My Dream for the iPad Keyboard

If my Smart Keyboard doesn't stop being a jerk,[1] I’ll have to get better at typing on glass. The benefits of using the on-screen keyboard are pretty amazing, I mean, who needs a mouse if your cursor moves with a two finger tap? I like the idea, yet when I use the software keyboard I run into a set of problems:

  1. I’ve memorised a lot of key commands (i.e., punctuation) and system-wide shortcuts, none of which are useable without a hardware keyboard;
  2. There are missing software keys (i.e., Esc) that are available on the hardware keyboard; and finally,
  3. I keep missing the backspace key, so tonnes of \'s in my written drafts.

The first should be fixed going forward. I realise kids are not learning to type like we did, believe me, I KNOW and that's fine, leave most of the keyboard alone. Consider adding a modifier key to the standard keyboard. Or, why not include a mac-like keyboard as an additional, non-default keyboard layout? A feature tucked-away for dorks like me.

Wouldn't it be grand to peck out punctuation without having to switch to an alternative layer and long press on to get the ellipse or opening single inverted comma, for example. I think being able to access copy/paste without removing my hands from the keyboard would also be a game changer.

As for the second point, oh-my-days does using a terminal emulator suck without an escape key. Again, I’m in the minority but I can’t even work around it with a quick mash of CTRL + \[ to replicate the Esc key because of my first issue 😫

That last point is probably just laziness on my part, something I should train myself to stop doing. Yet, no matter how impractical (and unlikely), I desperately wish I could reshape key layout or swap them entirely, I'm looking at you Caps Lock.

It would be so luxurious to set the Delete key to be twice the height, or have the left half of my space key to map to another function or key. Take a look at a bunch of funky enthusiast keyboards for an idea of what that could look like. Actually, I wonder if Apple releasing a feature like that would quiet down the growing discord about recent Apple software: everyone who’d normally speak up would be so busy fiddling that there’d be no time left.

Apple will probably never do any of what I asked. I don’t—entirely 😋—begrudge them for that either. I should probably learn to love the bom… er, software keyboard. Though I do hold a tiny hope, a birthday candle sized wish that whoever is on the professional workflow team advising iOS development (LOL) has the same issue pounding out back slashes or accidentally triggering the third app pane (what is the floating one called again?) like I do.

  1. Quick update: My Smart Keyboard was covered under an extended warranty, so they gave me a new one. 🤞it works reliably. ↩︎


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