How to master Apple’s new swipe keyboard

QuickPath keyboard gestural typing

Apple’s QuickType keyboard on iOS 13 and iPadOS supports gesture typing so you can swipe from one letter to the next in one continuous motion, with Siri intelligence and machine learning making reliable predictions as to what you’re trying to type. Follow along to master gestural typing as iDB shows you how to set up and use the new iPhone swipe keyboard.

Called QuickPath, this new input method in iOS 13 and iPadOS brings typing by swiping to the keyboard experience. If you’ve used third-party keyboards with gestural typing, like SwiftKey, Microsoft’s Swype or Google’s Gboard, you’ll feel right at home with QuickPath.

ROUNDUP: The best swipe keyboards for iPhone and iPad

With QuickPath for the QuickType keyboard, you simply swipe your way from one letter to the next as they form each word. Now, some people prefer swiping instead of tapping. Thankfully, Apple’s made life easier for both camps by not requiring customers to manually switch between QuickType and QuickPath — you can swipe or tap, even in the middle of a sentence.

iPhone swipe keyboard - Messages app

QuickPath supports multiple languages:

  • English
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Spanish
  • German
  • French
  • Italian
  • Portuguese

The new swipe keyboard in iOS 13 and iPadOS was publicly shown off by Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, during the June 3 keynote address held at the annual developers conference that ran June 3-7 in San Jose, California.

Follow the step-by-step tutorial included right ahead to learn how to use the new swipe keyboard on iPhone and iPad and master gestural typing on the iOS platform.

How to use iPhone swipe keyboard in iOS 13

The new swipe keyboard works on any iPhone or iPod touch powered by the iOS 13+ software.

1) Open Settings on your iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 13+.

2) Choose General from the main list.

3) Tap Keyboard.

4) Slide the switch labeled with the text Slide To Type to the ON position.

5) Now you can type by swiping in any app that uses the system keyboard.

iPhone swipe keyboard

Keep in mind that QuickPath does not work with third-party keyboards.

How to use iPad swipe keyboard in iPadOS

The new swipe keyboard is also available on iPad tablets with the iPadOS software.

Additionally, the system keyboard in iPadOS can be shrunk to either side of the screen so that it floats on top of the apps you’re using. This is handy when holding an iPad in one hand as you can quickly thumb-type that message away to get back to what you were doing.

iPad swipe keyboard

The iPad swipe keyboard is enabled by default when you update your tablet to iPadOS, but do verify that it hasn’t been accidentally turned off (and learn how to turn it off at will).

1) Open Settings on your iPad with iPadOS or later.

2) Choose General from the main list.

3) Tap Keyboard.

4) Slide the switch next to Slide To Type to the ON position.

Now, you cannot use the full-width QuickType keyboard with QuickType.

This is by design because it doesn’t really make sense to drag your finger across those nearly laptop-size keys on the large iPad keyboard, does it? In order to use the new QuickPath input method, you must make the keyboard float around the screen.

5) Do this now, simply pinch the iPad keyboard in order to shrink it down.

iPad swipe keyboard - pinching
Pinch to shrink down the keyboard in iPadOS.

6) Now that the keyboard is much more manageable, you can type by swiping across the keys to say what you want to say rather than lift your finger. The floated keyboard can be moved around the screen to pick the perfect spot based on whatever they’re doing.

To go back to the full-size keyboard, pinch out the mini keyboard.

iPad swipe keyboard - QuickPath
Typing by swiping across the keys on the floated iPad keyboard.

And that’s all, folks!

iOS 13 compatibility

iOS 13 is compatible with the following Apple smartphone models:

  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPod touch (7th generation)

For more information, read Apple’s press release or visit

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iPadOS compatibility

iPadOS is compatible with these iPads:

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro
  • 11-inch iPad Pro
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2

Watch our video overview of the new iPad-only updates embedded below.

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For more, read Apple’s press release or visit

Need help? Ask iDB!

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