How to use iOS and iPadOS 13’s new software keyboard features

Learn how to use new features in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, including swipe to type, one-handed typing mode, and Memojis or Animojis with third-party apps.


Image: Apple, Inc.

The software keyboard on iOS was a breakthrough technology when the iPhone was first released in 2007 and was a much lauded feature by Apple and one that many competitors never thought would take off. Fast forward to 2019, and I don’t know how we’d live without the software keyboard.

In iOS 13, Apple has made many improvements to the keyboard in an attempt to bring the keyboard in-line with other mobile operating systems and keyboards, as well as improve the one-handed typing mode on the iPad. Apple also included a fun feature: The ability to add Memojis to most applications through the keyboard. I’ll show you how to use these features to your advantage.

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How to swipe to type in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13

One of the features that’s been present in other mobile operating systems for years and is a feature of many custom keyboards on the App Store is the ability to swipe to type. Apple has built the swipe feature into iOS 13 and
13 for both the iPhone and the iPad. This feature works better than most third-party keyboards that I’ve seen, and it preserves privacy–the third-party keyboards I have used require network access.

To use this feature, simply tap on the key you wish to start with to spell the word, then swipe to the remaining words in the word you wish to spell. By doing this, iOS will recognize what word you’re intending to type and will add it to the text field you’re typing into as soon as you lift your finger (Figure A).

Figure A 


Swiping to type is easy–just tap on the first letter of the word and swipe to the remaining word letters to type.