In context: It used to be the case that typing at high speeds required a physical keyboard, but not anymore. A study has found that people can now type almost as fast on a phone screen as when using a non-mobile alternative.
Researchers from Finland's Aalto University, the University of Cambridge in the UK, and Switzerland's ETH Zürich conducted the online typing tests, which were completed by more than 37,000 people from 160 countries.
The results showed that on average, those who type on phones using one finger could perform 29 words per minute (wpm), but those who use two thumbs were able to hit 38 wpm, which is only around 25 percent slower than what most people can manage on a standard keyboard.
Some participants were a lot faster than others. One person managed to type at 85 wpm, which is a lot quicker than the 52 wpm average for users of physical keyboards.
Not only are there more smartphones than ever before, but people are spending more time using them—participants of the study spent an average of six hours per day on their devices—which explains why mobile typing speeds are increasing. Additionally, typing speeds on physical keyboards are decreasing, meaning the average wpm gap between the two is shrinking.
It was also discovered that teenagers are on average the fastest mobile typists, with a speed of around 40 wpm. Those in their 40s averaged 29 wpm, while people in their 50s managed 26 wpm.
"Such large amount of experience transfers to the development of typing skill and explains why young people, who spend more time with social media, communicating with each other, are picking up higher speeds," Anna Feit, a researcher at ETH Zürich and one of the study's co-authors, said in the release.
If you want to increase your word-per-minute count on mobile devices, the study discovered that using autocorrect boosted speeds by almost 9 wpm, but word prediction slowed them down by 2 wpm as people were distracted by having to choose words.
If you want to find out your wpm count (and accuracy) on phones, you can take the test here.