Thumbly: Easy one-handed typing on the iPhone 6s

Need to type one-handed on your iPhone 6s? Forget traditional keyboards and try Thumbly. Thumbly uses a very different kind of interface for quick one-handed thumb typing on your iPhone.

Ever since the iPhone SE was released, the issue of one-handed typing on the iPhone 6s has resurfaced in articles and discussion threads. Some folks consider the smaller iPhone SE’s screen easier to type on one-handed, but that’s because they are thinking inside the box and are still focused on the width of their phone instead of the on-screen keyboard they are using to type on it.

Thumbly is an alternative keyboard that you can buy in the iOS App Store for $1.99. It provides a very different kind of interface that lets you type one-handed on the iPhone 6s (and 6s Plus) [ Find it on Amazon *What’s this?* ] much faster and easier than Apple’s keyboard and other keyboards with traditional interfaces.

Here’s the official description of Thumbly from its page in the iOS App Store:

Thumbly is an iPhone keyboard designed to be used with one hand. Standard mobile keyboards are awkward to use, requiring two thumbs to reach all the keys and involve uncomfortable thumb gymnastics. Thumbly’s keys are ergonomically arranged and are easily reached with one thumb using a comfortable side-to-side motion.

Note: Currently only supports the ENGLISH language.

Additional features:

  • Swipe to delete, return, shift and capslock.

  • Suggests the next word you will type based on what you have already typed.

  • Allows you to select between left handed and right handed versions of the keyboard via a button “toggle” press.

  • Misspelled words are automatically corrected.

  • Unknown words appear in quotes as a suggestion. Selecting this suggestion causes the word to be recorded for the future use of the spell checker.

  • Easily accessible list of curated emoji.

  • Disable autocorrect at will.

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I installed Thumbly on my iPhone 6s

Up until today I had been using the one-handed keyboard in Fleksy, which is a more traditional kind of keyboard. It basically smushes a regular keyboard to the right or left. But when I saw Thumbly’s interface, I couldn’t resist trying it.

At first the Thumbly interface seemed a bit weird to me. But I decided to be patient, and give it a chance. After a few minutes of typing I quickly realized how much faster it is than trying to reach my thumb over to tap on a more traditional keyboard interface.

I could easily switch between right and left handed mode, and swiping to delete was also quick and fast. Once you get used to typing on Thumbly’s keyboard it makes a traditional keyboard interface seem incredibly dumb on an iPhone.

The only issue I ran into with Thumbly happened when using it in landscape mode. The keyboard takes up a lot of space in landscape mode, it's clearly designed to be used in portrait mode. So if I needed to type in landscape mode, I would opt for Fleksy instead of Thumbly.

Why didn’t Apple think of Thumbly’s interface?

After using Thumbly for a little while, I started wondering why Apple didn’t think of something like it first. Apple has a reputation as an innovator, but it’s on-screen keyboard in iOS has always been bland, traditional and often lacking in terms of its layout.

Thumbly feels like it is what the iPhone’s keyboard should always have been. Thumb typing is just so much faster and easier once you get used to its interface. It’s hard for me to go back to Apple’s ancient iOS keyboard interface after using Thumbly.

So if you want a better, faster way to thumb type on your iPhone, be sure to give Thumbly a try. It’s become the default keyboard on my iPhone 6s.

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