When the iPad first hit the scene, I decided to give it a try as a writing machine. I developed a small amount of competence at it, but it would never replace a keyboard for me. When third party keyboards started arriving, I jumped at the chance, and never looked back. I still practiced on glass on and off. But I never found it comparable. The iPad Air is starting to make me rethink my aversion to typing on glass.

Much of my last several articles have been written on the iPad Air, including this one. I am not experiencing the error count that I have in the past. I can assure you, I have not become a better typist. The iPad has become a better interpreter. I suspect a great deal of this improvement is due to the OS. Though Apple's keyboard has changed little, the auto-correct has improved by leaps and bounds. I can mistype almost every letter in a sentence, and it still comes out just fine. 

It is possible that the A7 processor is giving the iPad Air a boost in this area. Correcting errors seems like something that would be made better with a fast processor. This iPad is definitely faster than any that has come before it. As I type, it is giving the internal dictionary a real workout. 

There are actually some tangible benefits to typing on glass as opposed to an external keyboard. The error correction is the key to a smooth typing experience. You do not have it with an external keyboard. You are completely on your own. Also, there are niceties such as being able to double tap the space bar to automatically insert a period. Not having to capitalize the beginnings of sentences also saves keystrokes. 

Of course, there are drawbacks, as well. Apostrophes, quotes,colons and semi-colons, hyphens, and other punctuations that a writer frequently uses are harder to invoke. Doing so can take you completely out of your typing rhythm. However in the grand scheme of things, I'm not sure that typing on glass costs me any more time than error correcting with an external keyboard. Your milage may vary. If you happen to be the proud owner of an iPad Air, and are anxiously awaiting one of the new, keyboard cases, take my advice; give typing on glass another try. You just might be surprised. 

David Johnson 

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