TouchType (3 out of 5)
Let’s face it: if you really wanted desktop-quality email on your smart phone, you would have gone with a BlackBerry. BlackBerrys are, by all accounts, the masters of email. They have that nice QWERTY keyboard that sets them apart from the competition from Cupertino. Make no mistake, the iPhone has a great email client, though it is definitely lacking in some respects. TouchType from This is Tech makes one small $.99 improvement one of these flaws.
We’ve all been browsing Safari in landscape mode and wondered, ‘So if there’s a landscape keyboard here, why the hell can’t I write emails in landscape?’ TouchType is a simple little app with a simple little purpose: landscape email. Now, before you all rush off to the App Store, there are some things you should know.
1. TouchType is not the Mail app and won’t be replacing anything on your phone. In fact, to reply to an email you’ll have to load up mail, hit reply, back out of mail, open TouchType, compose your message, send that message to Mail (which thankfully brings you back into Mail automatically), and finally send your message in Mail after messing with the address and subject lines. Not too streamlined.
2. As I said, TouchType costs money. Ninety-nine cents might not feel like a lot of bank, but this is a feature that, frankly, should have been available in the first place and is a likely candidate to be added in a future firmware patch. If you really want landscape email, go for it, but the rest of you should probably wait.
Apart from those two obvious faults, TouchType works as advertised. I can’t really recommend it since it fixes something that Apple should have done and it charges you to do so, but if there are people out there who spend all day emailing on their phone, give it a shot.