iPhone Dvorak keyboard

Update: See Read More on Dvorak for iPhone for more!

Update 2009-03-02: See iPhone Dvorak for real for notes on a true Dvorak keyboard for iPhone.

I touch-type Dvorak, and it hurts my brain when I have to hunt-and-peck QWERTY. To install a Dvorak keyboard on my iPhone, I started with Brendon Walsh's instructions. Brendon modified Slava Karpenko’s Russian keyboard package, changing the key layout from Russian to Dvorak. iTapTap's instructional video helped, but the sum of these three sets of instructions wasn't trivial to follow. Here's how I installed the Dvorak keyboard layout on my iPhone.

First, tap Settings / General / Keyboard / International Keyboards. Notice that it lists five keyboard choices, none of which are Dvorak.

Next, add Slavo's Russian iPhone source, also known as RiP Dev, to Installer. Press the button to view the home screen. Tap Installer / Sources / Edit / Add, and type the URL of the RiP Dev source: http://www.russianiphone.ru/beta/en .

Tap OK, and Installer adds the source and refreshes the packages list.

Tap Done, Install, RiP Dev, and install Mobile Enhancer.

The Mobile Enhancer installer warns you that you must reboot your iPhone. To reboot, press and hold the iPhone's top button, then slide to reboot.

Run Installer again, tap RiP Dev, and select the Russian Keyboard package. This one is written in Cyrillic; I took a guess and got lucky.

Press the button to return to the home screen. Tap Options / General / Keyboard, and notice that there are some Russian settings. This is a good sign: something Russian got installed in the Keyboard area.

Tap International Keyboards, and a sixth keyboard appears on the list: Russian.

Now copy Brendon's Dvorak keyboard files onto the iPhone:
kasper@fred /cygdrive/c/Documents and Settings/kasper/Desktop/dvorak_iphone
$ scp -r cyrillic-keyboard.men/ root@
root@'s password:
.DS_Store 100% 6148 6.0KB/s 00:00
Info.plist 100% 679 0.7KB/s 00:00
KeyboardDefinition.plist 100% 45KB 45.2KB/s 00:00
KeyboardDefinitionAlt.plist 100% 8064 7.9KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-alt-shift.png 100% 58KB 57.6KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-alt.png 100% 57KB 56.9KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-landscape-alt-shift.png 100% 36KB 35.8KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-landscape-alt.png 100% 41KB 41.2KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-landscape-shift.png 100% 45KB 44.8KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-landscape.png 100% 43KB 43.2KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-letters-shift.png 100% 12KB 11.9KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-letters.png 100% 12KB 11.9KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-popup-center.png 100% 12KB 11.9KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-popup-landscape-center.p 100% 12KB 12.1KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-popup-landscape-left.png 100% 10KB 10.0KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-popup-landscape-right.pn 100% 10KB 10.2KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-popup-left.png 100% 10KB 9.8KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-popup-right.png 100% 10KB 9.9KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard-shift.png 100% 58KB 57.6KB/s 00:00
sk-cyrillic-keyboard.png 100% 57KB 56.9KB/s 00:00
SKCyrillicKeyboard 100% 87KB 86.6KB/s 00:00

kasper@fred /cygdrive/c/Documents and Settings/kasper/Desktop/dvorak_iphone
In International Keyboards, turn on the Russian keyboard. Press the button, tap Notes, tap the globe on the left of the space bar, and the Dvorak keyboard appears.

Thank you, Brendon, Slava, and iTapTap.

Here are some screen shots to guide you through the instructions.


Adam said...

this is good but when you click on the letter, it still shows the qwerty value in the popup is there anyway around this?

Richard said...

Adam, you're right. I had been meaning to post this critique for a while. I agree that this Dvorak keyboard hack isn't as usable as it should be.

Lisa Moricoli-Latham said...

BRILLIANT -- yet I am having trouble finding the Installer on my new iphone 3g. I'm also told that I cannot transfer files via the Bluetooth connection, so... how to do this on the new (as of Sept '08) phone?

Richard said...

You need to jailbreak your iPhone to install and run Installer. My jailbreaker installed Cydia, and I installed Installer through Cydia. Before you jailbreak, make sure you read my critique of this Dvorak keyboard so you don't waste your time installing the Dvorak keyboard if you don't like the restrictions.

Caleb said...

Send your feedback to Apple:

Select feedback type: Configurability
Dear Apple:

Please add the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard to the iPhone.

Thank you.

If you send feedback, post here and let us know.

Anonymous said...

I've sent feedback to apple about this in a very polite manner. While I will not jailbreak my iPhone, I will certainly help the cause as I too want the Dvorak layout so I can get rid of qwerty permenantly. This was typed from an iphone 3G.

Richard said...

See iPhone Dvorak for real for notes on a true Dvorak keyboard for iPhone.

Travis Ulrich said...

I think it's important for Apple and Microsoft (as well as other software & hardware developers) to keep Dvorak in mind when they're developing their products.

Maybe if there were some "Dvorak-enthusiasts group"?

Funny thing about the iPhone is, that even though I type in Dvorak on a regular keyboard, I think I'd prefer to stay with QWERTY on iPhone. I don't seem to get confused switching back and forth.


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