iOS 8: A Take Control Crash Course
by Josh Centers

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Commanding Keyboards in iOS 8

Typing in iOS is pretty self-explanatory, but a few tricks are easy to miss, such as “typing” using voice dictation. Also, iOS 8 introduces QuickType shortcuts, which gives you more control over autocorrect . An intriguing new feature is the addition of third-party keyboards, which opens up all sorts of possibilities.

① 	The iOS 8 keyboard makes typing even faster thanks to QuickType. You can choose exactly which word you mean from the bar, eliminating autocorrect errors.

① The iOS 8 keyboard makes typing even faster thanks to QuickType. You can choose exactly which word you mean from the bar, eliminating autocorrect errors.

Special Keyboard Parts

  1. QuickType bar: This bar automatically suggests words as you type. Tap one to insert it.
  2. More/Numbers: Tap here to view numbers and special characters.
  3. Next/Emoji: This key appears only if an extra keyboard is installed. Tap it to switch between keyboards, including Emoji. Hold it to see a list of installed keyboards. The key may show a smiley face, not a globe.
  4. Dictate: Tap to speak words, and have iOS transcribe them, instead of typing. (Not available on iPad 2.)
  5. Period: Hold this key while typing a URL in Safari to see shortcuts for domains, such as .com and .net.
  6. Hide Keyboard: Tap here to dismiss the keyboard.

Typing Basics

Note: I look at the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus keyboard in iPhone 6 Quirks, near the end of this book.

Typing Timesavers

② 	With its unusual casing, TidBITS is tough to type on the iOS keyboard, but I can speed up typing with a shortcut.

② With its unusual casing, TidBITS is tough to type on the iOS keyboard, but I can speed up typing with a shortcut.

Tip: For more powerful text substitution, try TextExpander for iOS, from Smile.

③ 	To copy text, touch and hold the text you wish to copy to open a popover; then tap Select, select the desired text, and tap Copy.

③ To copy text, touch and hold the text you wish to copy to open a popover; then tap Select, select the desired text, and tap Copy.

Is Shift On?

Which case you get when you type depends whether the Shift arrow is light or dark—or underlined :

**④** From left to right: lowercase, uppercase, and caps lock.

From left to right: lowercase, uppercase, and caps lock.

Tap Shift once to switch between cases; Tap it twice to turn caps lock on; once to turn caps lock off.

How to Dictate

Tap where you want your text to go.

  1. On the keyboard, tap the Dictate key to the left of the Space bar.
  2. Talk. Be sure to explicitly speak punctuation and spaces (for example, “Hi comma Tony period”).

Unfortunately, you can’t delete or edit text using dictation—saying “delete” or “backspace” just types those words.

New in iOS 8: Each word is typed as soon as it is recognized, so you can quickly spot mistakes.

Note: Sorry iPad 2 users…the iPad 2 doesn’t support dictation.

Emoji

Originally used in Japan, emoji are small pictographs. With emoji, for example, instead of typing a colon, hyphen, and parenthesis :-) to indicate a smile, you can type a cute smiley face 😊 !

⑤ 	Emoji are much more expressive than plain text emoticons. Tap the Next/Emoji button at the lower left to switch to a different keyboard.

⑤ Emoji are much more expressive than plain text emoticons. Tap the Next/Emoji button at the lower left to switch to a different keyboard.

Enabling Emoji

  1. Open Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards.
  2. Tap Add New Keyboard.
  3. Select Emoji from the list.

Typing Emoji

Tap the Next/Emoji button. It looks like either a globe or a smiley face, depending on whether other keyboards are enabled or not.

Tap a button at the bottom of the keyboard to switch emoji categories, or tap the Next/Emoji button again to switch to a different keyboard.

New! Third-party Keyboards

Does the iOS keyboard not do it for you? The good news is that Apple is now allowing third-party developers to create system-wide keyboards that users can install.

To enable a third-party keyboard:

  1. Install the app containing a keyboard, such as TextExpander or Fleksy, from the App Store.
  2. Tap Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards.
  3. Tap Add New Keyboard.
  4. Select the keyboard from the list.
  5. Some keyboards, such as TextExpander, require Full Access to be fully operational. To enable it, still on the Keyboard screen, tap the keyboard’s name and turn on the Allow Full Access switch. An alert warns you that with Full Access, the developer can see anything you’ve typed. Tap Allow or Don’t Allow.

To switch keyboards, tap the Next/Emoji key to cycle through keyboards, or hold the Next/Emoji key down to see a list of available keyboards. (This behavior may change depending on the keyboard you’re using; see my TidBITS article iOS 8 Third-Party Keyboards Explained and Reviewed.)

Adjusting the iPad Keyboard

You can adjust the iPad keyboard’s screen position or split it into two so that you can type with your thumbs.

Moving the Keyboard

  1. Press and hold the Hide Keyboard button, and slide your finger up to Undock and release.

    The keyboard slides up to the middle of the screen .

    ⑥ 	You can move the iPad’s keyboard up and down on the screen.

    ⑥ You can move the iPad’s keyboard up and down on the screen.

  2. If you want to adjust the keyboard position further, drag the Hide Keyboard button.

To return the keyboard to its default position, either repeat Step 1 above but choose Dock, or drag the keyboard back to the bottom of the screen.

Splitting the Keyboard

⑦ 	You can split the iPad’s keyboard, making it easier to type with your thumbs.

⑦ You can split the iPad’s keyboard, making it easier to type with your thumbs.

Either way, the keyboard splits and moves up to the middle of the screen.

To put the keyboard back together, either drag its two sides together or press and hold the Hide Keyboard button and choose Merge or Dock and Merge.

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“Need to type a word in capital letters? Tap the Shift key twice to enable caps lock. Tap it again to turn it off.”

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