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While designing a keyboard app for android, I went through a lot of testing of various existing keyboards. One thing found in common was that typing in landscape mode of every keyboard wasn't very comfortable:

  • The keys being more spread out than the portrait keyboard, reaching out to keys with 2 thumbs is difficult
  • The keys in left & right extremes of the screen are difficult to access/tap

Seemingly, typing in landscape mode would be a quite a small use case, but it hasn't been optimised.

Some keyboards have contracted the keyboard horizontally in order to make the keys more reachable in landscape mode:

  • iOS keyboard for iPhone 6 & 6plus (Apple also gives extra keys on both sides)
  • Samsung's default keyboard in some large screen devices

In all, there seems to be very little or no information about landscape keyboards.

Are there any dependable statistics or research on usage of keyboard in portrait vs. landscape mode or the latter in general?

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    Why would you create a different type of keyboard than the existing ones? Each provider (iOS, Android, Windows Phone) has improved their keyboards UX a lot. They have entire teams that work on this and what they created so far is the best experience out there. Simply use the existing UX patterns and add / change the existing features of the keyboard. So the question would be: WHY would you create a keyboard app? What do you want to achieve with it? – Phreak Apr 6 '16 at 11:35
  • I too am curious why you're trying to recreate the keyboard. Seems to me the consistency might completely shot if you had your app pull up a completely new keyboard than what people are used to. – Majo0od Apr 6 '16 at 11:37
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    @Majo0od it sounds like his app IS the keyboard. Android has lots of keyboard apps that do different things such as continuous gesture typing, better predictive text, etc. I imagine while he's creating this new one he's looking to improve this area he feels is lacking. – DasBeasto Apr 6 '16 at 12:19
  • That makes sense. – Majo0od Apr 6 '16 at 12:23
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    What screen size are you aiming for? On an iPad you can split the keyboard for example while on an iPhone you can’t. – jazZRo Apr 6 '16 at 13:16
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You could take a page out of desktop ergonomics and go for a split keyboard.

Maxim Split Keyboard - adjustable model

It looks like iOS has beat you to this concept for touch screens, at least for the iPad.

Split Keyboard on the iPad, accessed by the bottom right 'Undock' button.

If you're lucky though, they won't sue you. If you're very lucky, they haven't even patented it.

  • Split (virtual) keyboards have been a thing on android for some time as well. – mrchaarlie Apr 19 '16 at 19:22
  • And Windows 10 tablets also offer split keyboards (and much more placement customisation with that), although I'm not aware of the earlier versions. – Stephan Bijzitter Apr 19 '16 at 23:25
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The usage patterns of mobile phone specially keyboard usage pattern in portrait vs landscape which is at 90:10 respectively. And overall portrait vs landscape stands at 60:40.

http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2013/02/how-do-users-really-hold-mobile-devices.php

http://shoobe01.blogspot.com/2014/11/making-mlearning-usable-how-we-use.html

This might help you

  • Useful links, but should be noted that the stats are pretty old (from 2013 and 2014 respectively). – JonW Jul 24 '17 at 10:32

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