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High Speed How To: Slide To Type in iOS

It’s a term that’s been around for decades. A catchphrase often used by programmers and hardware makers to try and convince people that, no, this isn’t a mistake, it was designed to do that.  I’m talking, of course, of the phrase:

“It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.”

In this case though, it’s actually true. When iOS 13 was released, one of the most common questions we heard was “Why does the on-screen keyboard not work properly?” Keeping your finger on a letter for more than a second or two would result in VoiceOver shouting seemingly random words at you. Well, the fact is that this is indeed not a bug but a new feature of iOS.

Slide To Type is a new way to enter text using the standard iOS on-screen keyboard. Instead of having to find and type each letter of a word, with Slide To Type you simply slide your finger over the keyboard to the general position of the letter you want, and it will try to predict the word you are trying to type. It’s a technique often called gesture or pattern typing, that’s been around for awhile on other platforms and now it’s available in iOS. It’s also enabled by default, hence the understandable confusion from some users. But before you rush to disable the feature, take a listen to my quick guide, as once you know how it works, it can prove to be quite useful and speed up text entry while using the on-screen keyboard.


Shaun Preece View All

Co-host & audio producer on the Double Tap Canada radio show. Occasional contributor to Double Tap TV, full time shed resident.

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