How fast are you able to type on a smartphone? Smartphones are undoubtedly convenient and easy to use. Over the past decade, most manufacturers have switched from using miniature keyboards to using touchscreen-based virtual keyboards. Unfortunately, though, many people still struggle to type quickly and efficiently on their smartphone. But a new study has potentially found a few ways for smartphone users to improve their typing speed.
Earlier this year, European researchers unveiled the findings of a study involving smartphone typing speed. For the study, researchers recruited tens of thousands of participants from across the world, all of whom were asked to complete a typing test. The participants would have to memorize a passage of text, followed by typing the text into a box — using both a keyboard as well as a touchscreen interface — shortly thereafter.
Sp, what did researchers find? For starters, researchers found that the number of fingers a participant used to type affected their touchscreen typing speed. Participants who typed using two fingers — typically two thumbs — were faster and more efficient than their counterparts who used just a single finger.
With two fingers, you can control both the right and left sides of your smartphone’s virtual keyboard simultaneously. If you only use a single finger, you’ll have to switch between the right and left sides of the virtual keyboard. As a result, using two fingers can improve your smartphone typing speed.
In addition to using two fingers, researchers found that participants typed faster on touchscreen devices when taking advantage of autocorrect. Nearly all smartphones, as well as other mobile devices, feature autocorrect. It’s a built-in feature in most mobile operating system that’s designed to improve typing accuracy and speed. With autocorrect enabled, you don’t have to constantly go back and manually correct misspelled words. Rather, you can tap or touch the respective word, followed by selecting the correct spelling.
What’s even more interesting perhaps is the fact that participants typed faster on smartphones than they did on traditional computers with physical keyboards. Many people assume that it’s faster to type on a physical keyboard, but according to this study, virtual keyboards on touchscreen devices offer faster typing.
“The typing speeds are surprisingly high on mobile, especially compared to the relatively slow speed people can type with on physical keyboards these days,” said the study’s lead author, Anna Feit. “The proportion of people who actually reach 100 words per minute is actually decreasing. Most people achieve between 35 and 65 words per minute.”