Keyboard improvements

During its WWDC presentation today, Apple introduced several new enhancements for its keyboard in iOS on iPhone and iPad. These changes include a redesigned shift key for distinguishing capital letters, lowercase, and caps lock. Additionally, key lettering now switches between upper and lowercase depending on which variation of a letter will be typed, which is another tool Apple is using to more clearly define what letter case mode the shift key is in, and adds ShowCase to the list of jailbreak tweaks Apple has turned into stock features with iOS 9.

upper lower cap keyboard ios 9

Also, the traditional pop-up character preview iOS has always displayed when a key is pressed is not present in iOS 9, with its replacement being a darkened key which is largely hidden by one’s finger when typing. This is possibly a security enhancement by Apple, as technology exists for logging key presses via video analysis of the pop-ups above pressed keys from camera footage of someone typing on their device.

ios 9 keyboard key pop

Further, Apple has included several improvements under the QuickType umbrella, including a built-in Shortcut Bar, which adds formatting, attachments, cut, copy, and paste options to either side of the QuickType word suggestions above the keyboard on iPad. The Shortcut Bar can also be customized by third-party apps, allowing for even more productivity and convenience in writing apps.

Additionally, a new method of moving the on-screen cursor and selecting text has been added in iOS 9 that utilizes a two-finger swipe anywhere on the screen, including over the keyboard, to quickly adjust cursor position or highlighted text. This feature works on both iPhone and iPad, and brings the hugely popular jailbreak tweak SwipeSelection’s functionality to iOS 9 in a way more optimized on iPad.

quicktype-swipe-iPad-iOS-9

People using wireless keyboards with their iPad will now be able to take advantage of a new level of keyboard shortcuts, including Command+Tab-like app switching from OS X and invoke Search. Apps can also add their own built-in, custom shortcuts for various actions, and users can hold down keys like Command, Option, or Control to see all the available shortcuts of a given app.

keyboard-iPad-third-party-app-swticher-multitasking

  • Andrew

    * Drooling *

    Hot dang I hope iOS 9 gets a jailbreak

  • Evan

    It would have been nice to include the shortcut icons in the QuickType and the swipe selection on the iPhone as well. I mean at least on the massive iPhone 6plus screen! On that note they could have done multitasking on the 6plus too. Well… Maybe next year. It took us a very long time to get the ability to make bullet points in lists on the stock notes app so who knows what else they are archiving to make each years keynote interesting.

    • Robin Keanu Keim

      “Swipe selection” is included in the iOS 9 beta on iPhone.

      • Evan

        Alright!

      • ReanimationXP

        Awesome thanks, I was wondering 🙂

  • dudewassup

    Wait so can it only highlight the text, or can it also move the cursor independent of highlighting. And how do you differentiate between the two swipes if thats the case.

    • Robin Keanu Keim

      Tap and swipe with two fingers and you move the cursor, tap and hold, then swipe with two fingers and you highlight text.

      • Steven Gouws

        I’ve tried this but it doesn’t work.

      • Robin Keanu Keim

        This feature has been taken out of the iPhone version of iOS.

      • Steven Gouws

        Thanks. That’s a pity as swip selection is a great tweak and I was under the impression it would be included in iOS 9.

  • Lance Baker

    I still have the keyboard pop-up character preview. There’s a setting to enable it in the keyboard settings.

    • raulortiz318

      Whew. I think it’d be crazy not to have that. Is there an option for keeping the keyboard all Uppercase? I feel like the lowercase keyboard might be a weird one to get used to.

      • Lance Baker

        Yes. There’s an option for that in the keyboard accessibility settings. I kind of like it though.

      • raulortiz318

        Will definitely try out. Glad there is an option! Thanks for the reply!

      • Lance Baker

        Certainly. There are lots of little things all around iOS 9.

  • ivan

    what if I download the firmware of ios 6 from the download page? can I install on my iphone 4s with ios 8.1? i don’t have any shsh saved

    • unknown

      Cannot

      • ivan

        thanks

  • Daniel

    Wish they bring back the option to turn it black like they did in iOS8.0 beta.

  • behrad

    there is passcode with 6 number 😮

    • M.

      It’s so we can use our full birth dates with the year ;D

    • Roshan Zamir

      Passcode with 6 numbers? hmmm that means apple is going to add rootless security in it……………

  • behrad

    and you can choose lock rotation for switch key like on ipad … ios 9 is really smoother

  • behrad

    and search bar in the setting …

  • Kevin Chen

    Apple did you add swiping feature to iPhone to move the cursors

    • Lance Baker

      Speaking on behalf of Apple, yes they did.

      • Kevin Chen

        Good. Cause I miss SwipeSelection

      • Brendan Emil

        That’s what I said!

      • Does the swiping feature works on iPhone 6 Plus? I’m on iOS 9.1 and this feature ist just not there. :/

  • Eikast

    Apple is sure on a roll. I was excited when they announced iOS 7, then iOS 8, and now iOS 9. They’re listening to the consumers, that’s for sure.

  • Ishaan Malhotra

    Swipe selection! Thats all i ever needed on that keyboard!

  • rfow

    NO KEY POPS?!?! YESSSSSSS.

    • Roshan Zamir

      Its shame on apple they remove key pops up..i need it back

      • Mee

        It’s in keyboard settings as Show Character Preview

  • Mee

    I absolutely hate the missing key pop ups, it makes typing so much more amdroidish and painful. When typing in passwords for things like wifi in settings they are still there though, so I hope they revert back to the pop ups

    • Kevin Chen

      There’s an option to turn it back

      • Mee

        Thank you!!!

  • Pulkit Maloo

    Apple has surely made it’s keyboard a lot improved with iOS8 and iOS9. No third party keyboard is that beautiful and smooth with so many features

    • Kevin Chen

      ive been using Nintype. It is faster and more accurate than Apple stock keyboard

  • Matt Summers

    It’s about damn time they incorporate these features it’s only been years for these simple but useful enhancements. I mean the text on the keyboard changing with caps on or off is a must. I just don’t unders why they didn’t incorporate this in the first place. Also selecting text with this new method has been around for years with jailbreaking. Yet again another useful but overlooked feature. I really am getting tired of waiting for Apple to perfect there OS. I mean it’s good and I love it but these little things just take to long for them to show up in iOS. If they mixed all the features with Android with Apple and made that an operating system, it would rock.

  • Gluls

    Ok here is my question 🙂 does IOS 9 allow a short cut to hit “send” when in message app. I have a Bluetooth keyboard case with my iPad and would like to stop having to touch the screen every time to send a message. Call me lazy. Lol

  • Charles Jackson

    my keyboard curser is not working on my 6 plus

  • So pretty much nothing then. Using a third party keyboard is so buggy on my phone. I wish apple would just create swipe functionality on its keyboard. That’s all it needs to be great.

  • Barry

    The “two finger swipe”. does not move the iphone curser at all. False. It never has been anything but the stupid slow tedious magnifying bubble. Why doesn’t the curser just go to where I tap???? Samsung curser goes everywhere i tap, be it a line above or below or even in the middle of a word or two characters over!!! Wow, thats craazy!! So, If I tap the middle of a word I dont want the curser at the start or end of the word and i definitley dont want to highlight whole words/sentences/paragraphs. So simple but yet apparently so hard.