The presentation of the first generation of iPhones by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in January 2007 is now legendary. One of the most important arguments for the new smartphone: its “revolutionary” operation. Unlike similar devices of the time, the iPhone should do without a physical keyboard: Multitouch was the answer to too small plastic buttons of typical phones. Apple was sure that this would be the future. The competition, however, was skeptical: the then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, for example, derided the iPhone as too expensive and unusable.
Rarely has Apple been so right – and the competition so wrong. Microsoft had to leave the mobile phone business after several attempts. Almost every modern smartphone today relies on multitouch with virtual keyboards.
This can be done by the iPhone keyboard
The pre-installed iOS keyboard does a lot of work in secret. The intelligent word suggestions and text corrections can also be annoying when operating. So it’s worth taking a look at the device settings. Here you will also find an entry for the keyboard under “General”. You can use the individual switches below the “All Keyboards” heading to modify and customize the iPhone keyboard to your liking.
If you “fight” with the iPhone keyboard too often, you can help yourself with some tricks and tricks in the settings. For example, if you often use the same text modules, but don’t always want to type them completely, then text substitution is a clever option: Here you can enter abbreviations to replace them with complete text modules. For example, just type “adw” – and your iPhone will automatically replace this abbreviation to “On the Way!”.
In addition to these rather simple entries, you can also specifically counteract incorrect corrections in the keyboard settings. Especially with unusual names, terms or spellings, the iPhone initially tends to make unwanted text corrections, which you have to iron out manually if you don’t want to confuse your counterpart. The smartphone learns and should refrain from making these unwanted changes even after a certain period of time; however, the way to get there can be annoying. A trick is therefore to enter these terms, names and spellings in the text substitution in a targeted manner and to have them replaced by oneself. Then the phone immediately stops the wrong improvements without having to do without the complete correction function.
Over the years, Apple has been constantly updating the pre-installed keyboard. For example, smart text suggestions or the popular emojis gradually joined the iPhone. With iOS 13, however, Apple is now trying a big leap and is adding some new features to the iPhone keyboard.
What’s new on the iPhone keyboard on iOS 13
For a long time, iPhone fans had to look enviously at the Android platform or install alternative keyboards like Swype to write by swipe gesture. With iOS 13, this feature is now finally available on the pre-installed Apple keyboard. Unlike usual, you no longer have to tap each letter individually, but can swipe the keyboard with a gesture to write whole words. It is important that you touch the desired letters and only lift your finger after the end of the desired word. The keyboard then automatically detects which word you want to write and inserts it. However, this usually works better with simple and familiar words than with complex and unusual ones. In addition, this type of input requires some practice. However, many users do not want to miss them after that. So give her a chance!
However, if you don’t like “swipe” at all and even produce unwanted errors, you can completely disable the function in the keyboard settings with the “Delete to tap” switch to return to the usual model.
Another practical innovation is the one-handed keyboard. Especially on larger iPhone models like the 11 Pro Max, it can be difficult to impossible to operate the keyboard with just one thumb. Whether you want to have a coffee or a child in the second hand, there are many situations in everyday life that require a one-handed operation.
To activate, you will find your own entry in the keyboard settings. You can also specify which display page the virtual keyboard should appear on. This pushes the keyboard to one side, so you should reach the full display with just one thumb. A large arrow will appear on the opposite side, which will allow you to drag the keyboard back to the full display width if necessary.
third-party iPhone keyboards
In addition to the iOS keyboard, you can also install third-party keyboard apps. These then appear system-wide in all programs that require text input and thus replace the standard keyboard. Google’s Gboard keyboard is such an alternative. At first glance, the free keyboard looks like the pre-installed Apple keyboard. In the upper left corner, however, the Google logo indicates a crucial difference: With the icon, you can start the usual Google search directly and automatically enter the search results into their text with a tap. In addition, the Gboard integrates the very good Google translator for multilingual typing.
If this is nuptially enough (or if you don’t want to entrust Google partout with your own texts), you should download the also free Swiftkey keyboard from the App Store. This app offers a lot of visual design possibilities of the keyboard. On the other hand, if you like to communicate frequently in the form of GIFs, you can use the Giphy app to use a specialized keyboard to search for the moving small images. You enable them in the keyboard settings of your iPhone, similar to the Gboard keyboard.
Security risk keyboard?
Installing third-party iPhone keyboards is not safe for data security reasons. Gboard, Swiftkey and Giphy always required full access to the keyboard input in the test. You have to activate it yourself during the respective installation, so the apps don’t sneak in without your knowledge. The iPhone also warns you of a possible security risk.
So what are the dangers? Third-party keyboards can send your text input to the development teams. In case of doubt, they could also read out sensitive data such as addresses, user accounts and passwords. So keep this security risk in mind before using external keyboards!
Of course, many of the vendors have similar security standards to Apple: Google, for example, only evaluates anonymized data from keyboard input to improve its own product. Our workshop will tell you how to ban this “cutting”.
But if you doubt, you should stick to the pre-installed Apple keyboard – if there is more confidence in the iPhone manufacturer.