Skip to main content

How do you type on your iPhone: Hand position? [Poll]

For the first on this week's series of polls on keyboards and typing, we want to know whether you typically type on your iPhone with one hand or with two? Do you hold it and thumb away at the keyboard with the same hand? Do you hold it in your left and poke away at it with your right, or vice versa? Do you hold it in both hands and thumb away at it? If you use multiple methods, which one do you use most? Do you vary your grip when you want to type faster?

Vote in the poll and let me know the details, and the reasons for doing it the way you do, in the comments.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I usually have a beverage (that may or may not be of the adult variety) in my left hand and iPhone in right hand
  • Was on a real keyboard until I switched from a Palm Pre to the iPhone late 2011, so I'm relatively new to the virtual keyboard game. Wish I could type as fast with two thumbs as my teenagers can with one......
  • I basically do everything on my ip5 one handed, its one of my favourite things about the iphone, i love being able to pull it out of me jeans, do what i have to quickly, then shove it back in.
  • haha..... I seriously need to get my mind out of the gutter, lol...
  • LOL. That has to be the funniest thing I have read in a long time!!
  • Innuendo FTW!
  • Wait, are we still talking about phones here?
  • One handed typing is way on iOS. Unlike other people I find to like its form of autocorrect. But if I want speed typing, then obviously two handed typing wins.
  • Posting Error Again and I can't even give you my reason (trying to post on PC).
  • I use both hands and both thumbs. Up to now I haven't met anyone who does it different but I can imagine it would be harder to do with one hand.
  • I hold and type with both hands, but I type using my left thumb and right forefinger. My right thumb is calloused in the perfect spot to make it not register on the screen.
  • I don't have an iPhone :( but on my iPod and my moms iPhone, I use both of my thumbs while looking at the screen and looking somewhere else
  • I feel like im about 50% of the time with one hand, and the other 50% with both hands... It just depends on the situation
  • I don't see a poll, perhaps it's tied to some horrible invasive advertising cookie I'm blocking? The *only* correct answer here is "with two thumbs" (unless you don't have thumbs) which is coincidentally the way I type. All other methods are some sort of FAIL since typing with one thumb is essentially the same but much slower and typing by poking with one finger is an even greater FAIL of the same variety. I know you might think this is cruel or a joke but it isn't. If you are not typing with two thumbs, then you aren't typing the way the phone was *designed* to be typed on. You decided not to take Apple's advice to use both thumbs and let the keyboard figure out the rest. You probably had a bad time of it that first day or two and instead of doing the *smart* thing and following the *best* advice (from Apple, to use two thumbs, in case you forgot already), you wanted to be more accurate right away (but much slower of course), and used one thumb or one finger or whatever. By doing this, you missed the chance for the keyboard to ever work properly again because it can't learn the words, and can't learn the mistakes you make in order to correct them. Sure, you can type everything okay now and you've even got a bit faster over the years, but basically you will *NEVER* have the opportunity to truly type fast on the keyboard. All because you were too impatient and too self-centred to follow the advice of the people that actually designed the thing and know how it works (better than you).
  • If you've ever looked into or researched the design concepts of iPhones, you'd know that Apple did in fact design the iPhone to be easily and optimally used with only one hand. If holding the phone in only one hand, your thumb should be able to reach just to each corner of the screen perfectly. Pretty nifty! And it's spot on! Try it! Those engineers at Apple are a talented group of people.
  • I've found that the keyboard seems to be designed to be used one handed. The auto correct works a lot better this way. Crackberry Kevin even mentioned it in his recent World Tour. He was frustrated because he was trying to do it two haded crackberry style and it just didn't work. There really isn't a "wrong" way to do it. Going one thumbed and letting auto correct work its magic is really good. You may be able to type faster with two but the auto correct wont work as well. Why do you think there are whole web sites dedicated to auto correct mishaps?
  • Lol. You cannot be serious. And if you are, you are very likely an 11 year old girl. And if you are an 11 year old girl, only now does your babble make any sense. Wait, sorry, still doesn't.
  • He's actually correct! You should watch the podcast Rene ans Kevin did....
  • I hold and type both with my right hand unless I have a lot to type then it's both hands.
  • It all really depends on what I'm doing in the moment! (As I'm typing this, I'm lying in bed typing with two hands) While I'm in the dining hall getting food, I normally balance my food in one hand and use the other hand to hold and type. I rarely ever hold with one hand and type with the other.. I just find that more difficult and awkward.
  • Needs an All of the above
  • i use both most of the time because im fast with both but every now and again i use one when im tired or only have one hand free
  • Both hands. It kinda is faster that way.
  • Portrait or landscape? I change based on what iOS allows me to do. Honestly, one of the few things I really miss from Android is having access to landscape typing everywhere.
  • I sometimes use two hands when I want to really type fast by using both my thumbs; however, sometimes I just use my right hand to type using just my thumb. I love that it is versatile.
  • The dumbasses that type with one finger while holding the phone in the other hand looks retarded. I always see old people do it and it would take them a year to type just what I have typed here. Just use two thumbs to type faster and to not look like an idiot.
  • Unlike most people I've ever known who type with two hands, I don't use my thumbs. I've never been able to get used to it, it's way too slow and clunky for me. I hold the iPhone in landscape mode, with thumbs and middle fingers, and type with both index fingers. I can really fly that way; I find that my index fingertips are much more accurate than my thumbs.
  • It's actually some weird variety dependent on my mood or the situation. But for the most part it's both hands both typing. Agreed above with the adult beverage variety and one hand holding...unless too much has been had to drink, then it's back to both hands. Can't afford a cracked screen :-P
  • When I am piloting a plane or driving a bus, it's always "two thumbs up", but when I am shooting a fire arm, it's always one handed.
  • One handed, usually have something else in the other!
  • All 3. I'm multitalented though.
  • I know Apple built the iPhone for one handed typing and when Crackberry Kevin switched to that he became more proficient and the auto correct fails with two handed typing, but I have small hands and quick fingers. It's just so much easier and faster for me to type with both hands even if I do have to correct mistakes more frequently.
  • I usually hold my phone in landscape mode to type. Otherwise, it takes twice as long to type in portrait mode. I cannot quite get used to the virtual keyboard yet, although I am slowly getting better
  • I am used to typing with both thumbs. Have never tried with one hand but pretty sure would find it difficult.
  • I wish the keyboard wasn't so narrow but I always hold my ip5 with both hands and use 2 thumbs to type just like how I typed this response. Lol.
  • I thought both thumbs is the natural choice for everyone, as I think it is the fastest way to type. But one of the other options is way too popular than I imagined :)
  • One hand holds and types. Once in awhile I will do two thumb typing, in portrait. In 2007 for OG iPhone users there was no landscape and my single hand skillz were perfected. Apple could help me even more by buying SwiftKey and replacing their current keyboard.
  • I usually try to type with both hands simply because I can produce my text much faster. When I try to use just one hand, I get too frustrated that it is taking too long. I can try to type faster with one hand, but that usually winds up needing autocorrect or, more likely, needing to correct autocorrect.
  • All of the above based on speed and need. Mostly I rest the phone in my left hand on my thumb, against my index finger, a big "L". Held steady by my right index finger in the top right corner and next two fingers firmly in the center if her back, pulling her forward, slightly left or right, manipulating her sort of like dancing. that enables my thumb to swing free to type, tap, dance, and do. Autocorrect has gotten better as I go. But isn't perfect. Might joy always be correct but it works for us. I scan for underlined words, to correct and get a bit of joy (catch that?) in scanning and finding too late that she chose to replace one good word for another.
  • It's a mix between option one and three.
  • I have just personally found it easier for me to hold my phone with both hands and type with both. I am proficient at it this way and fairly quick with few errors.
  • Coming from a Blackberry I normally use two hands and type with my thumbs. Depending on the situation I'll use my right hand to hold my iPhone and right thumb to type.
  • I would love to know if people use their dominant hand for their phone. I'm a righty but phone lefty (so I can hold a pen, coffee cup, angry ocelot, etc. in my right hand.)
  • I favor holding it my dominate hand (right). However I've found that I'm nearly as good using it with my left hand and so do go south paw pretty often. Generally dictated by how I'm sitting/laying or if my right hand is busy.
  • Results may vary depending on current activities and amount of alcohol being consumed. (Drunk texting)
  • I usually use one hand one thumb. Occasionally, I'll use two hands two thumbs to speed text
  • I can do most typing with one hand and one thumb. But If I am in a hurry I will use both hands on and both thumbs.
  • Usually both hands.
  • I hate typing on the iPhone vertically, the phone is too small and I have to use 2 hands, if an app doesn't support horizontal typing I'll usually use the notes app to type and just copy it over, sucks ballz.
  • All thumbs, all the time!
  • all of the above
  • I mostly use both hands and type with both. No variations in the grip. It just feels more comfortable to me. Sometimes, rarely, I hold the phone in the left hand and type with the right, usually when I'm lying down and I don't wanna move just to type a short message. It's a different case if I have a drink in one hand, then only one hand does all the work.
  • I'd say I definitely do all three often, but, predominantly, I use one hand.
  • It depends what I am doing as to how i'm typing. If its a checklist update type of app, then phone in one hand, enter with the other. If speed texting them two hand hold and type. If only one hand is avaliable then one hand type.
  • Two-hand master race reporting. I type very fast.
  • I love the fact I can type with one hand (right) but 90% of the time I type w both hands in portrait. I tried landscape after coming to the iPhone from a Droid Razr Maxx. I didn't like it, it feels more natural in portrait to me. :)
  • Does it matter that I'm typing this comment from my iPad?!
  • I type in landscape mode with two thumbs doing the job makes me type faster.
  • Most of the time, I hold my iPhone with two hands and type with both thumbs, but on occasion, I use one hand and one thumb.
  • I started off holding in my left hand and typing with my right, but that was too slow. So, not having been a BB user before, I learned how to thumb-type with both hands holding and typing from scratch. I make a few more mistakes doing that, but can now type a lot faster. I even do that with my iPad, with the shrunken split keyboard, when I don't have a place to lay it down.
  • I definitely prefer to type with two thumbs as it should be much faster. However, I find the keyboard to prefer that I type with only my right thumb. I often find that my left thumb when typing with two thumbs will not select the letter I want, instead it grabs the one next to it. I'd say it's my fault, but nothing is ever my fault...just ask me!
  • Grew up on a Blackberry. Will always type like a Blackberry....always.
  • please do this story on the iPad, I'm finding it weird to hold sometimes and could use an idea or two.
  • Most times I would say that I use both hands to hold, typing with my thumbs. Depending on what is going on, and if I am typing something short, I will occasionally type and hold the phone with my right hand (ie if I'm holding a drink).
  • I feel that I am more 50/50 with one and two handed typing. I use one handed for short text or notes, and two handed for emails and longer this one.
  • Really? People it's a phone, you only need one hand to hold and type it's not like its the iPad where you need two hand to hold on to it.
  • How you guys managed to type with one hand? How big are you hands/fingers? I can barely type using both hands. Being a geek with sausage fingers sucks. I wish mine were slender. I don't get why they don't extend landscape mode to all apps. I also tend to type on Notes, then paste the text on the app window...