Swipe writing

“What, you write your blog on your PHONE?” someone asked me the other day. I do. Virtually every day. At first I hated it, but now I’m surprised I ever wrote on any other medium. I reckon I can write as quickly on my phone with one finger now than I can with two hands on a keyboard.

Ages ago, a man on the tube lost his balance and put his whole weight on my IPad in my bag, so I sent the catastrophically dented ruin off to the insurance guys that come free with my bank account. It was so buggered I thought I was quids in for a replacement. But that isn’t going to happen with bank account insurance…

I got it sent back just before I went to LA. No new iPad. Somehow they had straightened it, and hammered out the dent… But they’d done a bad job of it of course, and then put a pane of weak glass on top. Gradually the screen cracked with normal use until it began to speak madness to itselfb through a fucked touchscreen and four months after repair it was unusable. I tried another claim. They wanted a specific date of the accident. I said it was a bad repair. It was outside the official three month window for bad repairs being sent back. I had to make a new claim. You only get so many claims. Etc etc. The long and short of it is I now have a very expensive brick in my bedroom, and I write my blog on my phone. One day I’ll take the thing to iSmash and sell my firstborn for a bit of gorilla glass. Right now I’ve got better places to haemorrhage money.

I frequently have people stand near me and say “how the hell are you writing?” I’m using the swipe function of Google Keyboard. It is simultaneously brilliant and fucking unbelievably annoying. Some words it refuses to suggest no matter how many times you swipe them, and others are absurdly popular. A year ago the name “Wyeth” got added to the user dictionary of an old phone and every time I tried to write”when” it chose “Wyeth” and didn’t give “when” as an option. I don’t even know anyone with that name. God it was annoying. I only fixed it when I changed phones.

It works by running your finger consecutively through the letters in the words. You don’t have to be particularly precise most of the time. I’ve got my word per minute count very high now. I find the flowing movement allows it to run as my thoughts flow. I prefer the flexible loops to the definite stamp of a keyboard. But there are occasional arguments that slow the process down. For instance I will now demonstrate with absolute confidence that it won’t get the word “swipe” at normal speed first time. I will keep writing until it comes up, and if it happens first time I’ll style it out: sir door site swipe. 4th time. Which is annoying. But it’s only an issue occasionally, for words like swipe that are in relatively common configurations. You start to learn that if you want it to write those words, you have to slow down and hit each letter individually. The original app that brought this way of typing to me in the early noughties was called “Swype” but they vanished. Either they fucked up the patent or they sold the tech to Google Keyboard

Did I just write a tech blog? Well then. I think a beer to celebrate…

PS I just looked up Swype and it still exists. It costs .78p. I wonder if the reason I don’t have it anymore is because there’s a ticket price… I’m tempted to try it out. This one on Google… It can be annoying when it doesn’t suggest anything and just thinks it has the right word when it doesn’t.

Photo? Ummmm

I still haven’t got that habit. Clip art. It’s too late at night.wp-image-808136738



Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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