I use a lowercase keyboard tweak on iOS 7 (jailbroken of course; I'm stuck on an iPhone 4,) which maintains a consistent baseline throughout case and it looks much nicer IMO.
EDIT: Screenshot for those interested
I had to turn it off, I just didn't like how it looks. From usability it is much more clear but considering you type lower case more of the time, for me it just wasn't worth looking at the keyboard that looked "weird" all the time.
I'm not noticing this. Does that mean I'm a bad designer? ...
lol, no. It probably just means you don't take your tea with a storm in it.
Apple isn't really known for its attention to detail.
I'm surprised they shipped this in this state. I would think someone at Apple would've said something, since it's a pretty easy fix. Unless it's by design, in which case, I have no idea what the reasoning behind it is.
It's not really that bad. Shifting the baseline makes sense because all CAPITALS reside at the baseline and above, but lowercase letters often dip below it. To keep the glyphs centered on the keys, a subtle shift of the baseline is needed...
I think the main reason this looks weird to iPhone users is because it's new, nothing else. Android keyboards have had this function forever and no one complains -- and it's not because of a consistent baseline.
I'm on Android and much prefer the case-specific keyboards. I'm running stock 4.4 and the baselines do appear to be the same between upper and lowercase on Android. To me, that looks a lot more natural.
You're right that it could make sense to raise the lowercase letters since the uppercase never dip below the baseline, but that's not how we're used to seeing letters.
I think this one comes down to preference. I don't think you can make a definitive case for which approach is better. For the most part people will notice it because its different and then forget about it. In the long run people will appreciate the clarity it provides regardless of baseline alignment choice.
Best comment. Although I do think it needs a tiny optical adjustment on the lowercase.
Great comment, man.
While there are many minor things about Apple that get lots of karma here, in this case this is also an interesting anecdote on how typographic details unnoticeable by most can have a major impact on usability.