People are able to type on their phones almost as quickly as possible on a keyboard, according to a new study.
Researchers at Cambridge University and Aalto University in Finland have found that smartphone design and typing capabilities are rapidly improving mobile typing speeds.
In what they described as the biggest experiment to date at mobile typing speeds, they predicted that as people become less skilled with a keyboard and as smart methods for mobile alternatives continue to improve, the difference could make it even smaller.
Typing with just one index finger is officially slower
On average, keyboard typists typically type between 35 and 65 words per minute (wpm), and while some used to type at 100 wpm, this skill level is decreasing.
Anna Feit, one of the study's co-authors, said: "We were surprised to see that users who type with two thumbs reach 38 words per minute on average, which is only about 25% slower than the typing speeds seen in a similar large-scale study of physical keyboards. "
The fastest speeds the researchers identified on a touchscreen was a user who could type 85 words per minute.
How can you type quickly?
According to the researchers, the best indication of how quickly a mobile user types is whether to use a finger or two thumbs.
"More than 74% of people type with two thumbs, and the speed increase it offers is very large," the study found. In addition, enabling automatic correction "offers a clear benefit" while word prediction – or manual choice of word suggestions – does not.
Start typing with thumbs to increase word speed
Sunjun Kim, researcher at Aalto University, explained: "The understanding given is that techniques such as word completion help people, but we found that the time spent thinking about word suggestions usually outweighs the time it would take you to type text. " lyrics, making it slower overall. "
The study found that most mobile users used some kind of smart support to help them type, and only 14% of people typed without auto-correction, word suggestion, or gesture typing enabled.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 10-19 year olds are typically 10 wpm faster than people in their 40s.
Professor Antti Oulasvirta of Aalto University said: "We are seeing a young generation that has always used touch screen devices, and the difference for older generations who may have used devices longer but with different types is impressive".