Have you ever had your boss or professor return your handwritten work because it was illegible? Do you tend to write sloppy because you have to write quickly? For those who still use pen and paper, Better Letters could help improve your handwriting skills. Developed by Deep Pocket Series, LLC, Better Letters offers a platform for people to learn to improve and practice their writing skills.
The app Better Letters is a mobile handwriting trainer that promotes the italics style of handwriting, which is more efficient and legible than the traditional cursive taught in elementary school. The app consists of Practice, Lectures, and Web Links categories. The Practice category is a tracing function that allows you to practice tracing italics letters. You can choose between lower case or upper case letters, numbers, and even the color of your tracing “ink” (there are 6 colors to choose from). The tracing feature has several other options to work with (found in Settings), such as guide lines and arrows, and the type of practice letters (basic or flowing).
The Practice feature also has a Doodle board where you can do some free-form practice writing. If you want, you can even type in a word at the top of the screen, and you can practice tracing the word, one letter at a time. Next, the Lectures portion of the app is equipped with 9 lectures on handwriting technique, and each is available in a written or audio version. The last lecture on the list is titled “Practice Letter Combinations”, and it provides a list of 299 practice word ideas that include 83% of our alphabet’s possible letter combinations. Finally, the Web Links category contains a list of 18 website links that specialize in improving handwriting abilities through italics.
Better Letters is a nice app that is great for anyone with an interest in improving their handwriting skills and even children who are learning to write. Practicing italics cursive on a regular basis does improve handwriting skills: I used an italics handwriting workbook some time ago with great results. Some things that would be nice to see in this app would be a volume control on the audio lecture pages, a landscape view of the tracing feature, and 2 or 3-letter combinations for practice (though space restrictions could make this difficult).
While being able to practice writing whole words with a pen is a better way to improve handwriting skills, Better Letters is an on-the-go option for people who don’t have time to sit down with a workbook every day. As a side note, the developer notified me that Better Letters will be mentioned in the December 2009 edition of GQ Magazine, so keep an eye out!
Better Letters is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch; requires OS 2.2 or later
Note: the developer’s website link found in the app doesn’t seem to be working right, but you can visit their website here: http://www.dps.biz/