by Cheryl Sklar
I used to have an Android phone. When I changed over to the iPhone, which I like now, I really missed the ability to Swipe while typing or texting on my phone. Swiping is also known as Gesture Typing and it lets you type on your phone’s virtual keyboard by swiping your fingertip from one letter to another.
While at a recent North Fulton Medical Group Management Association function, I noticed that Sheila Fox-Lovell, of Shandy Creative Solutions, was swiping on her phone. After my initial, “Aww, I miss swiping,” I realized that she was indeed, swiping on an iPhone. I got very excited when she showed me the free app that she has been using, TouchPal, which enables swiping on an iPhone (with iOS 8).
After you install the app, you’ll notice that your keyboard looks a little different than your original iPhone keyboard – but not much. This is because you will be actually installing a separate, special keyboard – much like you would when you use Emojis – incidentallly, here’s one of my favorite emojis:
The iPhone recognizes TouchPal as a new “language. ”
Go to Settings > General > Keyboard. Under Keyboards, click Add Keyboard and then choose TouchPal. Then turn on Allow Full Access. You will need to allow full access to enable all the features. However, don’t worry, TouchPal Keyboard does not collect any personal information or upload any such information to the server.
As you slide your finger, TouchPal does its best to guess the word you want to type. The more you use it, the more it will learn to predict what you want. It just takes some patience and some practice (like anything).
One thing that Sheila warned me about this app was that it randomly freezes up her phone – so she just has to go out of what she’s typing and go back in. I, fortunately, have not had that happen yet and I’ve been using it a few weeks now. What I have noticed, however, is that it sometimes automatically switches itself back to the original mode of texting and I haven’t figured out why. So sometimes I may finish what I’m doing by simply tapping the way I used to type. This is only mildly annoying. To fix that issue, I just hop over to the app on my iPhone screen, click it (to make sure it’s open – or reawakened, as the case may be), and go back into the texting mode. Poof! It starts working again just fine.
Another small glitch is that it sometimes does not capitalize the first word of a new sentence after the period. It used to do that correctly so I’m not sure why that happened either. It will capitalize properly after other punctuation, like a ? or an !. When I turned off my phone and restarted it, it went back to working just fine again. These small issues still make it very much worth it for me to have my swiping back.
I find swiping not only fun but a real time-saver. I mean, those nano-seconds that it takes to actually pick up your finger really add up!
Cheryl Sklar With over 26 years of experience in sales, marketing and general coordination, Cheryl uses her varied organizational skills to enhance the behind the scenes workings of Network 1. She strives to help things run smoothly wherever she can.
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Network 1 Consulting is a 17-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA. We become – or augment – the IT department for law firms and medical practices. Our IT experts can fix computers – but what our clients really value are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms. This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly. We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.