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iPad Dvorak Keyboard

9288 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 12, 2014 1:24 PM by slothinker RSS
LukeAmadeus Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 6, 2010 6:42 PM
Hello all (sorry for the long message; the big discovery is down at the paragraph "The Punchline"),

I learned the Dvorak keyboard a few years ago and have enjoyed the amazing user-friendliness of the layout, and my typing speed now is even faster than it ever was before. (For those of you who haven't heard of the Dvorak keyboard, go here: )

This means that my *purchasing an iPad* in contingent on iPad having the option of a *Dvorak keyboard layout option built-in* — the way that the Dvorak keyboard layout is built-in to all Macs and PCs. On my iPhone I am used to switching between English, Spanish, Italian and other international keyboards (which you should try if you haven't already for the usfel auto-spell feature in the other languages) so being able to switch between the standard U.S. QWERTY keyboard layout and Dvorak would be beautifully easy for the user and equally intuitive.

Dvorak also invented a version of the keyboard layout for someone who _only has use of the right hand_, and a version for just the _left hand_. Naturally, this would be incredibly useful for new iPad users! Just like we can switch between foreign language keyboards at will on the iPhone and iPad, we should be able to switch between two-handed Dvorak in landscape view and have right-handed (or left-handed Dvorak) in portrait view on the iPad. Wouldn't that be cool? The real crime is not that these layouts don't already exist for the iPad — but that they are only 3rd-party right now (I could program it myself if I had to), and one must jail-break an iPad or iPhone to activate what is built-in on every Mac since the Apple II in 1984.

(One-handed Dvorak layouts: )

*The Punchline:* An hour ago, I wanted to check to see if there were right-hand or left-hand Dvorak keyboard layouts in OSX on my Mac burried somewhere in the International Preferences in System Preferences (I hadn't seen in it the past). To my surprise, "International Preferences" in System Preferences is now called "Language and Text" ! (this must be a new update very recently) and right next to the regular Dvorak keyboard layout in the list is "Dvorak - Right" and "Dvorak - Left"! Did anyone else notice this?

My theory is that Apple intends make these right- and left-handed layouts available to iPad users somehow — why else would they just mysteriously show up now? If one has use of both hands, they're not that useful for a regular computer, but on an iPad ...!

Comments? Theories? Ideas? I want an iPad but I won't get one until it has Dvorak — and if it has Dvorak Right and Dvorak Left I'll buy it tomorrow!

- Luke
MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,920 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 6, 2010 7:06 PM (in response to LukeAmadeus)
    Apple never provides advance info on new features, so nobody can tell you if or when they will ever add Dvorak layouts for the virtual ipad keyboard layouts. You should use this link to tell them you want this:

    If you use a hardware keyboard, the iPad does provide a layout called Dvorak for that already.

    If you search this forum for dvorak you will find another thread about this.
    iMac Intel/2C2D, eMac G4/700, Mac OS X (10.6), 10.5, 10.4, 10.3, 9.2
  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,920 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2010 2:43 PM (in response to LukeAmadeus)
    There is now a Dvorak keyboard available in the app store.
    iMac Intel/2C2D, eMac G4/700, Mac OS X (10.6), 10.5, 10.4, 10.3, 9.2
  • Ovate Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 31, 2011 12:46 PM (in response to LukeAmadeus)
    I use the Dvorak layout for the right hand because my left hand is paralysed. iOS has still no support for one-handed Dvorak layouts. It took apple a very long time to add this to Mac OS, pretty crazy since Microsoft had the one handed layouts as a standard part of the Windows OS for years previous to apple adding them.

    Now that apple has the layouts for one handed Dvorak as standard in Mac OS, I see no reason that they cannot add them to iOS. The fact that they are taking so long to add them shows little concern for customers with physical disabilities. It must be an easy thing to add, why they havent is beyond me at this point.

    I guess we just aren't a priority!
    MacBookPro, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,720 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 31, 2011 1:05 PM (in response to Ovate)
    iOS is a completely different operating system than Mac OS.

    Tell Apple -
    Mini x2, iPhone 3G, iPhone4, Air, iPad, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Billtheskeleton Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 3, 2011 5:28 PM (in response to LukeAmadeus)

    I agree--it seems so simple to include the Dvorak layouts. There are so many language layouts already built-in, it seems like a simple software update could include another virtual keyboard. I've already suggested this to Apple, but nothing has happened so far.


    The Dvorak app is lame, especially for $1.

  • GeoFan49 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 1, 2012 6:56 AM (in response to Tom Gewecke)

    There is a Dvorak keyboard app, but it is just a toy.  It does NOT make the Dvorak keyboard work for other apps.

  • Canadian in Malta Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2012 11:00 PM (in response to LukeAmadeus)

    Here's one workaround that actually works. I've always typed in Dvorak since I had my SE. Trying to type on this iPad was painful at best. I just got the app iDisplay (under ten bucks) and now, without unpairing my wireless keyboard from the iMac, I can take the keyboard outside (within BlueTooth range of the iMac), choose the iMac application from the selections on the iDisplay, and happily type away on the iMac but see what I'm doing on the iPad.


    That was a bit tricky to write :-)

  • ogechter Calculating status...
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    Nov 21, 2012 1:48 AM (in response to LukeAmadeus)

    Hello, the english user (lucky them) can use the Dvorak layout with an external keyboard on Ipad :



    Unfortunatly for french user, the BEPO layout (dvorak like for french language) is not available yet.  :'-(

  • slothinker Calculating status...
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    Apr 12, 2014 1:24 PM (in response to LukeAmadeus)

    As noted elsewhere, you can use the Dvorak layout with an external keyboard now, which is very nice. Many of us Dvorakites have written to Apple over the years about this issue since they have always supported Dvorak on Macs.


    I do think it's unfortunate and odd that Dvorak is not support for the iPad screen. If this is something you need (as I do) I've found that the app SlideIT (about $3) designed for Android which I'm able to use on a Samsung 7" Galaxy tablet seems to work well in all the applications that I've tested it with.


    In addition, SlideIT offers the ability to move you finger around the keyboard (whether querty or Dvorak is active) and built the word up that way. This is a particular nice feature for a tablet. As I recall this technology was first created by IBM and dubbed ATOMIC or something like that. Anyway, it is unique in my experience to be able to combine Dvorak and slide entry and I'm lovin' it!


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