When a new version of iOS is released, it is the norm for many users to search for hidden, untapped features somewhere in the code. Developer Steven Troughton-Smith has discovered a new one-handed floating keyboard for iPad inside the iOS 10.3 beta.
According to Smith, the feature is supported in iPads that are 9.7-inches in size or smaller, meaning the largest 12.9-inch model is left out. Smith explains that the floating keyboard works a lot like picture-in-picture does for video. The keyboard can be moved around on-screen and is essentially the size of the keyboard you’d get on the iPhone.
It’s unknown when (or if) Apple will unlock the one-handed feature, making it available to iPad users. Smith certainly had to dig a bit to find the code in Simulator.
To clarify: that one isn’t publicly accessible yet, but can see it by swizzling UIKeyboardPreferencesController’s -boolForPreferenceKey:
The new feature could be activated when new iPads debut later this year. Many observers believed an iPad-centric iOS 10.3 would be released alongside new iPads, sometime in March. However, word on the street is any new iPad debut has been pushed to later in the year. So, we’ll likely see an active version of the one-handed typing feature around that same time.