Thursday, June 11, 2015

iOS 9 Keyboard

Juli Clover:

Keyboard changes - The shift function has been altered once again, making it easier to determine when it’s activated and when caps lock is turned on. With shift pressed, all letters on the keyboard are now shown in upper case. With shift off, letters on the keyboard are lower case. On iPad, there are new edit controls, and the keyboard now uses the new San Francisco font.

Federico Viticci:

In iOS 9, the left side of the QuickType bar will feature buttons for cut, copy, and paste; the right side will offer formatting options and a universal Attachments icon to quickly pick and share files. Apple calls this the Shortcut Bar, and developers will be able to enhance it with custom shortcuts for their apps.

Text selection has also been a major pain point in older versions of iOS, and Apple wants to tackle this aspect with a two-finger swipe that turns an iPhone and iPad into a trackpad for on-screen text. Simply place two fingers anywhere on screen (including over the keyboard) to start moving the cursor anywhere; tap & hold with two fingers to start a selection. In the demo on stage, Federighi showed how trackpad mode will enable small adjustments to cursor position across characters as well as bigger jumps across lines and paragraphs within a fraction of a second with a good mix of speed and precision.

Surprisingly, Apple also announced major changes for users of external keyboards. With iOS 9, iPad keyboards will be capable of opening the new Search page and an OS X-like app switcher similar to the CMD+Tab command found on desktop computers; in any app that implements the feature, you’ll be able to press and hold keys like Command, Option, and Control to view a popup of supported shortcuts.

Timothy Reavis:

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.


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.

This sounds great.

Update (2015-06-17): John Gruber:

Trying iOS 9. With new keyboard, quickly getting used to “Character Preview” being off. Can’t get used to case-shifting on alphabet keys.

It sounds like all the keys switching case at once is distracting. There’s a way to turn that off, but then you run into the old Shift key confusion.

Update (2015-06-18): Peter N Lewis:

IMHO it’d be relatively easy to avoid the shift confusion by coloring it blue when it is pressed. Flipping Black/White wont work.

Update (2015-08-17): The swipe selection feature has unfortunately been disabled on the iPhone.

Kirk McElhearn

One change coming to iOS 9 – currently in beta – is the appearance of lowercase keys on the keyboard when the Shift key is not engaged. Many people like this, but I find it confusing.

However, you can turn this off, and display only uppercase keys, regardless of whether you’ve tapped the Shift key.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

The pop-up character is present, it's just disabled by default. It still shows sometimes even when disabled - if you hold to select another character, for example, but it also shows from the secondary repertoire and/or in password fields (I forget). Hold to move and select will take some training but it is already the wind beneath my wings.

[…] it looks like swipe selection on the keyboard is going to be another iPad-only […]

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