Mastering the iOS 14 iPhone Keyboard

When it comes to using your iPhone, the keyboard is second only in importance to the touchscreen. If you familiarise yourself with the iPhone’s virtual keyboard features, you can get so much more out of your Apple smartphone.

This guide teaches you how to use the virtual keyboard, and its features such as voice input and additional languages.

Step 1 – Once you’ve opened the keyboard, you can enter text by simply tapping on the keys as you would on any similar typing device. It’s really easy and intuitive to use.

Step 2 – To add digits and punctuation to your text, just tap the 123 key located on the lower-left side of the keyboard. An additional tap on the key above brings up more symbols.

Step 3 – When you start to type a word, the iPhone tries to complete it for you and displays its predictions in a bar above the keyboard. Tap one of the suggestions to finish the word.

Step 4 – When sending messages or emails, predictive text learns your choice of language and suggests the correct word for the tone of what it is you’re writing. Tap on the word to use it.

Step 5 – This predictive text feature also recognises if you are replying to a question that can be answered “Yes” or “No”. As before, simply tap to select the answer that suits your reply.

Step 6 – Notice the Microphone icon on or under the keyboard. This is the Voice Dictation key. Tap this and simply speak the text you wish to enter; it appears on-screen in real-time.

Step 7 – Additional keyboards can be accessed by tapping and holding the Globe icon and selecting an option. You can (de)activate predictive text from the Keyboard Settings link.

Step 8 – To add third-party keyboards, download the Keyboard app from the App Store. From Settings, go to: General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard and select the app.

Swipe Keyboard

A new feature is the Swipe keyboard. Instead of tapping each key individually, you can drag your finger from letter to letter, without lifting it, until you get to the end of a word.

Shift key options

Tap the Shift key to switch to capital letters for the next key press only. Double-tap to lock it in caps mode, like a caps lock on a manual typewriter. In caps mode, tap the Shift key once to return to normal typing. The Shift key’s graphic changes depending on whether it’s in regular, caps-next or caps-lock mode.

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Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.

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