For years, Microsoft employees and enthusiasts alike have claimed that Windows Phone’s virtual keyboard is – believe it or not – more accurate in common scenarios when you type faster. In practice, I’ve found this to be very much the case, despite the fact that one would usually assume the opposite to be true.
In a post on the Windows Phone Blog, Jason Grieves, one of the program managers working on the phone’s virtual keyboard, delved into some of the feature’s secrets like Word Flow and the custom dictionary. In it, he included a video of the keyboard in action, complete with visual indicators for the constantly-resizing hit targets, which make it easier to type the next letter(s) used most commonly.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that the hit targets start off large, but quickly begin to decrease in size. This is to make it easier to tap the letter the OS thinks you’ll use next while still allowing for less common ones to be selected. But it also explains why Windows Phone’s virtual keyboard is usually more accurate when you’re typing faster. Quick movements leave less time for the hit targets to decrease in size, so your fingers don’t have to be as on-target as they normally would be. The end result is a high degree of accuracy in most situations, be it casual or rapid-fire typing. It’s one of the small things that makes the OS so great.