Though many will prefer using an external keyboard to type long form on the iPad, the onscreen keyboard is second to none. Pulling up an iPad keyboard on this incredibly versatile tablet can make for a great way to bang out a quick email or iMessage. If you really want to get the most out of the iPad keyboard, Apple has a trick to help maximize screen space. The ability to split the iPad keyboard is an excellent way to make typing on the screen ever easier, especially if you are holding it from the sides. Let’s take a look at how you can quickly split and unsplit your iPad keyboard for fast typing.
Why Choose the Split
In a short amount of time we’ve quickly become accustomed to larger smartphones and tablets and typing on both. Even so, the iPad screen, which can measure as large as 12.9-inches, isn’t truly accessible for one-handed typing. On a screen that size, or even on the entry level iPad at 10.2-inches, typing with both hands can be difficult. While holding the iPad at both ends, you are forced to stretch with your thumbs to hit keys in the middle of the keyboard.
Fortunately, Apple’s introduction of the split keyboard makes it incredibly easy to type out messages quickly with your thumbs. Splitting the keys in the middle can make typing significantly more accessible for people of all hand sizes. On top of that, splitting the keyboard can provide you with more screen real estate to perform tasks. Whether that is drawing, writing or entertainment, the split keyboard allows for a more visible screen.
The biggest drawback of splitting the keys is likely that you are forced to type with your thumbs, which is neither the most comfortable nor the most natural way to type. It will take some time to get accustomed to it, but once you do, it quickly becomes second nature and increases your use of the iPad significantly.
Splitting the Keyboard
Splitting the keyboard could not be any easier. That said, it’s important to note that this option is not available on recent iPad Pro models. Instead, there is a floating keyboard option which will be covered later.
1. Enter any text field so the keyboard pops up.
2. Look at the bottom right of the screen and locate the keyboard icon. Tap and hold it until a menu of options appears.
3. Slide your finger until the “Split” option appears.
It’s that easy.
Merging a Split Keyboard
Merging the keyboard back together as one is as easy as splitting it into two parts.
1. Enter any text entry field.
2. Locate the keyboard icon at the bottom right of the screen and tap and hold it.
3. Slide your finger up to the “Merge” button.
That’s all it takes!
Moving Your Split Keyboard
Moving your split keyboard is as easy as setting it up.
1. Activate the split keyboard using the steps outlined above.
2. Lightly press and hold the keyboard button, then drag the keyboard up or down on the screen.
3. To move it back down to the bottom of the screen, lightly press and hold and drag it back down.
On iPad Pro models in particular, enabling the split keyboard is not practical. Instead, Apple offers a “floating keyboard,” which is a miniature variant of the full-size keyboard. Closer in size to that of an iPhone keyboard, you can move it anywhere on the screen and quickly type out messages or text field entries. One of the benefits of using the floating keyboard is that it keeps the ability of swiping your fingers across letters to input text.
1. To enable the floating keyboard, locate the keyboard icon at the bottom right.
2. Tap and hold on the keyboard icon until the “Floating” option appears. Select it by dragging your finger up.
3. You now have the floating keyboard, which can be moved around on the screen by pressing your finger on the little bar underneath and dragging it around.
4. To end the floating keyboard, pinch outward on the keyboard or drag it back to the bottom of your iPad screen to return it to full size.
Apple has truly thought of the user experience when it comes to using the keyboard on the iPad. That it’s both intuitive and easy to find a way to make it work for you is a bonus. How do you prefer to use your iPad onscreen keyboard?