Quite a lot of people like the idea of a floating keyboard that they can move around on their iPads. Small-sized floating keyboards open up a lot more screen real estate than when using the docked, full-size on-screen keyboard.
But if that smaller sized keyboard just isn’t your thing, there is a quick and painless way to get rid of it!
Just pinch it with two fingers and zoom out to get back to a docked and full-sized keyboard on your iPad.
- 1 For many, the most exciting feature is the iPad floating keyboard
- 2 Other iOS 13 and iPadOS new keyboard features
- 3 QuickPath swipe to type
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For many, the most exciting feature is the iPad floating keyboard
This floating keyboard is pint-sized Phone QWERTY keyboard, taking up a lot less screen space than the standard iPad keyboard. Plus, you can position it just about anywhere you want to on-screen, making it easier to see what’s behind.
For folks who regularly use iPhones, this mini-keyboard is familiar and perfect for typing with just one finger.
How to enable iPad’s floating keyboard
- Just pinch with two fingers and zoom in on the full-sized keyboard to shrink it to a keyboard that’s about the size of an iPhone’s on-screen keyboard
- You can also tap the keyboard icon on the full-size keyboard and selecting Floating
- Drag your floating keyboard to wherever you want it by pressing and holding the bottom handle
How to disable iPad’s floating keyboard
- Pinch the mini-keyboard with two fingers and zoom out until the keyboard expands and docks
- Or grab the floating keyboard’s bottom handle and drag it towards the Dock and the bottom of your iPad’s screen and the keyboard should spring back into its full size
Other iOS 13 and iPadOS new keyboard features
New to iOS13 and iPadOS are a host of further keyboard improvements and offerings, which help the native Apple keyboard rival many third-party keyboard options for both iPad and iPhone (and let’s not forget iPod.)
- QuickPath swipe to type
- Alternate word options appear in the predictive text bar
- Automatic dictation language recognition
- New keyboard languages and dictionaries
- Enhanced text editing options for scrolling, moving the cursor, selecting your text
- For iPadOS, a bunch of new keyboard shortcuts
QuickPath swipe to type
For quite a long time now, Android keyboards and some third-party keyboards for iOS offered a quick swipe type feature (called swyping,) where you slide over letters to form words instead of tapping them.
Starting with iOS13 and iPadOS, this feature is finally available in the native Apple iOS and iPadOS keyboard. And for folks who loved Swype, that’s a potential lifesaver.
QuickPath works on iPhone, iPod, and with the mini floating keyboard on iPad. It does not appear to work on the iPad’s full-size keyboard.
So if you’re a swyper, you no longer need to use any third-party keyboards. Just swipe from one letter to the next without lifting your finger. QuickPath is integrated with iOS and iPadOS, so you don’t have to switch anymore.
What’s particularly special about iOS and iPadOS QuickPath is that it learns from you!
With swyping now part of the native iOS/iPadOS ecosystem, it can take advantage of all that iOS offers. That means it can learn to recognize your swipes and auto-complete your words or even sentences or offer up suggestions in the QuickType bar.
And if you have multiple devices signed in with the same Apple ID, all that learning should sync so you don’t need to teach it twice. Pretty awesome.
Advantages of an iOS integrated QuickPath
- Learn your writing style
- Recognize and fill in frequently used words
- Sync what it learns between devices
How to enable or disable QuickPath
- Go to Settings > General > Keyboards
- Toggle Slide to Type on or off
Currently, QuickPath is available only for the languages that also support QuickType.
How to enable swipe typing on your iPad using iPadOS
Currently, swipe to type (or slide to type as Apple calls it) is only available on the smaller, floating keyboard for iPad AND not available on the full-sized keyboard.
Pinch in on the regular iPad keyboard until the floating keyboard appears. It’s about the size of an iPhone keyboard. Or tap the keyboard icon and choose Floating. And then try swipe typing.
Like swyping and typing on your iPhone or iPad?
The good news is that with iOS 13 and iPadOS, you can swipe or tap to type interchangeably even when mid‑sentence.
So that makes it very convenient indeed!
For most of her professional life, Amanda Elizabeth (Liz for short) trained all sorts of folks on how to use media as a tool to tell their own unique stories. She knows a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides!
Her clients include Edutopia, Scribe Video Center, Third Path Institute, Bracket, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Big Picture Alliance.
Elizabeth received her Master of Fine Arts degree in media making from Temple University, where she also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member in their department of Film and Media Arts.