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iOS 7 feature focus: Quick access to '.com,' '?' and other hidden keys

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
With iOS 7, Apple's touchscreen keyboard has been revised, offering new capabilities and also changing the functionality of some previously available features, like the ".com" button in Safari.



Getting the hang of the keyboard is a matter of accepting that it will change depending on the context. Longtime iOS device users may find themselves searching for the ".com" button in browser apps, only to find that it is nowhere to be seen. Instead, there is a keyboard layout largely similar to what one sees for any regular text entry field.

Fret not; the .com option ? along with .us, .edu, .net, and .org ? is just a tap and a hold away. By tapping and holding on period key, a user can bring up those familiar URL endings, with .com selected by default. Without lifting a finger from the screen, a user can then swipe to any of the other ending options, which will automatically be inserted upon release.



That tap-and-slide mechanism is thoroughly integrated throughout iOS 7, and it is not just limited to URL entry. One can easily enter a question mark with the same method. Also, as in previous versions of iOS, one can use that method to enter numbers and special characters more smoothly. Simply tap and hold on the ".?123" key and, once the keyboard has changed to show number and character options, slide that finger to the desired character. This also works for the "#+=" set of characters as well, though one must release the .?123 key and then tap and hold on the #+= key to be able to slide-enter figures from the latter set.

Tap-and-slide also works when entering capital letters. Just press and hold the shift key and slide to the desired letter. When you release, that letter will appear as upper case. This works even when entering accented letters: press and hold shift, then slide to the desired letter and let a finger linger there. A menu of capitalized, accented letters will appear, and you can make your choice from there.



The keyboard also has a number of hidden special characters accessible through the tap-and-slide method. Tapping and holding on the dollar sign will bring up signs for the cent, euro, Yen, and British Pound. Doing so on the period key will bring up an ellipsis, and multiple other punctuation marks hide options for their inverses, foreign equivalents, and other symbols.

Some other features of the keyboard also have not changed. Auto-complete will insert a full suggested word if a user presses the space bar or enters punctuation while the iOS is making a suggestion. Also, pressing the space bar twice after a word will not only insert a period, but insert a space after that period, making sure your next sentence isn't conjoined with your first.



The keyboard isn't the only thing that's been tweaked in iOS 7. Apple's new operating system contains a wealth of changes both subtle and sizable. For more tips, tricks, and tweaks, check out AppleInsider's ongoing iOS 7 Feature Focus series.
post #2 of 52
Thank Tim. (Tim = God)
post #3 of 52
These features have been apart of iOS for a long time. You just noticed? Wow. I have been using these features for years. You need to go back and play with iOS6 some more.
post #4 of 52
In previous iOS versions I found that the .com 'smart' key appearing was a bit hit and miss. That may be because third party apps didn't always call it properly; I can't say that I ever bothered to track the issue.

However given that, for me the 'always on' access to .com (and its siblings) via the period key is a distinct improvement. Now all I have to do is train my finger accordingly...
post #5 of 52

Does iOS seven allow users to select their preferred keyboard app?  Or does Apple still lock users into using just their keyboard and 'swype' some of the more popular features from third party apps as their own?

post #6 of 52

Aahh... Please dont start a series of articles again, calling it - The hidden treasure and tricks of iOS 7.

post #7 of 52
In Canada we don't get .us showing up, we get .ca, and oddly they are in opposite positions on the list of 5. But .com remains in the middle.
post #8 of 52

I am curious is it possible on an iPad to still do a split keyboard. You used to be able to drag your thumbs apart on the keyboard and it would split.

post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

I am curious is it possible on an iPad to still do a split keyboard. You used to be able to drag your thumbs apart on the keyboard and it would split.


 


Yes it is still possible, you can even slide it up and down the screen as before.
post #10 of 52
Hey, I love exploring the new IOS for hidden features et al - But doesn't Apple at least have a web page or PDF file that sheds some illumination on these "Hidden" Easter eggs?

Just sayin'
post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff-hackintosh View Post

Thank Tim. (Tim = God)

 

I just checked.  Tim isn't God.    Tim is the CEO of Apple.  

post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by smiffy31 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post
 

I am curious is it possible on an iPad to still do a split keyboard. You used to be able to drag your thumbs apart on the keyboard and it would split.

 


Yes it is still possible, you can even slide it up and down the screen as before.

 

I do not have an iPad currently, but I was trying to show my girlfriend's mother how to split the screen. I used the thumb method, to no avail. I also tried using the keyboard button, but that did not work as well.  I

post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post
 

I am curious is it possible on an iPad to still do a split keyboard. You used to be able to drag your thumbs apart on the keyboard and it would split.

 

Yes, that feature is still there, it's on the bottom right hand corner of the keyboard.

post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post
 

 

Yes, that feature is still there, it's on the bottom right hand corner of the keyboard.

 

Or you can just take your two thumbs and split the keyboard. Drag you left thumb to the left and your right thumb to the right at the same time.

post #15 of 52
It's great that they have regional TLDs! Love seeing .ca in there!
post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by 22July2013 View Post

In Canada we don't get .us showing up, we get .ca, and oddly they are in opposite positions on the list of 5. But .com remains in the middle.

 

And in UK I get a .co.uk (used a lot by British businesses), also .uk, .eu and .ie (but no .us). Really useful addition, I've often wanted it. :D

 

I remain a fan of iOS 7 except some of those feeble icons.

OS X and iOS user

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OS X and iOS user

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post #17 of 52
it has always been like this...
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeeditor View Post

These features have been apart of iOS for a long time. You just noticed? Wow. I have been using these features for years. You need to go back and play with iOS6 some more.
Exactly. I've been using these "hidden" features for a long time, before iOS7. Maybe there was some place somewhere where it wasn't consistent but certainly not hidden.
post #19 of 52
Helpful article. And who cares if they've always been there. I'm the go-to guy among all of my friends and family when it comes to Apple stuff and I didn't even know about the hidden .com feature. Smaller subtle features are often missed or forgotten when flashy new ones (like Control Center and the Weather app) are introduced.
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Command_F View Post
 

 

And in UK I get a .co.uk (used a lot by British businesses), also .uk, .eu and .ie (but no .us). Really useful addition, I've often wanted it. :D

 

I remain a fan of iOS 7 except some of those feeble icons.

 

If you enable the English (US) version of the keyboard, you'll get the ".us". All of the keyboards have their own domains tied to their regions (the Japanese keyboard has ".jp" in it, for example). 

post #21 of 52
One thing for those trying to learn a second language is you can change your default system language to said language but then switch back to your primary language's keyboard, auto-correct, and Siri so you're not completely out of your depth.
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post
 

 

I just checked.  Tim isn't God.    Tim is the CEO of Apple.

 

Tim isn't even Steve.
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuniverse View Post
 

 

 

And Steve isn't God either.  I checked.  Isn't there only one God?  God isn't a man or woman, it's non-sexual to my knowledge.  No moving parts if you will.  

post #24 of 52
As lifeeditor points out, all this was available in iOS 6 the main difference now seems to be that thankfully the .com key never appears now, the hold-&-slide behaviour of the fullpoint key. I have being using these features long before iOS 7 appeared.
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post

Does iOS seven allow users to select their preferred keyboard app?

Do you know why the various versions (there is no ONE version) of Android allow you to customise and change various options?

Because the originals SUCK!

1wink.gif
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I just checked.  Tim isn't God.    Tim is the CEO of Apple.  

i have more reverence for Tim as Him than any of the other "God"s.
"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
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"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
Reply
post #27 of 52
This tap and slide has been around forever.
post #28 of 52
Has anyone found a faster way to the degree symbol other than the Japanese keyboard and hitting numbers/symbol and then press and hold the 3? Just for a: °
post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeeditor View Post

These features have been apart of iOS for a long time. You just noticed? Wow. I have been using these features for years. You need to go back and play with iOS6 some more.
I know, I've also seen them in Mac OS too.
post #30 of 52
Well, I can tap and hold on the period key and obtain an ellipse, but following the guidance above I do not get the URL option group, any suggestions as to what my error might be? Thanks
post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuniverse View Post

 

And Steve isn't God either.  I checked.  Isn't there only one God?  God isn't a man or woman, it's non-sexual to my knowledge.  No moving parts if you will.  

Where do you guys check all this info? I tried Google, but as usual it gave me total non-answers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu277 View Post

Well, I can tap and hold on the period key and obtain an ellipse, but following the guidance above I do not get the URL option group, any suggestions as to what my error might be? Thanks

You sure you're typing in the address bar of Safari? These keyboard options are regionalized and work differently from app to app.
"Fibonacci: As easy as 1, 1, 2, 3..."
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"Fibonacci: As easy as 1, 1, 2, 3..."
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post #32 of 52
Bit surprised the article is so short. They could've included the new location for Find on Page in Safari, tab on the new dictionaries we can download. You know, useful stuff. Also, Siri can read your emails out loud. Close 3 apps at once when in multi tasking view...



PS: strange toolbar today in the editor on AI:

"Fibonacci: As easy as 1, 1, 2, 3..."
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"Fibonacci: As easy as 1, 1, 2, 3..."
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post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

Has anyone found a faster way to the degree symbol other than the Japanese keyboard and hitting numbers/symbol and then press and hold the 3? Just for a: °

The degree symbol is with the number 0. Tap and hold the 0 and then slide to the  °. On my 4s, if I am in the number keyboard and hold the 0, the degree pops up fairly quickly. If I'm in the alpha keyboard and hold the 123 key and slide to the 0 and hold, the degree takes a second or two to pop up, probably much faster on newer phones.

post #34 of 52

That works great! Thanks...

post #35 of 52
tap & hold the "0" (Zero) key will allow you to select 0 or the degree sign
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Bit surprised the article is so short. They could've included the new location for Find on Page in Safari, tab on the new dictionaries we can download. You know, useful stuff. Also, Siri can read your emails out loud. Close 3 apps at once when in multi tasking view...



PS: strange toolbar today in the editor on AI:

 

Just loaded up the English dictionary. Good tip. I didn't know about that one.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

And Steve isn't God either.  I checked.  Isn't there only one God?  God isn't a man or woman, it's non-sexual to my knowledge.  No moving parts if you will.  

There aren't ANY gods.
post #38 of 52
The only thing new here is the relocated domain buttons. None of the rest require upgrading to iOS 7.
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dysamoria View Post

There aren't ANY gods.

Believe all you want.
"Fibonacci: As easy as 1, 1, 2, 3..."
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"Fibonacci: As easy as 1, 1, 2, 3..."
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post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post
 

Does iOS seven allow users to select their preferred keyboard app?  Or does Apple still lock users into using just their keyboard and 'swype' some of the more popular features from third party apps as their own?

 


If a default option is the best in it's class then customisations can only ever detract from it. Apple spends their time refining the default option rather than confusing users with a smorgasbord of mediocre offerings.

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