A Blog Post: Phone Writing

I am starting this blog post on my phone.

I’ve been doing a lot more of that in the last year — a phone is less of a pain in the ass to pull out on a short bus ride (10 minutes, one end of campus to the other) than a tablet-with-keyboard. It’s easier if I have two or three minutes standing in line. It makes writing at stoplights a possibility, and it’s a lot easier to be surreptitious about writing on a phone in a meeting than it is with a tablet or laptop.

It’s also slow compared to writing on a keyboard, even as I get better at it, and it’s interesting, because I compose my thoughts as I type, so composing to a slower typing speed has taken more adjustment than the tiny keyboard. 

(It’s important to note, I think, that I have had a smart phone for barely over 3 years. So it’s a relatively new thing for me and the whole typing-on-a-tiny-keyboard is still a bit weird.)

I have lost my lovely example of what speech-to-text does – maybe I’ll try one before I post this – but needless to say, it’s interesting. Useful for long times without a keyboard when I want to get loose thoughts down, but not great for actually trying to compose words into a tidy form.

But on the phone — yeah.  I’ve actually written Edally while walking circles around the gym on campus (not out on the sidewalks or in the halls; I run into things (shh, don’t tell)).  I’ve written in very long lines for food.  I’ve written while waiting for my husband to be ready to go somewhere.

It’s kinda awesome.

Now I just need to find keyboard software with a bigger space button.


Here’s a bit of a speech-to-text writing sample, done with Edally for the best ridiculousness.

It was hard not to be nervous, with all those faces staring at him – all those very Telangana. Surgery did his best to not shift from foot to foot. After all here, the focus was supposed to be on Tai Chi, on her device.

It’s not bad, honestly — I’ve had a lot worse, and all I’d have to change in this one is the names. Surgery!  Tai Chi!

3 thoughts on “A Blog Post: Phone Writing

  1. Text to speech seems hilarious for any fantasy or sci fi writing.

    I should try writing on my phone some time.

  2. Welcome. My phone came with Swiftkey, but I’m actually using MessageEase.
    It confuses people sometimes, they’re all “Oi what am I supposed to do with this?! And what is it??” when I accidentally forget to change keyboards before handing my phone to them.

  3. On my Android phone I’ve installed the “Swype / Dragon” keyboard. Swype means I can drag my fingertip or stylus from one “key” to the next for the whole word instead of tap-lift-move-tap-lift-move-tap-lift-move-tap-lift-move. I like that.

    And I like Dragon even better. This is automatic speech recognition (ASR), a descendant of Dragon NaturallySpeaking from Dragon Systems (R.I.P.), where I was Senior Linguist for twelve years. Yes, it requires corrections more or less often, but I often still prefer it to typing or Swyping.

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