The new Apple iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X that were launched last year are bigger than the firm’s older handsets, making them tricky to type without the use of both hands. People who are used to using smaller phones are particularly the ones who have been affected. To deal with this problem, Apple has now crafted a one-handed keyboard mode as part of its latest software update to help those who struggle to use its larger devices. Once activated, this keyboard shifts to the left or right side of the screen, making it easier to reach across the whole keyboard with one hand.
As disappointing as it may sound, the feature is currently available only for a selected number of users, on a trial basis. The smartphone manufacturer is expected to release it for worldwide use later this year. In order to get this feature, you must first download the latest iOS11 software update. With your keyboard open, press and hold the small emoji (or globe) icon that appears to the left of the space key.
Holding the button down brings up a pop-up menu that gives you the option of pushing the buttons to the left or right of the screen. Shift the keyboard to the left if you are using your phone with your left hand, and to the right, if you are holding it in your right hand.
To go back to normal, tap the arrow in the blank space created by the moving keyboard, or hold down the emoji/globe icon again and select the centre icon.
If you want to have this keyboard on a permanent basis, then you can do it via settings. From the home screen, tap the settings icon, ‘general settings’, and then ‘keyboard’, before selecting ‘one handed keyboard’ and tapping either ‘off’, ‘left’ or ‘right’.
Note that, this feature is only available for the iPhones and no version of the one-handed keyboard is available for iPad users.
This is not the first time that Apple has hidden a useful new feature in one of its software updates. Last month an iOS update included an ’emergency SOS’ mode that lets you quickly call for help from police, ambulance and fire services anywhere in the world.