Keyboard Position Options On the iPhone

If you have trouble reaching the keys on the iPhone virtual keyboard, especially when holding it with one hand, you have the option to use left or right one-handed keyboards. These come in especially handy on the iPhone 6, 7 and 8 Plus models, where the screen is just a bit too wide to reach all of the keys using just your thumb.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Keyboard Position Options On the iPhone.

So yesterday I showed you how you can make typing a little easier on the iPad by splitting the keyboard and moving it from the bottom of the screen. Well, you don't have those options on an iPhone. For the most part you don't need them because the device itself is smaller and easier to reach all the keys wherever they are on the screen. But there are some options to make the keyboard a little easier to type on depending upon what you're comfortable with.

Here I am in Notes. I'm on an iPhone X so things look a little bit different if you're on, say, an iPhone 6, 7, 8 or 6, 7, 8+. But in this case if you look at the keyboard you can see there's that little keyboard change button. It's a little globe at the bottom left. This allows you to switch keyboards. But if you tap and hold it you can see you get things like keyboard settings and then the keyboards I have installed. At the bottom you have the option to switch to one handed keyboards. So notice there are three options there. The middle one is the one that's selected and that's the standard keyboard.

I can select the one on the left and when I do that you can see the keyboard moves, all the keys move a little bit to the left. So now they are a little more reachable by my thumb on the left side of my iPhone. Notice that there is a little arrow thing there at the right side. If I tap that you can see it automatically expands to put the keyboard across the entire screen again. I could, actually, just select it here and then do the same thing again, select it again, select the middle. There's also the one on the right depending upon how you like holding your iPhone. Then you can actually tap that little arrow there on the left side to expand the keyboard.

You can also find this in the Settings app although there really is no advantage to choosing it there. A quick way to get to the Settings app is to actually use the Keyboard Settings option here but you can go in through the regular Settings app as well and then look for Keyboards. Here you can turn One Handed Keyboard off, left or right but it's basically the same as turning it on, you know, using the keyboard just at the bottom here. Like that.

Now these are much more useful on the Plus size iPhones. So the 6, 7, 8 plus. The screen there is just too big for most people to be able to use their thumb if they're holding the iPhone with one hand and reach the opposite side of the keyboard. So I'm holding with my left hand now and I really can't reach the O, the P, the L, or even the K very comfortably with my thumb. But I can tap the keyboard change button, which in this case is the little smiley face because I only have the emoji keyboard installed here, and I can choose one of these other ones. You can see now it cuts off a good 20%, maybe 25%, of the space there. Really condensing the keyboard and making it much easier to reach all the keys with my thumb. Likewise if you're holding the phone with your other hand too. It's so useful here on the plus size screens and definitely something you want to look into using if you need to type out a bunch of text while holding the phone, especially with one hand.

Comments: 4 Responses to “Keyboard Position Options On the iPhone”

    John Brown
    11 months ago

    WHY is the comma and period reversed on a iphone keyboard compared to a standard keyboard that everyone has used since the beginning of typing ?

    Judy Eastwood
    11 months ago

    I can’t find the one handed keyboard options under the Smiley face (no globe on my iPhone 7 or iPad Mini 4). Only the English and emoji keyboards are offered there. No luck in settings either. What am I missing?

    11 months ago

    Judy: This is only for the iPhone, not the iPad. It is definitely on the Plus models, but I don’t think it is on the non-Plus models as they are already narrower screens.

    Judy Eastwood
    11 months ago

    Update – Just read on an Apple support page that the one-handed keyboard is not available if your iPhone (7 and others) display is Zoomed. Mine was, but now it is not, and now I have the one-handed keyboard options.

Comments Closed.