equipping it with a much more responsive capacitive touchscreen, and programming a very smart on-screen keyboard (OSK). I wanted Apple to revolutionize large touchscreen typing in the same way that they did on the smartphone, but unfortunately that didnâ€™t happen at launch and we were stuck with a sub-par typing experience on the device (I think I can type faster on my than on the iPad).
Once I got the iPad in my hands, I was still wishing for a form of split-keyboard because thumb-typing in portrait required an annoying stretch, and thumb-typing in landscape was near impossible (which meant you couldnâ€™t effectively type without setting the iPad on some surface)
Apple is finally adding a split keyboard to the iPad with the iOS 5 update (coming this fall).
One of my complaints with theis that typing in portrait is annoying because the keyboard is at the bottom of the screen, then youâ€™ve got the weight of the rest of the device working as leverage against your hands (this is exacerbated by the 16:9 ratio of the device). Needless to say, holding all that weight while typing with your thumbs is not an ideal experience. Placing the keyboard toward the center of the screen, I thought as I used the , would make the weight a non-issue.
The split keyboard on the iPad will work in both landscape and portrait modes, and can be split or recombined on-the-fly without having to dig through the Settings app.