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Ask DN: How would you improve the iOS keyboard?

almost 8 years ago from , Founder at Tiny Hearts Studio

As you know, Apple announced that they'll be allowing 3rd party developers the ability create keyboards for iOS 8. I'm looking forward to seeing the innovation in this space. The keyboard is one of those tools that we use everyday and it hasn't changed much over the past 7 years.

What are some ways it can be improved, enhanced, reimagined, rebuilt? I think we can all agree that the Shift key needs some work!

Would love to hear your thoughts!

19 comments

  • Joel SmithJoel Smith, almost 8 years ago

    I'd fix that annoying Caps Lock button. Is it on? Is it off?

    10 points
  • Dan CortesDan Cortes, almost 8 years ago

    Make the keys lowercase when the keys are fucking lowercase.

    9 points
  • Oz PinhasOz Pinhas, almost 8 years ago

    Better toggling between keyboards (when there are 3+), a long tap on the globe isn't quick enough, I'd like to have something similar to Android's spatial swipes.

    Also, the Emoji keyboard's globe button should be positioned in the same place as the other keyboards', even if it would break the Emoji tabs - it's currently hard to toggle between that keyboard and others when the button jumps.. that's the main reason I don't use that keyboard :)

    5 points
    • Robleh Jama, almost 8 years ago

      Yeah, I find the layout of the Emoji keyboard a little odd. I wonder why it wasn't incorporated into the main keyboard like the secondary or special character keys vs. making it a separate keyboard altogether. It really slows you down.

      0 points
    • Simon SCSimon SC, almost 8 years ago

      Swipe up from the globe to immediately open that menu.

      0 points
    • Corey Pollock, almost 8 years ago

      What do you mean by Androids spatial swipes, could you elaborate?

      0 points
      • Oz PinhasOz Pinhas, almost 8 years ago

        On Android, you can swipe right/left on the space button to navigate back and forth between keyboards.

        0 points
  • Simon SCSimon SC, almost 8 years ago

    The goddamn shift key, broken since iOS 7.1. Never sure whether or not the next letter is going to be uppercase or not.

    2 points
  • Maciej SkrzyszewskiMaciej Skrzyszewski, almost 8 years ago

    Switching between keyboards is a bit of an issue if you're messaging in different languages. This could be solved by detecting what language is being used in a conversation/message and by keeping the detected (or set by user) language setting per conversation.

    However, I'm not sure if this should be addressed to the keyboard or app developers.

    1 point
  • Beth DeanBeth Dean, almost 8 years ago

    When the space bar was made smaller to make room for the mic button I started accidentally hitting the period key constantly. There has to be a better way to trigger voice input while having it out of the way of the keyboard.

    Interestingly I've seen a study (that I now can't find to link to, sorry) that showed people perceive Swype as faster but, in fact, is not. Would love to know more about this.

    And yes that shift key, ugh.

    1 point
    • Bardan Gauchan, almost 8 years ago

      Yea that mic button being so close to the space bar is super annoying. I hit it at least 7 times out of 10. They need to remove it and maybe use a gesture to activate it - like holding the spacebar for few seconds. I don't have the stats but judging by the people around me in my life, i don't think a lot of people use that feature often enough to put it in there.

      I'm also hoping that with the bigger iPhone 6, the keyboard buttons are a little bigger (hence utilizing the bigger screen). My fat fingers are no good for the current iPhone keyboard.

      1 point
  • c kizerc kizer, almost 8 years ago

    make the caps lock key readable without clicking on it 50 times.

    1 point
  • Oscar von HauskeOscar von Hauske, over 7 years ago

    Support multiple languages or at least make it easier to switch from one to the other

    0 points
  • Mitch De CastroMitch De Castro, almost 8 years ago

    The backspace key is way too close to the return/search key!

    Always gets in the way when I type my passcode, do a search, etc. because I delete characters by mistake.

    0 points
  • Bowen LiBowen Li, almost 8 years ago

    +1 on the Shift/Caps key.

    But also, Apple needs to step up its game on natural language processing. I'm still able to type much faster on a Windows Phone than the iOS, even though I've been using the iPhone longer.

    Both systems have predictive calculations about which letters you are likely to type next and changes the hit target size of those letters. But qualitatively, the Windows one feels much better at guessing the right letter. Bonus: there's no ridiculus autocorrect "fixing" your words into something else completely.

    0 points
  • Vinh LeVinh Le, almost 8 years ago

    swype

    0 points
  • Suganth SSuganth S, almost 8 years ago

    the size of the keyboard is now 50%. I really think they should work around and make it to 30% max.

    0 points