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Miss texting with one hand? There are ways to go back to it

There are a few third-party keyboards which allow you to keep one hand free.
May 4th 2016, 12:04 PM 17,534 15

BEFORE SMARTPHONES MADE their way onto the scene, one-handed texting wasn’t just a skill but a necessity. Now with bigger screens, you need both hands if you want to properly text, but there are ways you can return to the days of old.

To do this, you’ll need a third-party app to activate this and provided you’re not too dependent on autocorrect, you’ll find a few third party keyboards that will do that.

If you own an iPhone, you could download something like Blink (free) which lets you resize the keyboard into something more manageable.

If you swipe over the second row of keys slowly, you can change it from large to small and vice versa. Although if you’re not happy with the placement, you can change it in the app itself.

Blink keyboard

Another alternative is the literally-named One Handed Keyboard (€0.99), which offers a keyboard the same size as the one on an iPhone 5s, 5 or 4s. It’s pretty basic but you can switch it for left and right handed typing easily.

If you’re on Android, you have a few more choices. You can do the same thing with SwiftKey (free), creating a compact keyboard which you can move, but if you want something a little different, Minuum Keyboard (free or €3.52 for full version) might be worth looking at.

Instead of making the normal keyboard smaller and placing it to one side, Minuum compresses the keyboard so all characters are on the one line. It seems messy but it’s autocorrect feature is pretty decent so you shouldn’t have too many problems once you get used to it.

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Minuum keyboard

Although if you want to wait a little while longer, Google’s default keyboard will soon include one-handed use, which is activated by long-pressing the comma icon and switching.

The update is still rolling out but if you’re feeling impatient, you can install the APK version (you have to turn on Settings > Security > Unknown Sources to install it so remember to switch it back when you’re finished) and access it now.

Google keyboard

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Quinton O'Reilly


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