November 26, 2022

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The iPhone now supports the 86-year-old Dvorak's keyboard layout, to the delight of Woz

The iPhone now supports the 86-year-old Dvorak’s keyboard layout, to the delight of Woz

Zoom / Dvorak design is now available for iPhone.

Bing Edwards / Ars Technica

Tired of QWERTY? starting from iOS 16Launched last month, the Apple iPhone now supports the 86-year-old Dvorak’s keyboard layout. Previously, Dvorak typing enthusiasts needed to install a third-party app to use the layout.

Dvorak uses a different key arrangement than the . format Standard QWERTY layout With the goal of improving typing speed and ergonomic comfort. August Dvorak and William Dealey invented the design in 1936 after studying the shortcomings of the QWERTY typewriter keyboard, which was already 60 years old at that point.

Apple and Dvorak have an interesting history. company It was included for the first time Dvorak native support for his computers in the American model of Apple IIcIt was released in 1984. It includes a special “keyboard” button that will logically switch the layout between QWERTY and Dvorak, but the physical keycaps must be rearranged to match if you need a label reference.

Side by side QWERTY and Dvorak keyboard layouts on iPhone.
Zoom / Side by side QWERTY and Dvorak keyboard layouts on iPhone.

Bing Edwards / Ars Technica

Interestingly, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (“Woz”) learned about Dvorak in 1993 and never looked back (he wasn’t involved with Dvorak at Apple IIc, he says). In an email to Ars Technica, Woz recounted how he first learned about Dvorak. He wrote, “I was on a trip to Tokyo and ran Mavis Bacon teaching writing in Dvorak mode.” “I spent 5 hours learning it and never looked at a QWERTY keyboard again. That’s all it took. My son has already transitioned successfully, learned Dvorak in no time and quickly reached the same speed as he typed in QWERTY in about a week.”

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Selection
Zoom / Select the “Dvorak” layout in Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards.

Ars Technica

To use Dvorak on your iPhone, first make sure you upgrade to iOS 16 or later. Next, open the Settings app and go to General > Keyboard > Keyboards, then tap on your language and select “Dvorak” from the list. The next time you pull up the keyboard, you’ll see a different layout, with a master row that reads “AOEUIDHTNS” – exactly how August Dvorak would have liked it.

It’s worth noting that Dvorak’s alleged speed improvements come from using 10 fingers to type, so if you’re just learning Dvorak, you might not see any speed improvements via QWERTY when typing with two fingers, like your thumb. However, longtime users of Dvorak are likely to be pleased.

“What I loved most about Dvorak at the time was the feeling of using less energy with your fingers,” Woese said. “Since the advent of iPhones, I’ve had to resort to QWERTY but that’s not on my mind anymore. I’ve been a very fast writer of QWERTY my whole life, but now it’s over. I have to look at the letters on my iPhone.”

Ars Wozniak reported native Dvorak support in iOS 16, and replied, “Oh my gosh! Thank you so much!”