iPad and iPhone Keyboard Tricks

Getting to know the software keyboard on your new iOS device can have a bit of a learning curve. But don’t worry, with practice you’ll find yourself typing away with speed and accuracy. Here are a few tips that will get you well on your way.

Don’t Fight the Autocorrect
Your iPad or iPhone will try to guess when you’ve made a typing error and automatically fix it for you. This can lead to some unintended results if not managed while typing. But if you take the time to observe how and when autocorrect is working, as well as when it’s not, you can start to use it to really speed up your typing.

If I need to type the word “I’ll” on my iPhone, I don’t bother taking the time to capitalize the first letter or type the apostrophe. I just type “ill” knowing that my iPhone will automatically correct that to “I’ll”. I also know which words it won’t correct, and I’m able to type accordingly. Working with the autocorrect feature, rather than fighting against it, will greatly improve typing on your iOS device.

Finding Hidden Characters
Your iOS keyboard is capable of typing many characters that are hidden under the visible keys. Pressing and holding a key with hidden characters will display those options. Not every key hides characters, so play around holding different keys to see what’s available to you. Just press and hold a key until a panel apears above it. Then slide your finger to the button you want, and release.

Splitting and Undocking the iPad Keyboard
The iPad keyboard can be split to make it easier to type with your thumbs when holding it. It can also be undocked and not split if you just want to reposition it on the screen. The key used for both of these is the keyboard key in lower right of your keyboard.

To split the keyboard, just drag the keyboard key up.

To put the keyboard back, just drag it back down again the same way.

To undock the keyboard, press and hold the keyboard key, then choose UNDOCK from the menu that pops up. You can now drag the keyboard up and down the screen to whereever you need it.

Jason Merrill, Mac & iOS Consultant