Shoot 2 Quill by Left Coast Logic is an app that addresses the very bane of my mobile device existence. Until very recently, no matter how much I loved my iPod touch, I would not have traded my Blackberry exclusively for the iPhone simply because of its keyboard, which I despise for typing messages.
However, I irrationally and irresponsibly left the former device on the table at a local restaurant. One dishonest bus boy and another AT&T agreement later, I am now 100% iPhone 100% of the time and I will absolutely have to work at adapting to texting with the touch-screen keyboard as my only option.
Enter Shoot2Quill – a typing tutorial in the form of a game with the intention of helping users like me improve touch-screen keyboarding skills.
If you’ve ever given Typer Shark a go online, then you’re already familiar with typing tutorial games. In a similar fashion, Shoot 2 Quill features multiple levels designed around space-invaded fictitious cities. You type the letters that fall from the sky and the words that are attached to spaceships to blow them up, gain points, clear the level and advance to the next.
Shoot 2 Quill isn’t exactly “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” theory, but it's not a bad idea and I suppose if you played it enough you might actually improve your skills through mere familiarity and comfort.
The problem for me is that I didn’t find Shoot 2 Quill that much fun to play. I also didn’t like playing according to the “rules.” Shoot 2 Quill suggests that you use both your thumbs to play, which I get, but the first two levels I “cheated” and used one finger. After that, letters rained down upon my city so fast that its inhabitants didn’t stand a chance of being saved by my thumbs – even if I had four. It should also be noted that Shoot 2 Quill doesn’t adapt to the tilt function, meaning you practice your typing on the portrait orientation keyboard, not landscape.
As I head down the texting adaptation path, I will likely be leaning heavily on a stylus like the Pogo Stylus or the Touch-Screen Stylus by Mobi Products much more so than practicing with my thumbs. That’s not to say that there aren’t users who would benefit from a typing tutorial game for their iPhone, I’m just not one of them. Kids, especially, may find Shoot 2 Quill fun and useful at the same time. As a stand-alone game to play with no expectation for improving touch-screen keyboarding, it’s OK if you find typing tutorials fun.