In my view, Android stands head and shoulders above iOS in terms of options for text input on handheld devices. On my Android tablet or phone, I can choose the default keyboard from a helpful range of choices. I’m a pretty good touch typer, but I can enter text most efficiently with a keyboard that allows me to trace my fingers, without lifting them, from one letter to the next in a word on the keyboard. This is illustrated below on the Path Input keyboard. Apple doesn’t allow alternatives to its default keyboard, so this keyboard is available only within the app, but it’s easy to move text entered in Path Input to other apps.
Since each learner is unique, I believe it is imperative that each be introduced to a wide a range of learning tools and possibilities. There are many who struggle with written output, and this kind of text input would probably be helpful for some.
Path Input is currently available as a free app for iPad. There’s also a free Lite Version, as well as a Pro Version at $3.99, for iPhone and iPod Touch. The app does a good job of suggesting the word you might have meant, in case you didn’t get it quite right. Spaces are automatically inserted after words. The Shift key enables you to capitalize a word or to enter the word in all-caps, by tapping the key more than once.
On the iPad version of the app, I think it’s a major bonus to have the number keypad available, alongside the letters, as shown above. Path Input is available for several languages, and this list appears to be growing.
Shown below is a screenshot of Path Input Pro for the iPhone or iPod Touch.