Chapter 3. Typing, Editing & Searching

As a pocket computer, the iPhone faces a fundamental limitation: It has no real keyboard or mouse. Which might be considered a drawback on a gadget that’s capable of running millions of programs.

Fortunately, where there’s a problem, there’s software that can fix it. The modern iPhone’s virtual keyboard is smart in all kinds of ways—automatically predicting words and correcting typos, for example. And besides: If you don’t like the iPhone’s onscreen keyboard, you can just choose one designed by a different company.

This chapter covers every aspect of working with text on the iPhone: entering it, dictating it, fixing it, and searching for it.

The Keyboard

It’s true, boys and girls: The iPhone has no physical keys. A virtual keyboard, therefore, is the only possible built-in system for typing text. Like it or not, you’ll be doing a lot of tapping on glass.

The keyboard appears whenever you tap in a place where typing is possible: in an outgoing email or text message, in the Notes app, in the address bar of the web browser, and so on.

As your finger taps the glass, a “speech balloon” appears above your finger, showing an enlarged version of the key you actually hit (since your finger is now blocking your view of the keyboard).

Tip

If you worry about spies nearby figuring out what you’re typing by watching those bubbles pop up over your fingertips, you can turn them off. Open SettingsGeneralKeyboard, and turn off Character Preview.

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