iPad’s Split Keyboard Has Six Hidden Keys For Your Convenience

Apple sneaks in some very subtle, yet incredibly useful features in iOS from time to time. One such feature comes bundled with the split keyboard for the iPad in iOS 5.0.1/iOS 5.

If you see the split keyboard, you’ll notice that the inner extremes of both the keyboard parts have some extra space left.

iPad split keyboard

Turns out, this empty space actually houses extra keys according to the standard QWERTY layout, to play well with the typing practices of all users.

iPad split keyboard hidden keys

These duplicate keys let you tap an adjacent key on the other side of the split.

Such attention to fine detail is characteristic of Apple. Another, very similar, example of Apple playing around with the iOS keyboard buttons to add extra functionality is, the Siri dictation key on the iPhone 4S, which doubles up as a spacebar when typing.


Here’s how to enable the split keyboard:

  • Tap and hold on the keyboard button at the bottom right corner of your iPad’s keyboard (the one you generally tend to use for hide the keyboard).
  • You should get two options: Undock and Split.
  • Tap on Split to use the split keyboard.

[Finger Things via Brooks Review]

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  • Tom

    oh my gosh, thats the thing i didn’t like about the split, i felt like it was split wrongly! thanks for the tip, it gonna be a lot easier to type now 🙂

  • Sedrick

    BTW using 2 fingers (2 thumbs f. Ex) in a zoom in or out gesture to switch between normal and split keyboard.
    Too bad apple did not implement different sizes. Keys on Split keyboard are too small formy big hands 🙁

  • Chris

    Wow, so they put in details like this but they overlook the fact that the split keyboard makes it completely impossible to type in any application where you need to see the bottom of the screen! For example, try having a conversation in iMessage with a split keyboard. It simply can’t be done because you can’t read anything that’s being said since the keyboard overlays it. Same goes for any texting app I would imagine. Apple should spend less time on useless features like the ghost keys and more time on actually making the split keyboard function correctly with all of their own native apps.

    • LoneWaffle

      Are you serious?! You simply drag the keyboard up rather than leaving it on the bottom. It’s not rocket science!

  • Quaz

    Are you sure this wasn’t a bug in the first place?
    Anyhow it makes typing with the split keyboard a lot easier, A good bug I guess!

  • Danny

    Why don’t they add in a numeric keypad in the centre ?

  • fas

    Wow this is an eye opener.