May 22, 2023

Nintype is still the best iOS keyboard

Describing Nintype is a challenge. Here's a the demo video from it's launch back in 2014:

"the true touch typing experience"

Essentially, Nintype is a keyboard that enables you to type and swipe simultaneously. This might not seem too wild, but trust me, it's impressive. Despite its somewhat steep learning curve, it allows you to type fast with a certain joy that's hard to find in software. It's feels like magic; look how my friend texted me when we were first discovering it (apologies for the expletives):

Text contents: Dude, before yesterday I was trying to swipe whole words on nintype and it wouldn't work super well (like I could go super fast for a second, but make a ton of mistakes because my fingers just wouldn't move correctly in continuous motion) but I recently figured out how to combine tapping and swiping and now it's way fucking faster and better. I'm super fucking pumped, and you're the only nintype person who would understand.
I'm really fucking excited

It's genius lies in a few things:

Swipe and type

Nintype's true magic lies in it's ability to understand swiping and tapping with both fingers simultaneously. If you need to double tap a word, like "I'll", you can swipe the first half of the word, and then double tap the "l" key to finish it. It's a bit tricky to put into words, but it feels intuitive and unlocks a lot of speed. I can consistently reach 100 WPM with ~90-95% accuracy using Nintype.


Nintype has options for seemingly everything. You can add custom shortcuts (such as auto filling your email or credit card number), customize (and disable) the colors/animations, and generally rice the heck out of it. Here's are two screenshots covering most of the menu options:

Nintype settings showingNintype keyboard showing


Autospace was the most difficult feature for me to embrace, and that's because I overused it. I expected it to keep up with my typing speed, but it's not meant to do that; it waits for your pauses and then adds spaces. If you're typing quickly, you don't really pause. Now, I leave it enabled and manually hit the space key when needed, especially when typing with one hand or taking my time, and I love it.

Actually good autocorrect

The autocorrect is substantially better than the default on iOS. It learns words you use frequently and is much more reliable at leaving them alone. My personal gripe with the iOS keyboard is it's failure to learn "nyt" as a shortcut for "New York Times" — Nintype has no such issue.

Pins / shortcuts

Pins are a way to save text snippets and insert them by long-pressing a key. I've saved my emails, phone number, and other frequently used text that iOS or Firefox mobile fail to save.

It still works today

In a testament to it's great design and engineering, Nintype is functionally the same as it was in 2014 (minus a few small updates) and continues to be the best keyboard I've ever used. The iOS keyboard and others only support single-swipe typing, and that's a shame.

You can find Nintype on the App Store here. If you use Android, I'm sorry — it seems like it was removed from the Play Store sometime last year.

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