The iOS Keyboard Is Fine

by Christopher Paul on December 5, 2012

Chris Bowler believes the iOS keyboard needs work. Specifically, he wishes it had more features like iA Writer, Byword, and others which have cursor arrows, common punctuation, and quoting buttons. I agree these features are valuable – I use them a lot. But I don’t feel the iOS keyboard needs these improvements; I don’t think it needs improvement at all.

I feel the iOS keyboard is just fine for average typing. If you’re a power iPad user, you’re already using iA Writer and like apps because that’s what power users do – use more powerful tools. Or, like me, you have a Bluetooth keyboard for your iPad. The average user wants simplicity. And the power users will never be happy with any inspiration Apple might get from these virtual keyboards. Fans of Byword won’t be happy, neither will fans of iA Writer. Complicating the iOS design is a no win situation for Apple and the app developers are better off having a distinguished product to separate themselves from.

This business of geeks, developers, or power users – bloggers who have a specialized writing workflow – wishing Apple would make incremental improvements to their products has to stop. If those users got their wishes, Apple’s devices would be a mess. That’s not to say Apple can’t improve things at all. But adding highly specialized rows to the virtual keyboard sounds like it will overly complicate things.

To me, for average tasks, the iOS keyboard is fine.

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