Uninterested in QWERTY? Beginning with iOS 16—which launched final month—the Apple iPhone now supports the 86-year-old Dvorak keyboard layout natively. Beforehand, Dvorak typing aficionados wanted to put in a third-party app to make use of the layout.
Dvorak makes use of a unique association of keys than the commonplace QWERTY layout with the intention of enhancing typing velocity and ergonomic consolation. August Dvorak and William Dealey invented the layout in 1936 after finding out the deficiencies of the QWERTY typewriter keyboard, which was already 60 years outdated at that time.
Apple and Dvorak have an attention-grabbing historical past. The corporate first included native Dvorak help for its computer systems within the US mannequin of the Apple IIc, launched in 1984. It included a particular “Keyboard” button that might swap the layout between QWERTY and Dvorak logically, however the bodily keycaps would must be re-arranged to match if you happen to wanted a label reference.
Curiously, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (“Woz”) discovered Dvorak round 1993 and by no means seemed again (he wasn’t concerned with Dvorak on the Apple IIc, he says). In an e mail to Ars Technica, Woz recounted how he first discovered Dvorak. “I used to be on a flight to Tokyo and I ran Mavis Beacon teaches typing in Dvorak mode,” he wrote. “I spent 5 hours studying it and by no means once more checked out a QWERTY keyboard. That’s all it took. My son had already converted efficiently, and discovered Dvorak in a short while and shortly received as much as the identical velocity he typed in QWERTY in a few week.”
To make use of Dvorak in your iPhone, first be sure to’ve upgraded to iOS 16 or later. Subsequent, open the Settings app and navigate to Normal > Keyboard > Keyboards, then faucet your language and choose “Dvorak” from the listing. The subsequent time you pull up the keyboard, you will see the completely different layout, with a house row that reads “AOEUIDHTNS”—precisely how August Dvorak would have favored it.
It is value noting that Dvorak’s purported velocity enhancements come from utilizing 10 fingers to kind, so if you happen to’re simply studying Dvorak, you won’t see any velocity enhancements over QWERTY when typing with two fingers, similar to your thumbs. Nevertheless, longtime Dvorak customers will probably be happy.
“What I favored most about Dvorak then was the sensation of utilizing much less vitality together with your fingers,” Woz mentioned. “Since iPhones got here, I needed to resort to QWERTY however it wasn’t in my mind anymore. I had been a really quick QWERTY typist my complete life, however now it’s gone. I’ve to have a look at the letters on my iPhone.”
Ars knowledgeable Wozniak of the native Dvorak help in iOS 16, and he replied, “OMG! Thanks very a lot!”