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How to dramatically improve your typing speed on an iPad (or make your typing more accurate)

The iPad’s on-screen keyboard is actually pretty good, and is perfectly adequate for typing short to medium amounts of text. But there’s a feature built into iOS 11, iOS 12, and iPadOS that, if you know how to use it, can dramatically improve your typing speed. Or, it’s a feature that you currently find hugely annoying but don’t know how to turn it off

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Take a look at the iPad’s on-screen keyboard for a moment. Notice the smaller symbols above the main characters on some of the keys (like the ampersand above the F)? Ever wondered how you get to them? 

The iPad's on-screen keyboard

The iPad’s on-screen keyboard

You’re not alone. Or maybe you’re finding yourself activating them while typing, but not sure why.

The feature is called Key Flicks, and how you access the symbols is actually quite simple — if you know how! You simply press and flick the key down.


Yeah, that simple. And once you get used to it, it can make typing a lot faster and smoother.

Key Flicks in action

Key Flicks in action

Note that Key Flicks isn’t present on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and on that larger device, you slide the key up.

However, some people — especially those who use the Apple Pencil — can find this annoying because of how easy it is to flick downwards accidentally.

Fortunately, you can turn this feature off. Go Settings > General > Keyboard and turn off Enable Key Flicks.


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I'm a 50 year old PLC programmer from Burnley, UK. I severed my time as an electrician in the baking industry and soon got involved with the up and coming technology of PLC's. Initially this was all based in the Uk but as the years went by I have gradually worked my way around the globe. At first it was mainly Mitsubishi with a bit of Modicon thrown in but these days the industry leaders seem to be the Allen Bradley range of PLC and HMI’s.

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