Friday, June 5, 2015 [Tweets] [Favorites]

The State of iOS

Nick Heer:

When the QuickType bar is enabled, the autocorrect suggestion will appear in the middle cell of the bar instead of as a floating balloon above the word, as it has done since the very first version of iOS. I find this far too subtle. Even more subtle is the way you ignore the autocorrect suggestion: since the bubble doesn’t exist for you to tap on to ignore it, you tap on the leftmost cell of the QuickType bar with your verbatim spelling. And that feels really weird to me.

This behaviour is something I never got used to, so I turned off the predictive keyboard days after publishing my review in September. This brings the keyboard back to a more iOS 7-like state, with classic autocorrect bubbles. But I still think something’s going on under the hood with the autocorrect engine.

[…]

I have tried pretty much all of the popular third-party keyboards for iOS — Fleksy, Swype, SwiftKey, Minuum, and so forth — running them for days to weeks at a time. And the keyboard that has stuck with me most has been — [dramatic pause] — the default one, for a singular reason: it’s the only one that feels fast.

Sure, pretty much all of the third-party keyboards you can find have a way better shift key than the default, and plenty are more capable. But I don’t type one-handed frequently enough to get a use out of a gestural keyboard like Swype; most of the time, I find these gestures distracting. Third-party keyboards also don’t have access to the system’s autocorrect dictionary, which means that developers need to build in their own autocorrect logic and users need to train the new keyboard. I didn’t think this would be as frustrating as it turned out to be.

Read the whole post, as he covers pretty much the whole OS, not just the keyboard.

Update (2015-06-11): Nick Heer:

While I like that the current implementation of multitasking keeps my phone fast and I don’t have to manually manage memory — not that you really have to do that on any platform — my experiences with Readdle’s Spark makes me wish that apps could spawn daemon processes. I’d like some way for a third-party app to declare that it is always running in the background with a small, memory-limited, higher-priority process.

[…]

I love the web browsing experience on my iPad, but if I’m doing two things at once — for example, replying to texts or an email — I almost have to have my phone beside me for it to be a less clunky experience. Switching between apps one at a time feels slow, and they usually need to relaunch because the iPad has never had enough memory.

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