Apple is testing a floating keyboard inside the iOS 10.3 beta

Apple is testing a floating keyboard inside the iOS 10.3 beta
Digging through iOS 10.3 beta code, developer Steve Troughton-Smith discovered two "hidden" keyboards for the iPad. In all likelihood, Apple is testing these internally and potentially preparing them for release with iOS 11.

The first keyboard floats above apps and other content in a window you can move around anywhere on the screen. It supports trackpad mode as well, letting you control cursors during text input. With such a keyboard, you can open two apps in split-screen mode and enter text in both, without having to minimize the keyboard.

The second keyboard supports gesture input, letting you swipe left and right on keys for backspace and spacebar functionality.

These keyboards could make it to the iPhone as well, though when, if, and in what shape is anyone but Apple's guess. Its plans will become clearer at the WWDC event in June, where iOS 11 and its new features will be discussed.


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13 Comments

1. Macready

Posts: 1821; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Basically what Swiftkey has allowed for ages.

3. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Windows phones did it before swift key. Honestly does it make you feel better than something did something first? if ios does it then good for them. More features for users.

6. Macready

Posts: 1821; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

False, Windows introduced a one hand (reduced size to the side) keyboard option in 2015 for its largest phablets. Swiftkey has offered one hand (left or right sided) PLUS floating (move it around to wherever you want) option since October 2013. You're right, it shouldn't make anyone feel better that others have offered it first, but it's helpful information to those currently using their phones, that this is already available, even for iPhones when using 3rd party apps such as Swiftkey.

7. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

It's the way you said it that makes it seem arrogant. can't argue about that since not sure when swiftkey introduced it but just know it's been around for a while on windows phone. SwiftKey is owned by MS anyways now. And the world flow keyboard on windows 10 has really gotten worse than 8.1. It's horrible now though insiders say it improves on next release. But funny part is I notice all my android/ios friends using swift key getting similar mistakes word flow makes. So that's when you know MS has taken over.

9. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Who cares who does it forst. Its who does it best. Right? Isn't that how iFans say it? I could care less who does it first, and best is left to interpretation. I prefer whoever does it the way that seems to fit my needs whether they were first or not. The biggest issue with Apple is, why take 3~4 years to do what others have had for 3~4 years? $200B and Apple is pretty much always last. Doesn't that make you feel said that companies with less money innovated ideas better in order to get your money and all you all do is criticize them, yet Apple with all their money take years to implement some of the most simplest of ideas and you all kiss there @$$. Apple has had "some" good ideas, which others have followed. Now Apple takes 4 years to follow everyone else's good ideas, yet they have all this money. Money is worthless if you don't spend it.

12. AlikMalix unregistered

You're a self-contradicting sheep.

2. epic_ninja420

Posts: 131; Member since: Nov 18, 2014

can I get the numbers at the top of the keyboard like android has had for years? I'd prefer not to have to shift everytime I needed a number. Good thing I only have to use iOS for work,

4. nedimko_wot

Posts: 115; Member since: Oct 01, 2016

how about flying keyboard

8. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Apple, your phones and tablets are big. PLEEEEEAAAAASSSSEEEEE put the numbers row either on the top or bottom of the other character rows. How hard can this be? Is this patented? Please pay! I don't understand why you are so against payign for good ideas, built then you want to charge an arm and a leg for your lame duck copies of other peoples ideas. All the steps you have to do, to use a simple keyboard on iOS is annoying.

10. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Onscreen keyboards for me was the most terrible idea every. I preferred the hardware QWERTY on Windows Phones, Palm and Blackberry devices. Downside is taking 50% of the screen to type. Floating keyboard suck even more because then the keyboard shrinks, making it harder to type, they still block the screen The split keyboard is ok because at least you can put the pads to the sides and corners. But I think is they should take all 13 letters and make a keypad that simply lines the far edge of the display, based on portrait or landscape. With a very thin bar right by your thumbs and index fingers, you can press any letter. And have it where the most used letter are on one side, or you can custom the bar and arrange the letters and numbers how you like, even putting all 26 + 10 on one side. A keypad that woudl take up less than 5% of the screen to me would be ideal. I don't understand why no one has done this yet.

11. batmite

Posts: 197; Member since: Jan 19, 2017

I have no doubt that when Apple implements this, it will be done the best, as always.

13. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

wow... such innovation... why no one ever thing of this useful stuff before? /s

14. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

"The first keyboard floats above apps and other content in a window you can move around anywhere on the screen." You are wrong, Luis.

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