Co.Design

This Dead-Simple Idea Could Fix iPad’s Lousy Typing

How do we know? Because (boom) the demo is running on an iPad!

It’s hard to write elegantly on the iPad, to hone your word choice with an edge of only the strongest, most specific verbs. Heck, it’s hard just to type a proper curse word without autocorrect getting in the way. But what if it could be different? What if iPad typing were as easy as real typing?

Hooper Selection is an iPad interface concept by Georgia Tech student Daniel Hooper. He’s so excited about the project that he not only coded and filmed the demo software; he built a Wikipedia page on the technique (the poor man’s copyright for the digital age).

You can’t really blame Hooper’s gusto, because just like Apple’s own pinch-to-zoom, once you see the idea, it’s hard to get it out of your mind.

It’s a simple as this: You type normally at all times. But if you want to move the cursor, just drag your finger around the keyboard, and the cursor moves with it. If you want to drag faster, you use two fingers to move the cursor. And, most usefully, if you want to highlight a word to edit it, just hold shift while cursoring and you’ll highlight it.

Remember how long Apple took to integrate copy and paste (and it still stunk)? Well here’s a better idea: Use Hooper Selection, mixed with two-finger and three-finger taps. Two fingers copies. Three fingers pastes. Because truly, with the incredible intelligence within the iPad’s touch screen, why are we still worrying about hitting the right keys when we could be revolutionizing the keyboard altogether?

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48 Comments

  • EllenHunt

    Some of us have missing parts of fingers so our fingernails hit funny. It's bad enough destroying keycaps. I would have to replace my touch screen every 3-6 months. 

    What about women with long fingernails? 

    What about blind people wanting to type? Many can touch-type. 

  • MaimsJeweler

    Why hold shift? One finger to move, two to select sounds much more useful than having two different scroll speeds.

    In any case, this idea is fucking radical and I want it.

  • Crazypanda

    Too bad Apple will never implement this because they'll never admit that someone else came up with a better idea :/

  • vudutu

    My incredible wife calls it "Clairnoyance" she also coined "Political Tourettes" this is when she screams at faux news on tv.

  • Slightly_Dum

    This is kinda old, been using it for quite sometime now... just need to jailbreak your device... and download SWIPESELECTION.  

  • none

    This functionality is available through jailbreak. Great idea but not new. That being said, it needs to be added out of the box.

  • Sigurbergur Beggi Árnason

    This is a must in the Ipad for it to keep pushing forward.... listen APPLE to what your customers a saying and asking for usability in your gizmoezzzz

  • Poop

    So you have to beg apple to fix it. Or just get and android device for less money and download a different keyboard. Apple will probably add it to the next iPad so you have to buy a totally new product to get the features. 

  • P.F. Bruns

    Clearly you pay no attention at all to how iOS upgrades work.  I have an original iPad, and it was easy and free to upgrade it to iOS version 5.1.1, which is the current edition.  It's very rare that a software upgrade requires a new hardware product with Apple.  In fact, my nearly 6-year-old Macbook is also running the current version of OS X, which is version 10.7.4.  My experience is not only not unique, but I'd venture to say that it's pretty much universal among Apple users.  Please do research before commenting.