Byword, one of my go-to text editors on iOS, has been updated with a host of keyboard shortcuts for Bluetooth keyboard users. The shortcuts mimic their desktop counterparts, so there isn’t much to re-learn here if you’re already familiar with standard key combinations. If you do a lot of writing on your iPad, Byword now provides even faster ways to bold, underline, and add hyperlinks to your text, without having your fingers leave the keyboard.
Personally, I’ve been trying to ease up on the idea of my iPad being paired with a Bluetooth keyboard for writing and surfing because I don’t like the disconnect between the keys and the screen. Reaching up from the keyboard to tap a small button on the top of the screen just doesn’t feel right to me…not when I have a full QWERTY keyboard at my disposal. I live and die by keyboard shortcuts on desktop computers, and the lack of shortcuts on iOS (especially in native Apple apps), really gets to me. The inability to send an email or an iMessage with Cmd + Enter is silly, and I really miss Ctrl + Tab for switching tabs in Safari. A lack of shortcut support is one of the major roadblocks for the iPad becoming a more powerful and capable computing machine.
That iOS-specific complaint aside, my hat goes off to the developers of Byword. Their list of shortcuts is quite comprehensive; they went out of their way to support faster writing and in-app navigation through the keyboard, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.