March 14, 2012

Type Text Use Tablet faster on Google Android touchscreen keyboardless Tablet like Kobo Vox or Kindle Fire

The Kobo Vox, Kindle Fire Color eReader tablets, and other cheaper Google Android tablets + eReaders don't have physical keyboards, or connections like Bluetooth, USB, or Firewire for physical keyboards, but it is still possible to type at a decent words per minute speed with them, and use them quickly with just the onscreen keyboard and controls. The Kobo Vox and Kindle Fire also don't have a microphone, so you can't use voice to text apps to type faster, so you can only rely on your fingers or a capacitive stylus to type faster on the keyboard.

I have been using the Kobo Vox for over 2 months, and discovered some tips on make using the Kobo Vox a lot faster when typing, reading, and using Apps. By typing faster, reading, and using apps faster, you can do more on your Kobo Vox in a shorter amount of time since you won't be slowed down by slow typing, and the time it takes for you to manually find apps which are located all over your homescreens. The faster you finish typing something, the faster you get to have fun doing other things like playing games, YouTube videos, etc on your Tablet. You'll also not waste as much battery time on slow typing since your screen is powered on while you are typing, so the longer it takes you to type, the longer your tablet will be on which means you waste more of your battery power typing slowly.

If you are low on battery life, it means you need to type faster before the battery is fully empty to finish typing your e-mail, or you can't send it if the battery drains before you can press send on your web-mail. Tablets do not have the luxury of unlimited electricity like desktop computers which are always plugged into a power plug.

Some of these tips would help you even if you own a different tablet brand like Apple iPad, BlackBerry Playbook, other Android tablets, Smartphones, and touch screen devices.

If you use 1 or 2 thumbs to type, I recommend cutting your nails. I notice sometimes fingernails makes it harder for me to type since nails get in the way of the screen, and also might scratch your screen if you scratch your screen hard enough with your nails.

The Kobo Vox has a back, settings, and home button on the frame, so you can use them to quickly go back, change settings, or go back to the home screen. For some Apps like Boat Browser, you can change what you use the volume up and down button for like zooming in and out, scrolling a web page up and down, or just changing the volume up and down.

You can also rotate your Tablet in landscape/horizontal and portrait/vertical positions. Horizontal is better for typing long messages because the keyboard is bigger and text box is bigger while Vertical view mode is better for typing short messages because the keyboard keys are closer together, so you can reach them easier, but the textbox is not as big, and the keys can be harder to type on because the keys are closer together. Reading and typing vertically is better for sites with a lot of short post like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Tumblr and social networks while reading and typing horizontally is better for apps and sites with longer posts like blogs, forums, e-mail, regular websites, and Wikipedia.

For eBooks, I notice adjusting the font to a larger size, and reading it in portrait vertical mode to be faster.

You can also try out alternative keyboard apps like SlideIT, Swype, SwiftKeys, etc which are keyboards which you can slide your finger or stylus to type faster instead of poking your screen. They also might have better auto-correct and auto-completion word typing features then the Android Keyboard, also you can adjust the Size of the keyboard in SlideIT for Android. A lot of on screen keyboards are smart enough to predict the word you are typing based on your typing habits.

Using a Capacitive Stylus which has a rubber tip can also improve your typing speed if you only type with one finger, and it would make drawing and hand writing a lot easier since it is easier to draw straight lines, circles, squares, and other shapes with a Stylus because the tip is smaller then your finger tips. Depending on how long your stylus's shaft is, you don't have to move your hand as much since the shaft of the stylus can easily reach on screen keyboard keys, buttons, and more compared to using your fingers where you sometimes have to move your hand slightly farther to reach a button on the screen. A Stylus is more accurate then your finger as well because of the smaller tip, so you are less likely to type the wrong key, or click on the wrong button or link on websites and apps. Also, you won't have to deal with distracting greasy fingerprint marks which can be kind of gross, and make it harder for you to see the screen because of the grease marks on the screen. A stylus is great for people who hate greasy fingerprints on their screen. If you have a stand for your tablet or someone is holding the tablet for you, you can type with two capacitive stylus by holding one in each hand which can make you type even faster. Using a Stylus is also great for games like Cut The Rope, Tetris, etc which require accuracy, and I feel using a stylus is more enjoyable, comfortable, and more natural then using my fingers since I'm use to holding a pencil and the poking sound of the stylus tapping on the screen is kind of nice for sound feedback which is missing when you don't use a keyboard to type, so the taping sound can notify you that you press a button or the screen on a tablet. I also enjoy not having to clean my tablet screen as often since I use a stylus.

A Tablet stand for your tablet will also make your hands less tired because you don't have to hold a Tablet to use it, so you can text faster without getting tired for longer periods of time.

If you don't have the convenience of having a table which is needed to use a stand, using a protective Kobo Vox folio case for holding your tablet can be more comfortable because you can hold your tablet like a book, and clipboard which is more comfortable then holding it without a case. Many cases are also padded, and soft, so there are no hard corners or materials making it harder to hold since the padding makes holding your tablet softer and easier, and you also have a larger surface area to hole. A protective case also will protect your tablet from scratches on the back, and screen when it is closed.

Playing fast paced mobile games like Fruit Ninja, Bejeweled, Tower defense games, Real Time Strategy Games, Tetris, etc can also increase your accuracy, and speed when typing since fast pace mobile games require speed and accuracy to get high scores quickly.

On mobile web browsers, you can save your most frequently visited websites as bookmarks for you to visit any time you want by just opening your bookmarks menu, and clicking on the website bookmarks which you want to visit. The default Android Web Browser and other Android compatible web browser like Boat, Opera, Dolphin, and Maxthon Web Browser support bookmarks as well. Some more advance web browsers like Opera, Boat, and Opera also supports speed dial bookmarks which is a bookmark menu which is shown  every time you open your mobile web browser. You can manually add Speed dial bookmarks to your homepage to save time. Once you add them, you don't need to retype them in the address bat again. All you have to do is open up your browser and click on the bookmark icon for the speed dial bookmarked website you want to go on to quickly go to the bookmark site on your speed dial. In most cases, the speed dial is set to your homepage, so you can just click the home button on your web browser toolbar to go back to the speed dial page, or you can set the speed dial page to be the homepage very easily in the settings for your web browser. Opera, Boat, and Maxthon web browser also have tab browsing, and shortcut/navigation keys on the bottom of its Apps to make using them faster like a desktop web browser. You can also use the "Save password feature", but it can be unsafe if someone steals your tablet since they can log into your accounts with your web browser, so I don't recommend it unless you mostly use your tablet at home where the chances of it getting stolen is very small.

My favorite web browser for Android is boat browser since it supports YouTube, has a lot of features like speed dial bookmarks, bookmarks, password managers, and short cut and navigational buttons which are found on desktop web browser, so there is no learning curves. It is also fast, and very stable.

For make finding Apps easier, you can add only the shortcuts to applications which you use most which are usually the web browser, eBook readers, Games, Media Players, Social networking apps like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to your Home Screen. You can also make folders on your homescreen by holding down your finger on the screen and pick add folder which you can store your App shortcut in according to categories by renaming the folder to a category like media players. You rename folders by opening them, and clicking on the title on the top left then a keyboard will appear for you to rename them.

There is also an All Apps button on the bottom of the Kobo Vox home screen.

Go Launcher EX is an alternative App launcher homescreen theme which you can use to add apps, more desktops, and folders to make finding apps to launch faster and easier then using the default Vox Launcher.

You can also use the Search App Widget on the Kobo Vox to search for Apps, and websites to make finding and launching apps a lot faster if you forgot where they are located.

Generally, you do not need to organize your files since Android Gallery and Music App does a very good job of finding and organizing files found on your internal SDCard and MicroSD Card. But, File Manager Apps like File Expert File Manager can be used to organize your files into folders, copy and paste files, backup apps, and deleting old files, and uninstalling apps.

File Expert also has a search function which makes finding files with the keyword in the file name on your Google Android Tablet a lot faster then manually looking for them.

Extra Tips: Press on the Settings key, Manage Apps and Go to running Apps where you can close/stop unused Apps to free up RAM which will make your Tablet experience faster if you have a lot of unused Apps open, or you can just power off and power on your tablet to refresh your memory and CPU which will close all Apps, and restart Android.

Uninstalling Apps which you never use, and Moving all your Apps which could be move to SD Memory card instead of the Internal Memory card can speed up your Kobo Vox start up time, and give back more free space on your Kobo Vox's internal Memory. You can uninstall and move Apps to SD by clicking on the settings button on the Vox then click on Manage Apps, and click on the Apps which you want to uninstall and move to SD.

Note: Kobo and the default Google Android Apps can't be uninstalled, and not all Apps can be moved to SD Memory card. If you are running low on space, you can move your music, photos, and other personal files which you loaded onto the Vox's storage to a microSD memory Card which you installed on the Vox's MicroSD Card reader slot on the side of it. The Kobo Vox supports a maximum size of 32GB for the microSD memory card.

You would need a file management app like Filexpert to move files to Micro SD from your SD card, or use a USB cable to connect your tablet to your computer, and use Windows Explorer, and other file management software on Windows, Mac, or Linux to cut and paste your files to MicroSD or to store on your computer hard drive instead.

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