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Nine keys

As suggested in the talk on explainxkcd/1787, I discovered MessagEase (click this link if you want the rest of the post to make sense), an alternative keyboard for iOS and Android that has you swipe over a grid of 9 letters to type, rather than pressing tiny buttons.

I previously used a keyboard called EightKeys (sadly can't find a better link) which is a jailbreak tweak for ancient iOS that had, eight keys, and you typed 2 keys one after the other to make a single letter. Sadly I had to stop using EightKeys for two reasons. Every letter required two presses, which meant even once I had gotten used to the keyboard, writing text was slower than I wanted it to be. Also, it seemed a little buggy because sometimes it would type a letter that I wasn't expecting. This meant that my error rate was unfortunately not better overall than QWERTY, despite having larger touch targets. Accuracy was the main advantage I was hoping for when I first considered using it. It was fun to try out for sure, but those issues meant that I couldn't keep using it since it was a hindrance in the end. Also it's only for ancient iOS and doesn't seem to have received an update ever.

MessagEase, while sticking with the same concept of using combinations of large keys, changes how they work completely, and for the better. It has nine keys, and I can type nine letters with one keypress each simply by pressing the button. Each additional letter is created with a swipe to a neighbouring key, so every letter is in fact a single touch and release. MessagEase is on several platforms, and it hasn't bugged out and typed a wrong letter yet.

It'll take me a while to get used to, of course, but I think this will be worth it in the long run, because it overcomes every critisism that I had with EightKeys. I wrote about half of the text above on my phone using MessagEase, but now I've gone on my computer to fix it up and add links.

I can feel the gainz already. Flexing emoji.

It probably doesn't even steal my messages and send them to a spying company.

xkcd finally published the April Fools comic! I don't entirely understand how it works though. We'll see how it continues in the future.

I'm caught up on my classes now! Yes, really! I wonder what I'll do with my weekend?

— Cadence

A seal on a cushion spinning a globe on its nose.
Another seal. They are friends!