The iPhone keyboard has some little-known tricks that Apple doesn’t openly advertise, and among these is a helpful tip to type numbers and symbols faster. While this shortcut been around for a while, it has recently received some much-needed attention. Since the on-screen keyboard is a feature used numerous times throughout the day, even a little change can make a dramatic difference to its ease of use.
Apple‘s first touchscreen device with text entry wasn’t an iPhone or even an iPod. It was the Newton, a personal digital assistant (PDA) released in 1992. One of the most interesting products at the time, it ultimately failed to find success. The Apple Newton required a stylus for hand-written text instead of an on-screen keyboard. Apple‘s first touchscreen keyboard arrived with the iPhone in 2007 and was among the first of its kind.
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In a recent Reddit thread exploring iPhone tricks, one of the most popular tips was shared by user plaid-knight as a way for typing numbers and symbols more quickly with an iPhone’s keyboard. Instead of tapping the ‘123’ key to switch to the numerical keyboard as Apple recommends, the user can press and hold that key with one finger which opens the numeric keyboard. While holding the ‘123’ key, numbers and symbols can be entered with another finger. Releasing the ‘123’ key allows the keyboard to return to the normal letter keyboard. This trick might seem insignificant but small efficiency tips for an often-used feature can add up to massive savings in time.
More iPhone Keyboard Tips
On a related note, the Reddit user pointed out that the same tip works for the shift key. A couple of handy double-tap shortcuts were mentioned as well. Two presses of the shift key switches on caps-lock and a double-tap of the spacebar enters a period and a space to end a sentence. The spacebar trick can be switched off if double-spacing is the intention. This can be done by pressing and holding the globe key until a menu appears, then selecting Keyboard Settings. Scrolling down and switching off the toggle for “.” Shortcut will allow the spacebar to be tapped repeatedly to enter only blank spaces. The spacebar can also be used to activate a touchpad.
Apple notes that accented letters, characters, and special symbols can be entered by pressing and holding some keys to reveal more options. The most commonly accented letters, such as the vowels and some consonants offer several different types of accents that are used in other languages. English is somewhat rare in its lack of accents and diacritic marks, but since the iPhone sells worldwide, Apple recognizes the need to support other languages and enter accented characters. Even other currency symbols can be entered by pressing and holding the dollar sign key, revealing that the iPhone is designed for a diverse user base.