Thursday, April 12, 2012

iPad again: keyboards

Continuing on from my last iPad post...

First off I got ia writer, which syncs with Dropbox, and opened it to find... Arrow keys! I think I actually screamed. I had resigned myself to no arrow keys, and then there they were! And on top of that, a dedicated apostrophe button! Awesome.

So I tried it out, taking my iPad out into the big wide world and writing a small chunk of story. Great! Very happy! Then I wanted to make some notes in another document, so I opened one and did a few notes, then tried to get back to my main work. Catastrophe! I'd been working in a Dropbox file, and because I was offline and had closed it down by opening the new document, I could no longer access it. So what happened to the work I did on it? I guess next time I'll work on a local file....

As long as I work locally or on iCloud, everything goes fine. So I have been doing that, until I figure out the Dropbox thing...

Typing on the iPad is actually not as hard as you think, and you can just about touch-type. Ia writer has the best keyboard layout, but you can only use it when you're actually in the app so it doesn't help for typing web addresses or using Blogsy (as I am now). So I've had to get my fingers to memorise two different types of iPad keyboard layout, on top of the three physical keyboard layouts I've trained them for (UK, US and French. Very useful for writing French essays). And sometimes I get confused, jabbing at buttons that aren't there.

A touch keyboard does mean you hit bad keys much more than you would on a normal keyboard, but the spell check for the most part does a reasonable job of correcting things (until it doesn't, and you have to go back without using arrow keys and fix it...).

My biggest problem at the moment is not hitting the space bar, but hopefully that will fix itself in time.

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