Landscape Vs Portrait Vs Writing Pad

One of the most requested features on the iPhone is the ability to type emails in landscape view. Somehow, this feature still hasn’t made it’s way into the 2.1 firmware. The stock keyboard on the iPhone can certainly do the job, but if your fingers aren’t those of a 10 year old, chances are you will either be relying often on the auto correct feature or the backspace key.

In this post, I will be doing a non-scientific mini test and compare typing times in both landscape (done via the $0.99 app Wide Email) and portrait views. To add to the mix, I will include the innovative app called “Writing Pad”. For those who haven’t used this free app yet, instead of “typing” the keys one by one, you slide your fingers along the keyboard and trace the letters of your word. Your word then types itself out automatically and you keep sliding along. It is quite amazing.

I will be typing out the following paragraph, which happens to be a true story by the way. I will also be using the auto correct/complete feature (in stock email and wide email) to assist in the typing.

Years ago, this flight attendant was serving some coffee by hand. Somehow she misses the cup and down goes the coffee, right into the guy’s crotch. Being fairly new and inexperienced, she runs back into the galley, grabs a few towels and sprints back into the cabin. Without much time wasted, she reaches the passenger and starts rubbing the towels against his nether regions. Perhaps thinking she had done good with the clean up, she looks up at the guy and then she realizes she had been rubbing the wrong passenger all along. Now that’s what I call service in hospitality! The moral of this story? One man’s pain is another man’s gain!

Slip and Slide

Slip and Slide

Wide Angle

Wide Angle

Some like it stock

Some like it stock

The results are as follows -1st and 2nd attempts- Note: I was typing at normal speeds and not trying to break any amateur typing records. Even if I had tried, I am sure there are those out there who could type faster on the iPhone with one hand tied to their backs.

  1. Portrait View            4m22s, 4m28s
  2. Landscape View       4m12s, 4m08s
  3. Writing Pad              5m23s, 4m50s

When I had set out to do this little test, I assumed that writing pad would win hands down. I had enjoyed using this app as it “seemed” faster composing emails by sliding your way through. Since words don’t appear until you have slid to the last letter of the word, a word can be completely wrong if your fingers traced through wrong letters along the way. So instead of banging away at the blurb, I found myself backtracking when the wrong word came up. Thus I would start tracing again, hoping I hit all the letters.

The results between portrait and landscape view didn’t vary a great deal. I found myself typing on average 10 to 20 seconds faster on landscape mode. The auto correct/complete feature found in both certainly reduced the amount of keys I had to hit.

Not only is it easier to type in landscape for obvious reasons (i.e bigger keys), but I find it much easier to hold the iPhone in this position. Like cradling a PSP, both thumbs can work their magic. The clear winner for typing emails with speed and accuracy is landscape mode. I was hoping Writing Pad would win simply for its cool factor, but it is not to be. Viva el Landscapo!

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