Tired of Qwerty? Starting with iOS 16, launched last month, the Apple iPhone now supports the 86-year-old Dvorak keyboard layout. Previously, Dvorak typing enthusiasts needed to install a third-party app to use the layout.
Dvorak. The format uses a different key arrangement than the standard QWERTY layout with the goal of improving typing speed and ergonomic comfort. August Dvorak and William Daly invented the design in 1936 after studying the shortcomings of the QWERTY typewriter keyboard, which was already 60 years old at the time.
Apple and Dvorak have an interesting history. The company it was first included Dvorak native support for its computers in the American model Apple IIcIt was released in 1984. It includes a special “keyboard” button that will logically switch the layout between QWERTY and Dvorak, but if you need label reference, the physical keycaps have to be rearranged to match.
Interestingly, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (“Woz”) learned about Dvorak in 1993 and never looked back (he was not involved with Dvorak in the Apple IIc, he says). Huh). In an email to Ars Technica, Woz described how he first learned about Dvorak. “I was on a trip to Tokyo teaching Mavis Bacon to write in Dvorak mode,” he wrote. “I spent 5 hours learning it and never saw a QWERTY keyboard again. That’s all it took. My son has already successfully transitioned, learned Dvorak in no time and quickly got up to the same pace as he typed in QWERTY in about a week.”
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 > Keyboard, 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 says “AOEUIDHTNS” – just like August Dvorak would have liked it.
It’s worth noting that Dvorak’s perceived speed improves from using 10 fingers to type, so if you’re just learning Dvorak, you might want to use just as much as your thumb when typing with two fingers. Don’t see any speed improvement via QWERTY. However, Dvorak users are likely to be happy in the long run.
“What I loved most about Dvorak at the time was the feeling of using less energy with my fingers,” Vosse said. “Since the advent of the iPhone, I have had to resort to QWERTY, but it is no longer on my mind. I’ve been a very quick QWERTY writer all my life, but now it’s over. I want to see the letters on my iPhone.”
Ars Wozniak reported on native Dvorak support in iOS 16, and replied, “Oh my gosh! Thanks a lot!”