Tips and Tricks: The iPadOS Floating On-Screen Keyboard

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If I had to pick one thing I don’t enjoy about life with an iPad, it would be using the on-screen keyboard in landscape. I much prefer to use my iPad Pro in landscape most of the time, going back to when I first started using the device a few months after it was first released. That is just a personal thing, but I know many others feel the same way. This is just one reason why I prefer to use Bluetooth keyboards with my iPad Pro.

The on-screen keyboard wasn’t so much of an impediment back when I was using a 9.7″ version. It was downright easy to use on the iPad Mini. However, I rarely if at all us it since moving to the 12.9″ iPad Pro. While the on-screen keyboard on this device is almost as big as a full size keyboard in landscape, it is very cumbersome to use while holding the device. Portrait orientation is better, but I usually just prefer to stick to my physical keyboards. Call me a creature of habit.

That said, Apple has given us a feature in iPadOS that may shake my habits up a bit. The new Floating On-Screen Keyboard is a perfect addition for someone like me. I do enjoy using my iPad Pro without my keyboard on occasion and I am also finding myself doing more annotations of prints and documents with the Pencil, which are easier without the physical keyboard in the way. The new Floating Keyboard is a great way to type one-handed, even on the large screen of a 12.9″ iPad Pro.

Basically, Apple has given us the ability to to shrink the iPad’s on-screen keyboard down to iPhone size and move it around the screen at will. Combined with Apple’s new QuickPath swipe typing capability, this new keyboard is the perfect way for someone like myself to get a little typing done while away from the Bluetooth keyboard.

Check out the video below for instructions on how to bring up this version of the on-screen keyboard and a few examples of the features the Floating Keyboard brings to the table:

As a I said in the video, this is a small feature. However, small features are often the ones we use the most. As is the case here, they can also make simple tasks much easier. I am not be ready to turn in my Brydge keyboard just yet, but this new on-screen Floating Keyboard will make typing on the iPad Pro without one easier than its ever been.

James Rogers

I am a Christian husband and father of 3 living in the Southeastern US. I have worked as a programmer and project manager in the Commercial and Industrial Automation industry for over 19 years, so I am hands on with technology almost every day. However, my passion in technology is for mobile devices, specifically Apple's iOS and iPadOS hardware and software. My favorite is still the iPad.

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3 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks: The iPadOS Floating On-Screen Keyboard”

  1. Apple s iPadOS offers a compact keyboard that you can easily move around the screen to wherever it is most convenient. Activating the floating keyboard is super easy just pinch on the keyboard, and it ll shrink down. Then spread two fingers to activate the full-size keyboard again.

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