As long as you don't mind being taught touch-typing by an animation of a Viking then Ten Thumbs is a brilliant app; it's simple and clean, and is bound to improve anyone's typing, whatever your initial skill level.
Ten Thumbs has two main preferences, beginner and advanced, and two types of keyboards that are supported, QWERTY and Dvorak. You can also set whether you want US or UK subdivisions of those. Ten Thumbs guides you through the correct posture needed and then leads you into the practise area of the software.
It took us about four minutes all told from the install to read through the instructions and set up our preferences before having our first lesson.
The teaching breaks down into two sections, a practise section and a games section. In the practise area Ten Thumbs introduces you to the correct hand positions and then uses an on-screen virtual keyboard to test your typing ability; keys light up and you have to tap the relevant keys on your keyboard. After one session the software records your words per minute and emails you the results.
As the practise progresses so the difficulty progresses. If you get bored, you can select one of two games to try out your skills. Brick Factory and Safari Park throw things at you, or drop things, and to save yourself you need to type out the letters on the object. Meanwhile, Vikings appear to laugh at you or encourage you.
We reckon the whole package is accessible to anyone and works very well. The animations seem quite surreal at first but the games continue the theme, and the end result is a package that is likely to appeal to young teens. But that doesn't mean adults should avoid it - after just three sessions, we could see obvious improvements in our typing; not least a huge reduction in old (bad) habits. James Ellerbeck