Flicks and Other iPad Keyboard Tricks – Innovation| Innovation


The latest version of Apple’s iOS software for the iPad tries to save you time with typing shortcuts — once you know what they are.

When the iPad’s Key Flicks feature is enabled, dragging down an onscreen key changes a letter into a number.CreditThe New York Times
J. D. Biersdorfer

Q. I have a one-year-old iPad, and sometimes when I use the onscreen QWERTY keyboard, numbers or other characters will show up in the text instead of letters. Why is this?

A. Apple’s current iOS 11 update for the iPad included a new feature in the system’s built-in software keyboard called Key Flicks — which may be inadvertently disrupting your text entry. With Key Flicks enabled, most of the onscreen keys can enter different characters depending on how your fingers touch the glass.

The alternate characters for each key are shown in gray above the larger black standard letter or punctuation marks. If you tap the T key normally, you get the letter T. However, if you tap the T key and your finger happens to linger and slide down a bit, the Key Flicks software will use the alternate character for that key — which is the number 5.

Before Key Flicks was introduced, you typically switched from the regular QWERTY keyboard layer by tapping the “.?123” key in the bottom corner to change the layout to a selection of numbers and other characters. When using the numerical keyboard, you can tap the “#+=” key to get to yet another layer of special characters for math and currency symbols. Pressing down on the keys for vowels and other letters that take accents in certain languages opens a menu of accented letters; hold down the dollar sign ($) to get the symbols for the yen, the euro, pound sterling and other currencies.

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