Typing on the iPhone

Daringfireball posted this link today. It’s a challenge to type “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” while riding shotgun in a rally car going full tilt, using either an iPhone or an ASUS netbook. Rather than expect you to go watch the video (which is fairly long), let me just tell you the outcome — the iPhone won so easily it flabbergasted me. Basically, because the guy was typing correctly spelled words, the iPhone autocorrected everything to perfection, and the only mistake was the guy typed the words in the wrong order. On the netbook he couldn’t type a single recognisable word.

Now, I don’t particularly enjoy typing text on my iPhone (if you get a four word email from me, you know where I typed it), but I will say that in landscape mode I find the keyboard actually very good (it pretty much sucks in portrait mode, and I struggle constantly with the autocorrect to type in names, etc.). What this really points to is the advantage, in this particular situation, of (a) having autocorrect, and (b) being able to use a device single-handed. If the finger you’re typing with is on the same hand you’re holding the device inwhen in a rally car, I suspect that’s a huge proportion of the advantage.

But this is post-hoc rationalization. I fully expected the netbook to win easily.