A Quick iOS Keyboard Trick

Unapologetic: A Quick iOS Keyboard Trick.

What many people (myself included for the first three years in which I used an iPad for almost all of my typing) don’t realize is that if you tap on that key and then quickly swipe upwards it will immediately insert an apostrophe. Tapping and holding to reveal deeper functionality within the main keyboard keys is no secret, but what makes this key special is that there is no need to hold. As quickly as you can tap and swipe upwards and let go of the “,!” key is as quickly as it will place the apostrophe. This is significantly quicker than any other method of inserting an apostrophe, even using the apostrophes located on custom keyboards in apps like Drafts or Editorial. The exact same functionality works on the “.?” key, but inserts a quotation mark instead of an apostrophe.

I’ve experimented further and it appears the touch and swipe up will work any key on the keyboard that has one extra character definition like the apostrophe and quote that Alex mentions. (If you touch and hold a key, you’ll see what other characters are defined, e, for instance, has 7 with the various diacritical characters that can be stuck on). The period on the numeric keyboard produces an ellipsis when you touch and swipe. The w gives ŵ. The number ? puts out ¿. There are a few others.

I think what is happening that the iPad doesn’t need to wait for you to make a choice on the alternative character, but reacts to the swipe and outputs the alternate. Of course, you’re probably not going to remember all the alternates—but I do like to use the ellipsis.

There’s obviously some deeper meaning behind this operation… because I also discovered that the apostrophe on the number keyboard has three alternate characters (left and right single quotation marks, and what looks like a grave accent). Whatever character is chosen when this key is touched, the keyboard immediately returns to the letters, which doesn’t happen on any other key.

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