How to Text Faster on an Android Phone


An Android keyboard is less than perfect, to say the least. It’s arguably going to be a far sight better than most of the major competitor’s keyboards but that isn’t saying much. Does anyone actually look at Apple’s keyboard and think to themself, “yes, this is good”. No, they don’t. Or at least they shouldn’t.

One of the biggest problems many people tend to have with their phone’s keyboard is that they just don’t give you the ability to type fast enough. Errors run rampant and their predictive text/autocorrect are generally moronic to the point of utter frustration. But, they don’t have to be.

There are ways you can help speed up your typing abilities on your Android keyboard. And, thankfully, it isn’t even overly difficult. There is a wide array of options available to you so odds are there will be at the very least one solution that appeals to you in particular.

This article is going to cover all the ways that you can help yourself to text faster on an Android keyboard, from different typing techniques to software/hardware alternatives. By the end, you’ll be typing just as fast as you would on a regular keyboard. No, seriously, you will.

How to Text Faster on an Android Phone
How to Text Faster on an Android Phone

Why is Typing on an Android Keyboard so Slow?

Typing on any phone sucks, it’s just an unavoidable limitation of the technology we are using. Keyboards are getting better, don’t get me wrong, even comparing modern phone keyboards to the older blackberries or even flip phones shows a remarkable rate of development.

We have moved away from a tactile physical keyboard to an artificial one, we have even begun adding full tactile-ness to our keyboards to make them feel more “real”. It almost feels as if we have gone full circle and will soon be back to those iconic blackberry keyboards in no time at all.

Speed comes with comfort and ease of use. Phone keyboards are anything but easy to use. Each key is tiny, they have a very minor separation and input lag is so poor that you will often find the keys that you have pressed came out in an entirely random order. This is especially problematic for men in particular as we tend to have bigger hands, bigger fingers, yet equally small keys.

Unless you are looking very closely at which key you are pressing you are probably going to hit the wrong one anywhere from 20-30% of the time. Combined with the pre-installed predictive text that somehow manages to completely ignore any context and instead spits out a nonsensical alternative to your correctly spelled words, you will find that you take minutes to type what you might otherwise have done so in seconds.

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I assure you that you aren’t alone if you find typing on your Android keyboard, or any phone keyboard for that matter, intolerable beyond words. But you aren’t option-less – there are a plethora of ways you can speed up your typing.

How to Reduce Errors when Typing?

The biggest cause of errors are keys that are too small and predictive text that is too damn stupid. If you told me that predictive text had been designed with the intention of being as poor as possible I would believe you. It’s trash. So, that’s where our first move lies.

If I was you I would turn off predictive text and never look back. You would fairly assume that it might make your life easier, but it probably doesn’t. Of course, you know better than I do regarding your own efficiency so it very well may be beneficial to you.

But I would suggest you turn it off anyway, at least for a while, to see if there is any noticeable improvement. Autocorrect is far more beneficial, but even then it can force you to re-type the same word several times before your phone accepts that yes you knew what you were talking about.

Once you have removed these settings you will probably find that you initially type a little slower, you have to be more accurate and deliberate with each keypress resulting in an initial drop in speed. The solution to this is to simply practice, everyday use of your phone will be your greatest source of practice.

Games that Improve Typing Speed

Another good idea is to try and play some typing games that you can download to any android device. Z-type is a good option, you simply type the words, numbers, or combination of both that are floating down from the top of the screen. This is a fun way of improving your speed and accuracy and can be done as casually or as seriously as you like.

Faster typing is almost completely reliant on muscle memory. The keys never move, they are always in the same place as last time. That’s why most of us get away with not looking at the keyboard when we are typing. Although we perhaps should until we improve a little more.

Different Typing Techniques

There are various typing techniques that we can utilize to make our lives easier, and our accuracy greater. A good technique is to ensure that you are using your thumbs to type. without stereotyping too much, older generations tend to type with their index finger on one hand rather than both of their thumbs.

You will never become fast at typing this way. You won’t even become “slow”, you’ll be stuck in some different level of speed that hasn’t even got a name. Stationary might work. Your thumbs have greater dexterity and maneuverability than any of your fingers. And, most importantly, you can comfortably use them in unison.

A more advanced typing technique would be to use swipe typing. Swipe typing allows you to drag your thumb from key to key indicating which letters are to be used. This is a pretty good way of typing faster, it requires a little getting used to but it isn’t overly hard.

The general idea is that you smoothly drag your thumb from key to key, stopping on each key briefly to indicate that this particular letter should be used in the word. It sounds far more complicated than it is.

The downside is that you are again relying on predictive text. The more you use swipe to text, the better you’ll become, and the better it will become at predicting which words you want to use. The learning curve is pretty shallow thankfully, and the improvements are almost immediate.

Software that Might Help

There are tons of awesome different types of software you can download to your phone to make typing faster and easier. This is one area that Android wipes the floor with Apple. Apple is hyper controlling of what alterations you can make to your phone, Android manufactures have no such controlling nature, at least not usually.

Alternative Virtual Keyboard (Gboard)

First, you could look at getting an alternative keyboard. They come in different layouts, sizes, and sensitivity levels. You have a huge array of options but I like Gboard. Gboard is made by Google so you know for sure you are getting a reliable product. It’s free, of course, but trustworthiness matters. This keyboard is designed to be as fast and efficient as possible, with extra focus on customisability.

Voice to Text Software

This one is cheating, as you aren’t actually typing, but we are going to cover it anyway. Google’s voice to text software is amazing. You can speak your emails or texts into existence with ease. The average person can speak about 100-130 words per minute. That means you can type 100-130 words a minute, the downside is that you need to say exactly what you mean otherwise you end up dictating a lot of “umms” and “errs”. You also can’t do this in public spaces, shared office space, on the train, out at dinner, etc. I suppose you could, but please don’t. Don’t be the guy who talks loudly on the phone in public and makes everyone uncomfortable.

Hardware that might help

Sometimes, it’s best to stick with what we know works. An actual keyboard is always going to be better and faster. It’s a little annoying having to bring a keyboard around with you, but that’s the cost of speed and efficiency. My advice would be to buy a small Bluetooth keyboard that can fit comfortably in your laptop bag/backpack or even in your pocket.

Roll up keyboards are a real thing, they work well, and you can genuinely easily store them in your pocket. Here are 3 great Bluetooth keyboards that you can use to make typing from your Android device quick and painless.

3 Great Bluetooth Keyboards for your Android Phone

There are endless options available to you regarding Bluetooth keyboards. You can go as big or as small, as expensive or as cheap, as you feel like. These 3 are just some of the most well rounded and easy to use options, any of them would serve you well.

Price comparison chart for all 3 keyboards

KeyboardPrice Comparison
Anne Pro 2$$$
Arteck $
Desk Sushi$$

Per Amazon rules, I can’t disclose exact prices. This is a visual representation of the price compared to each other. The more “$” means a higher price comparatively.

Anne Pro 2 60% wireless keyboard

First, we have the Anne Pro 2 60% wireless keyboard. This keyboard is awesome, I really like it. It’s a sleek, smart, professional-looking keyboard that could be used for both your PC and your phone.

The Anne Pro is a relatively quiet mechanical keyboard but is a mechanical keyboard none the less. Meaning you might not feel comfortable using it in public as it’s a bit “click-clacky” but In an office, it’ll fit right in.

Since the Anne pro is a 60% keyboard, you are getting the portability that you most likely need with a keyboard intended to be used with your phone. A 60% keyboard means it only has 60% of its keys, but, you only really need that many keys for your day to day use.

If you’d like to learn more or read more reviews, check it out on Amazon


Arteck stainless steel universal keyboard

This keyboard is incredibly light and slim, it can fit easily in your bag and you’ll hardly notice you are carrying it at all. It’s a very small keyboard which is perfectly sized to rest your phone on top of it so that you can use it easily.

This keyboard is also very thin because it is obviously not a mechanical keyboard, it uses butterfly switches to allow it to be small. And silent. If you want a keyboard that you can use on the plane, train, or bus while your commute to work this might be the one for you.

Arteck excels in many areas, one of the most important areas (especially for Bluetooth keyboards) is battery life. The Arteck stainless steel universal keyboard makes use of a very efficient lithium battery that only needs to be charged once every 6 months. Pretty good, right?

If you’d like to learn more or read more reviews, check it out on Amazon


Desk Sushi

The desk sushi is a little gimmicky, but I think it’s worth it. The general idea is that this keyboard rolls up just like a sushi roll. This is meant to be fun, and it is, but It actually serves a pretty logical purpose too.

The keyboard can fit in your pocket, simply roll it up and pop it in its case and you’re good to go. We aren’t always carrying a bag around with us, sometimes we just rely on our phone.

You might perhaps have a small handbag with you, which would also be an ideal place to store the desk sushi. The desk sushi has a decent battery life and a surprisingly good set of inbuilt speakers, as well as Bluetooth capability up to a range of 10 meters.

If you’d like to learn more or read more reviews, check it out on Amazon


Related article: How to Connect a Wireless Keyboard to an Android Phone


Conclusion:

Hopefully, this article has helped you realize that it’s not hopeless. There are ways of making your life easier, your typing faster, and your productivity from your Android more acceptable.

Sometimes we want or need, to work from our phone. Having to do so while typing 30 words per minute is painstaking and tedious. So long as you are willing to experiment with different keyboard settings, you should eventually find a combination that allows you to reach your full capabilities. Or at least get you significantly closer.

There is no shame in using a wireless keyboard to make life easier – I would suggest the desk sushi if that’s the way you want to go simply because of how easy it is to carry with you. Whatever you decide to do, good luck typing faster on your Android!

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