April 22, 2024


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iOS 16 quietly added native Dvorak keyboard support, to the delight of strangers like me

iOS 16 quietly added native Dvorak keyboard support, to the delight of strangers like me

Here’s a fun feature of iOS 16 that has almost completely fallen off our radar: native support for the Dvorak keyboard layout. Ars Technica mentioned This week, Apple’s improved touch typing keyboard can now be selected alongside traditional QWERTY, AZERTY, and QWERTZ layouts. Previously, Dvorak on iOS was only available via a file External physical keyboardor third party software.

Although I’ve been on the registry as a proud Dvorak user for over a decade, when it comes to touch keyboards, I’ve always been happy with QWERTY. The main benefit of Dvorak is the way the workload is shared equally between all of your fingers when touch typing. It places all the vowels on the left side of the keyboard’s home row, and all of the most frequently used consonants are on the right, making them faster and easier to access.

But on a smartphone keyboard, you are not using all your fingers, you are typing only with your thumb. And if anything, I think this makes it useful for QWERTY to oddly separate all the most frequently used characters. Less chance of a thumb clash, you know?

Dvorak is available alongside the most commonly used layouts such as QWERTY.
Shot by John Porter/The Verge

As you can see from the screenshot at the top of this story, Dvorak’s layout looks a bit weird on iOS due to missing keys on the top left of the keyboard. This is because those usually deal with the punctuation (apostrophe, comma, and period, to be exact) that the iPhone keyboard hides in a submenu. After trying it for five minutes, I think I’ll stick with QWERTY, but feel free to give it a try if you have more patience.

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Still, it’s nice to see the iPhone get a little love for Dvorak, and Steve Wozniak seems to agree. Ars It indicates that the co-founder of Apple has used the layout for about thirty years, after Dvorak learned from Everyone’s favorite fake typography teacher On a trip to Tokyo in the early 1990s. He said, “I spent 5 hours learning it and never looked at a QWERTY keyboard again.” Ars. “That’s all it takes.”

To try Dvorak on iOS 16, open your iPhone’s Settings, then go to General & Keyboard and finally “Keyboards”. Select your language, and you will see Dvorak listed as one of the available layout options.