The iPad's soft keyboard has been caught failing to pass key presses to applications, introducing errors and letting the typist take the fall. The iPad's on-screen keyboard indicates a successful press by turning the key grey, but Reg reader Dave Addey filmed his typing in slow motion and established that a decent proportion of …
Reminds me of the stories from the earliest typewriter days
When the first mechanical typewriters were invented, competent typists could jam the mechanisms with the speed of their work.
Therefore Mr Scholes invented the QWERTY keyboard layout to avoid jamming the key mechanism. A partially intended consequence was that typists were slowed down and thus rendered less efficient than they might otherwise have been.
Now we have a sub-optimal keyboard layout represented on screen, but superficial factors appear to necessitate dropping of keystrokes. Argh - it's deja vu all over again!
"Now we have a sub-optimal keyboard layout represented on screen, but superficial factors appear to necessitate dropping of keystrokes. Argh - it's deja vu all over again!"
Obvious solution. Randomise the keyboard layout after each keystroke. That should slow down those pesky typists!
The keyboard does register the key each time, but sometimes it does not get into the document. So it is not that the keyboard is treating a key-press as noise. My guess would be that a buffer is too short or there is a race condition.
It is difficult to imagine a situation in which this could be an isolated hardware problem unique to a single iPad.
A race condition would show up differently on the iPad vs iPad 2 given differences in CPU configuration and performance.
Not sure which of the iPads was used for the video.
It's really N key roll over that is missing
If you press a key, then another (while the first is still pressed) and the system sees both keystrokes, that is 2 key roll over. If you can press three keys and the system sees all three keys, that's N key roll over.
Real keyboards debounce the keystrokes *and* provide N key roll over. You should on a mechanical keyboard be able to slide you finger across the row and not miss a keystroke. But you will miss keystrokes if you have only 2 key roll over.
I think predictive also means it guesses what key you might be typing
I remember reading somewhere that it predicts what you might be typing next and makes some keys have a larger hit area (without changing the display).
Maybe the problem's with that algorithm?
"You keep using that word. I do no think it means what you think it means" Watch the video. Specifically watch as "image" ends up on the screen. You see the "I" flash then the space bar flash very briefly but is not passed to the app then the "h" flashes and again is not passed to the app. That's not anecdotal.
I couldn't watch the video
So it's anecdotal evidence to me
It is anecdotal, with video of his experience while he's using it. Other people are not reporting the same problem.
Until there is a definitive test showing the problem to be systemic, it remains anecdotal.
From the 3rd definition on dictionary.com
based on personal observation, case study reports, or random investigations rather than systematic scientific evaluation: anecdotal evidence.
iOS's autocorrect is piss-poor
It highlights the misspelled or unknown word in pink, and then you have about 142 milliseconds to react before your next keystroke touches down and it takes that inevitability as approval to make the randomly-insane auto-replacement. Typically this happens most often with extremely long words, thereby making each instance a pain.
Next issue is that it appears to sometimes be unaware of its own cursor position. It'll make auto-changes (e.g. auto uppercase in the middle of a word correction) that can only be explained by some code segment being cursor-position-oblivious.
These glitches stand out because most of their code is pretty slick. Try the PlayBook soft keyboard for comparison...
Thanks for the link
ROTFLMAO - I'm glad I own a phone with real keyboard :D
I'm with those that haven't noticed a problem, and I've typed some relatively long documents - a few pages rather than a few paragraphs without any real problem.
Maybe the BOFH installed his own kind of predictive texting on this one
I remember there was an episode where he replaced the standard spell checker with one that introduced errors.
On a serious note, I think he did that on the machines some of my students are using at the moment.
Reminds me of the anecdote
A friend of a friend story, but nevertheless amusing, a biochemistry student had finished preparing their PhD thesis and was ready to send it to the printers. A 'friend' decided it would be amusing to do a find-and-replace of the word 'organism' with 'orgasm', throughout the thesis. This wasn't noticed until after submission of the thesis.
Now that would true BOFH style
or maybe PFY
In the early days of viruses there was one that measured your typing rate and when you went past some threshold it just swapped two random characters.
True evil genius...
@ PC Paul
somehow that one never affected me
Necer affevted me either.
Sort of agree
It seems fine when typing slower, but speed up and the errors creep in disproportionately. And it's usually a letter missing, when auto-correct then picks up and changes the whole word. So instead of fixing one letter, you have to delete and re-type the whole word.
Missed keys I can accept; I can slow down afterall. But I had (see???) that damned auto-correct with a vengance!
I think speed is the key. Same thing happens on the iPhone.
Auto-correct/predictive will always have flaws
Even back in the day of texting by numbers on mobile phones. I remember once having a saucy conversation with a girl go sour when I suggested to "Kick her Puppy"
But thats a story for another time children
"Kick her puppy"
I guess a 'dual' was totally out the question then?
What an aunt!
El Reg contacted Apple, which had not responded at the time of publication.
HAHAHAHHA stop it, you're killing me.
"British schools don't teach typing any more. They stopped when typing pools disappeared – which was ironically just in time for the generation who most require the ability to be denied it – so the majority of computer users can't type properly at all"
First course we did in the computer lab at school was touch typing on our BBC model B machines. Probably the most useful thing I learnt at school, although I am still not what would be classed as a typist.
O frakkin sheet! No wate .... i dont own any Aple produtc. Whew!
Abysmal two-finger typing detected
I'd imagine this must be even more of a problem for someone who can actually type.
When I was evaluating my options for tablets I would go to HMV in Islington at lunchtime and spend a little time playing with each of the Android tabs and the iPad.
One thing that I immediately found strikingly obvious was that often the keyboards did not seem to pick up my key presses when typing quickly. I called the shop assistant over and asked if they really were this bad. He laughed and told me if i picked up the tablet and put it on something else, it'd work fine - I did this, putting it down on a cardboard box and low and behold, it picked up every key press with no delay. This happened on ALL of the tablets.
It turns out this is a problem with capacitive touch screens and interference. In HMV they put all of their tech on this large metal bench, alongside countless other bits and bobs like speakers and laptops. When the tablet is laid flat on the desk, the interference screws up the touchscreen.
Incidentally, i ended up buying an iPad and can touch-type like nobodies business on it with no problems at all.
The greying of the key does NOT mean that the keypress is taken. It means that if you raise your finger now this key will be taken. Sliding your finger off an UI element before raising your finger is the iOS way of cancelling a tap in progress. Happens easily if you're trying to type fast and not very accurate.
Either this or there are iPads with glitches. I don't have any more keys lost with iPads than with other touchscreens.
There's really no "fault" here, that's the way it has worked since the first iPhone.
Another Apple non-story in The Reg, as if the rumour ones weren't enough, and they wonder why Apple doesn't reply to them.
Does seem to elicit a lot of premature ejaculation amongst a segment of the commentards though.
I can't recreate it other than when *I* make a mistake... the guy probably works for Sumsong [sic]
Works for a rubbish typist
I am a rubbish typist, using two fingers on one hand and three on the other. It works pretty well for me.
The predictive text/spelling is sometimes a bit strange - If I type in "iz" instead of "is" it returns "in", so obviously its mind-reading abilities are a bit naff... Typed on an iPad 1.
This is a conflict between
expectations for keyboards versus pointing devices (mice).
The finger is the replacement of the mouse as far as touch screens are concerned.
Hence, mouseDown and mouseUp events. As any fule snows, they do different things.
Hence, pick up your fingers when you are typing.
Everyone with even the slightest interest in how things actually work, especially how user interfaces work, will know that even with a mouse a button on the screen is only "clicked" when you release the mouse button and not in the moment you press it. Keep it pressed down and nothing happens. Move the mouse pointer off the button while keeping the mouse button pressed and you can release it then without the button actually firing. Exactly this is happening in this video.
With such touchscreen keyboards a much better mental model of what's actually happening is one of "pulling" the keys instead of "pressing" them. Imagine the keys being gluey and you fire them by touching and pulling them off the screen. Try this and you won't have lost keys anymore.
(And I find it telling that the super-smart "Apple users are iSheep" self-proclaimed geeks seem to have never thought about how such things work)
"pulling" the keys
>(And I find it telling that the super-smart "Apple users are iSheep" self-proclaimed geeks seem to have never thought about how such things work)
Ever wondered why physical keyboards don't work by "pulling" the keys?
Didn't think so. You should.
But this is not a physical keyboard is it?
Maybe you should wonder why they work differently.
No it's not a physical keyboard. Still, given the way our hands are made, it is much, much, much faster to push a keyboard key than to pull it*. Our fingers are (individually) designed to push. To pull you need several fingers and a movement of the arm. Plus, tapping down on the screen but thinking of it as if you were actually pullyng is not really very intuitive.
Note that this is not an argument against Apple but against the idiotic suggestion that people who understand how UI are made instinctively pull-as-they-push the keys and have no problem. Although I'm sure it significantly reduces the typing speed, thus getting rid of the problem.
*And pulling a virtual key on a touchscreen... well I'll let you try.
Typing on any tablet
is a bit rubbish I've found. I have a few (test various things on them for my job) and they are rubbish. I've not actually got any issues with the responsiveness or auto correct (which can be turned off on Android I think) it's the keyboard layout, it's the same as a standard keyboard but I usually have my tablet in my hand, laving either 1 thumb on each hand or one full hand to type. I would say something like the old Microsoft (i think) keyboard from a few years ago were it's split in two, half in one corner for the right thumb and obviously the rest for the left hand. It would take a while to get used to a new keyboard but texting was new a few years ago, it's now one of the most popular methods of communicating.
It's so tempting to rag on Apple, but the thing seems to be doing what it was designed to do. This guy just can't seem to pick up his fingers while he's typing, hence the errors. So the fault lies with the typist trying to use a touchpad the same way he would use a real keyboard. That's never going to work no matter how well the thing's designed.
Now autocorrect, that's a fail. I don't expect something like that to be perfect but Apples version of autocorrect seems to be worse than just having the misspelled words in your message.
The guy just doesn't know how to type on the iPad. Period. Idiot.
Not that big of a deal, change the way you type!