Typing on an iPad is a decidedly deliberate affair. Absent a hardware keyboard, there's no feeling to the keys, no mechanical switch to the process, no muscle memory to produce words and phrase at the speed of thought. You almost have to look at what you're typing, and look again to make sure what was rendered matched your intent. Unlike a laptop keyboard, an instrument of will that simply puts character to screen, the iPad feels like something that needs to be coaxed at times, and that splits your attention between tool and creation. Jason Snell of Macworld has started exploring the differences he experiences when typing on a laptop compared to his iPad.
I’m no Oliver Sacks, but I’d wager that I’m just not taking more time to choose my words, but I’m actually using different parts of my brain when I write this way. And not only does the actual act of writing feel different, but the end result feels different to me too.
Two and half years and four-generations -- and a bit -- later, and I still find typing on the iPad more delightful and more frustrating than typing on my MacBook. I still default to my MacBook 95% of the time for writing anything longer than a few paragraphs, but I'm also not anywhere near the typist Snell is on either platform.
He's inspired me to go back and try some more writing on the iPad, however, and to try to better understand how that particular medium influences the message.
Check out the rest of Snell's post here: