Typing speed on mobile is catching up to keyboards

Curated by Paul Helmick

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  • Typing speed on mobile devices is catching up to that of physical keyboards
  • 10-19-year-olds can type about 10 words per minute faster than can people in their 40s
  • People spend an average of six hours per day on their mobile devices, so it’s no wonder they are skilled and have correspondingly fast fingers
  • Users typing with two thumbs achieved 38 words per minute on average, which is only about 25% slower than the typing speeds we observed in a similar large-scale study of physical keyboards
  • The best predictor of performance is whether you use one finger or two thumbs to type. Over 74% of people type with two thumbs, and the speed increase it offers is very significant. The study also found that enabling the auto-correct of words offers a clear benefit, whereas word prediction, or manually choosing word suggestions, does not.
  • The fastest speed the researchers saw on a touchscreen was a user who managed the remarkable rate of 85 words per minute.
  • If you want to try the typing-speed test yourself, you can have a go at http://typingtest.aalto.fi/

The findings appear in the proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services.

Source: Rebecca Lehmann for ETH Zurich