Typing Was and Is the Future An exclusive post from the Subtraction.com newsletter

Today’s post is about iPad keyboards and how mankind has yet to create the perfect one.

It also occurred to me that it’s about typing, and the continued importance thereof. Two decades ago, I heard a technologist say that if you want to prepare your kids for the technology of tomorrow, the best thing you can do is to teach them how to type. That seems to hold true still.

Neither the advent of multitouch screens nor the continued promise of an AR/VR future seem to be obsolescing the ability to type. And one of the lessons of the iPad—which originally de-emphasized keyboards but now has made a keyboard an essential part of its “pro” offering—is that forward-looking technologies often need to fall back to this 19th century skill in order to offer relevance to contemporary users. We may all be wearing VR headsets or AR glasses while barking orders at Alexa before too long, but I’m willing to bet that as long as we depend on digital technology to make our lives easier, it will always be useful to know how to type.