How text editing on the iPad should be

By , May 3, 2012

If you’ve ever spent any kind of time editing text on the iPad, you know that there has to be a better solution. Placing your cursor in a certain spot in a sentence or paragraph can be difficult. And between letters? Forget about it.

Luckily, YouTube user danielchasehooper has come up with the perfect way to fix this. In his new video entitled “iPad Keyboard Prototype,” he demonstrates how Apple could make cursor placement much more precise…

UPDATE: The jailbreak community was fast to respond by releasing SwipeSelection, a jailbreak tweak that works pretty much the same way as described in the video above. Make sure to check out our video demo of SwipeSelection in action.

The developer thinks the feature is good enough for Apple to use in iOS, and he posted the following instructions on how to tell them about it:

1. Go to bugreport.apple.com, sign in and click “New Problem”

2. Set the title to “Editing Text on iPad (duplicate of rdar://11365152)”

3. Set the product to “iPad,” version number to “N/A,” classification to “Feature (New)” and is it reproducible to “not applicable.”

4. Copy the following letter and paste it in the Problem Details section then click submit

“I just saw Daniel Hooper’s iPad keyboard demo and I want that for my iPad! (Check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGQTaHGQ04Q) Apple says the iPad is the future of the Post-PC world; if it’s going to be my primary keyboard, I want a better way to edit text!

Tapping directly on text to move the cursor works well for small portions of text, but we don’t just write short portions of text anymore! When performing lots of edits in larger documents the direct interaction metaphor falls apart for cursor control. Even short portions of text can be painful to edit when you need to move the cursor to a precise location. Would you ever want to write a document on your computer without using the arrow keys? This is the reality iPad users face because they do not have the equivalent of arrow keys.

There is a better way.

Take advantage of gestures by making a drag over the keyboard UI move the cursor. Move the cursor in word increments when dragging with two fingers. And finally, let the user select text while dragging when they hold down shift.”

We love the idea, and recommend that everyone follow the directions above to try and get Apple to implement this. Because hey, if they won’t, we’ll just get a jailbreak developer to do it for them.

What do you think of this concept for iPad text editing?

Thanks @iPadJailbroken

Update: Good news! A jailbreak developer has turned this concept into a reality. Check out the full details about SwipeSelection for more information.

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  • Steven Olsen

    Don’t you realize — Apple Knows Best ™

    I like the shift-to-select option, but I like Swype for dragging my finger around the keyboard to type faster.

  • Anonymous

    Great! But doesn’t works in Pages app :(.

  • http://twitter.com/onemorechris Chris Kelly

    done, this would be so awesome, very nice work

  • SeanHuxter

    I do a lot of writing on my iPad, and the biggest frustration I face, other than hitting v or b when I miss the space bar is the lack of basic, civilized cursor pad!!!

  • SeanHuxter

    This system still would’t help you place your cursor in between the “i” and the “l” characters of a word like still. We still need cursor arrows.