Fabian Heuwieser has released yet another fun and useful app for the BlackBerry, and man oh man have I been killing time on this one. For $2.95 to buy, TyperSpeed is a basic app that measures just how fast you can pound out messages on your BlackBerry. Here's the product description on TyperSpeed:
This application is for everyone who wants to get a view on how fast he/she can type on his/her BlackBerry device. It calculates the result in words per minute. It's the first application of its kind for BlackBerry.
Through this you can see if you type faster on a PC-Keyboard or on your mobile device since the application uses the same calculation as other wpm-calculators. This application also includes a highscore list for the best 3 scores. It contains 6 texts (4 english / 2 german) you can choose from; You have to type off the text and then it calculates the speed. Another option is 'Speed Writing'. There you just type anything and when you want to calculate the speed, you simply click on Stop!
Now you finally have the ability to get an impression of your typing-speed. Can you break 60wpm? Do you type faster than your colleagues/friends?
When it comes to typing on my BlackBerry, I'm always typing messages out of my head, so to me the most relevant/real world part of this app is the 'Speed Writing' test. So far I have installed TyperSpeed onto my BlackBerry Bold, Curve 8900 and Storm. Using this app has really given me new perspective on my thoughts as to which keyboard I prefer (a question I get asked a lot!). You can read my observations after the jump.
My TyperSpeed Results/Observations: On both the Bold and Curve 8900 I can break 60 words per minute (haven't passed 70 WPM without making a ton of mistakes). I find it takes a little more physical effort to go really fast on the Bold vs. the Curve 8900 (more distance to cover on the Bold's bigger keyboard and the key press is a little deeper) but the effort pays off as you can maintain accuracy on the Bold even at top speed. In the 50 - 60 WPM range I can be near-perfect with my typing without much concentration, and as I really get my thumbs moving over 60WPM I can still strike accurately. With the Curve 8900, it's easy to tap away fast (narrow keyboard and the keys have a nice snap/click to get you into rhythm, but once you get moving over 55 WPM it's really easy to mis-tap or accidentally hit two keys at once which leads to mistakes. When it comes to typing really long messages, the 8900's keyboard is less tiring than the Bold's.
The Storm is a bit of a different beast. Because there are now three keyboards on it (Portrait SureType, Landscape QWERTY and now Portrait QWERTY) and I tend to bounce around between all three, I honestly have yet to become 100% comfortable/skilled at any of them. Using TyperSpeed as my measuring stick, I have actually found I enjoy using the new Portrait QWERTY keyboard the most. Though the keys are narrow, my physical QWERTY thumb skills transfer over directly to it (feels the same - unlike the landscape QWERTY which requires a lot of thumb movement and SureType which I'm getting much better with but still prefer a letter per key). In this keyboard orientation, I can move my thumbs just as FAST as on the Bold or Curve 8900... but honestly, the device just can't keep up. My strikes are fast an accurate, but once I get my thumbs going at over 40 WPM then it becomes a mess. Out of a bunch of tests I managed to get up to 46 WPM and have it be pretty accurate. So I'm REALLY curious to see what some hardcore Storm owners can do with this app on their Storm. I've been tainted by years of physical BlackBerry keyboards, so I have a feeling some new to BlackBerry Storm owners out there may have the 'gift'.
All said and done, what's my favorite? Too my suprise, after using TyperSpeed I think I've decided the Bold is best for me. I think the Curve 8900 has the capacity to go a bit quicker by the nature of its design (and is less exhausting for long messages), but the Bold is at home in that 50ish WPM range where you can be pounding out messages without having to focus too much. That means that for me the Bold keyboard is the fastest and most accurate the most often.
If you pick up the app and give it a go, be sure to share your results below!