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This article was published on January 26, 2017

Take a peek at Apple’s secret ‘floating’ keyboard

Take a peek at Apple’s secret ‘floating’ keyboard
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Each iOS iteration brings with it enterprising developers willing to roll up their sleeves and scour Apple’s code looking for secrets. The release of iOS 10.3 was no exception, although the two keyboards we’re about to talk about may have been hiding in code since Apple dropped iOS 10 on us last September.

Hat tips are due for developer Steve Troughton-Smith who made the find.

The first find is a picture-in-picture approach that delivers a ‘floating’ keyboard you can position over other windows and apps. You can move the keyboard anywhere on the screen, and its small size makes it ideal for one-handed typing. Although, it’s an iPad, so this might be better suited to Apple’s new iPhone once we see iOS 11 in June (presumably).

The curious hidden code inclusion also contains a trackpad mode, although we can’t really be sure what that is just yet. Still, though, it sounds like something that’ll bring us one step closer to iOS devices being legitimate laptop replacements at some point in the near future.


The second of these keyboards integrates a sort of gesture-based control system that allows you to swipe left or right on any key to forward or backspace.

As Troughton-Smith notes, however, neither of these seem ready for a public release. Both are quite glitchy in their current state, but with months to go before WWDC in June, I’d be willing to bet we haven’t seen the last of either.

via Mashable

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