Designer Frank Costa uses his iPhone 6 Plus for lots of things, but he noticed that when typing on it one-handed, the anatomy of his thumb use wasn’t as ergonomic as it could be.
Costa decided to design a new kind of keyboard for the thumbs, one that would only need you to tap and then move your thumb a short distance away from wherever you tapped. This would require less stretch and — perhaps — less stress on the thumb joints.
“So, being a designer,” Costa writes on Medium, “I played with the idea of a keyboard thought (out) for the thumb. A keyboard requiring only a single tap and some short swiping to construct words and sentences.”
Shouting can be an important part of your internet experience. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Sometimes you just need to emphasize something. One of the best ways to do so when you’re texting is to make the words you really need to get across in all capitals. Or maybe you just want to shout at someone, and an ALL CAPS sentence will certainly get that across for you.
Before now, I’ve always just deleted the word I was trying to emphasize and re-typed it after double-tapping the Shift key in iOS (for Caps Lock). Now, however, it looks like you can change the case of the word after you’ve typed it without deleting anything.
The new Typo Keyboard for the iPhone 6 was supposed to have fixed any infringement issues committed by its predecessor, but that is apparently not the case. This week BlackBerry filed another lawsuit against Typo, claiming the case maker “slavishly copied” its keyboard design “down to the smallest detail.”
Here’s a particularly exciting one, though: a keyboard which translates messages into other languages as you type. It does the opposite, too, which means that if you receive a text message in say, French, it can instantly translate it into English, or your choice of language. Neat, right?
Minuum is one of the many third-party keyboards for iOS 8. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
With iOS 8, iPhone and iPad owners for the first time ever can replace Apple’s default virtual keyboard with a third-party alternative.
Doing so — with keyboards made by SwiftKey, Swype, Fleksy and others — could vastly improve your touchscreen typing experience. Not only do some of these keyboards make typing easier, but they also boast innovative features, like the ability to type words using simple swipes instead of taps. Many of these keyboards are completely customizable, so you can set their size and color scheme to suit you.
If you haven’t already installed a third-party keyboard, you’re missing out on one of iOS 8’s best features. In this guide, first we’ll tell you about the best keyboards available from the App Store right now. We’ll also run through the features that make them unique, show you how you can customize them and make them work for you, and explain some important concepts, such as “Full Access.”
Many of us use a Bluetooth keyboard with our Mac or our iPad, but using the same keyboard with multiple devices can be a real pain in the neck, since Bluetooth doesn’t elegantly let you pair one accessory with multiple devices.
For a little while now, Logitech has been trying to massage away that pain with a series of keyboards that can switch between being paired with a Mac and iOS device, but Logitech’s new Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480 makes it easier than ever. And it has a built-in stand for your iPad or iPhone to boot.
Of all the apps that will benefit from custom keyboards in iOS 8, TextExpander by Smile Software is one of the more obvious. In case you’re unfamiliar, TextExpander allows you to create snippets of text and media that can be inserted anywhere with a quick keyboard shortcut.
“We’ve been hard at work since Apple announced the new and exciting extensions and custom keyboards available in iOS 8,” said Smilie in a preview of their new keyboard layout. “TextExpander touch 3, coming on the heels of iOS 8 this fall, includes a TextExpander keyboard which can expand snippets in any app on the iPhone or iPad, including built-in apps such as Mail and Safari.”
Cooking, charging, carrying and, uh, cufflinking. Yes, this week’s Gadget Watch is all about the c-word. We even have a cubic camera, a keyboard with a nipple (which doesn’t start with "C" but it’s close -- and clicky).
Tiny kitchen? Hatred of unitaskers? Try the OXO Goodgrips Silicone Collapsible Colander, a fold-flat colander that can be used to wash and drain food, and also to cook it – heat-resistant to 600˚F, it can be dropped in boiling water to quickly boil veggies, then dish-washed, collapsed and filed back on your shelf. $30
Who needs a standing desk when you can just drop the LIFT on top of the desk you already own? Sure, it might look a little like a crappy TV stand flipped upside-down, but it is in fact a smart desk with cable routing, a drink holder, a mousemat (!), tablet and phone docking slots, and even a dry-erase whiteboard. Plus the height can be configured to suit you. It’s also a lot cheaper than a standing desk, although not cheaper than my repurposed €40 workbench with sawn-off legs. From $248
Waterfield is on a roll this summer, and the Vertigo is the latest bag I want to sling over my shoulder. It’s a vertical notebook bag that looks and works a lot like Waterfield’s Franklin Tote. Inside the main zip-open chamber are pockets set into a golden lining, with a magazine pocket on the outside for even more gear. Hand and shoulder straps are made from soft-an-strong seat belt webbing, and you can choose from black ballistic nylon or waxed canvas, in two colors and three sizes (from iPad Air to MacBook Pro). From $129.
These bike-chain cufflinks are frikkin awesome. They’re also probably a little too heavy for anything other than the most stiffly starched of double-folding shirt cuffs, but who really cares? They’re also pretty easy to make if you have access to an old chain and a chain splitter – and if you’re even reading this it’s pretty certain that you do. Thankfully they’re not too pricey, although the shipping from Australia might be. $50
It’s hard to express how much I love my clicky Filco Majestouch keyboard, but I’ll give it a go. “Nyyyyhhhhaaah!” That’s the sound of a man’s “exit push,” as it were. But I’m willing to forego my Cherry MX Blue key switches for a while in order to try out the awesome Endurapro, which uses buckling spring switches (like the old IBM Model M keyboard). Not only that, but it even has a red nipple and mouse buttons, so you don’t need to reach out like 5 feet to the right, over the cursor block and number pad, just to reach your mouse. £99
I’m skeptical of buying a bike lock off Kickstarter, but I appreciate clever new design, and the Vier is certainly clever. It’s like two U-locks combined, with twin locking bars and dual side shafts. This lets it collapse down into a small package, but it also means you have to fasten two separate locks, one on each cylinder. $80
The Biolite KettleCharge was invented when somebody put a TV remote on top of a giant pub ashtray and something clicked in their brain. The result is a kettle that boils water and simultaneously charges your USB device (the 10-watt output will even fast-charge iPads). The kettle has a thermoelectric generator in its base, which uses the difference in temperature between the hot fire/stove beneath and the cold water above to create a current. But all you need to know is that you can make you morning coffee and charge your iPhone at the same time. $150
This cute cubic camera is a lifelogger with a Polaroid label. The 1080p, 6MP camera shoots wide (124-degree) stills or video and has a built-in mounting magnet in the base. It can also connect to various mounts (tripod, bike) and even slide into an equally cute waterproof case. When I see a lifelogger camera I just quail at the responsibility of organizing all those hours of footage, but a stronger person might enjoy the fact that they can gather hours of boring video for just $100.
Grovemade’s beautiful tray not only holds your Apple aluminum wireless keyboard, it also converts the useless gap underneath into a handy storage space. Better still, that space is sculpted into compartments, with space for spare AA batteries (three of ‘em), paperclips (a piece of stationery that is now only used for ejecting SIM trays and resetting routers) and – LOL – business cards. Price? $59
The original Typo keyboard for the iPhone racked up quite a few column inches (or whatever the blogosphere equivalent might be) after it was revealed that none other than Ryan Seacrest had invested $1 million in it, shortly followed by BlackBerry filing a lawsuit against it, claiming that it was stealing the company’s trademark keyboard.
Well, the Typo is back — and apparently better than ever — thanks to the new Typo 2 keyboard, which is currently available for pre-order. Costing $99, the iPhone case essentially adds the functionality of a BlackBerry keyboard to your existing iPhone, although hopefully without looking so much like a BlackBerry that it provokes further legal action.