How to Swipe Type on an iPhone or iPad

A drag type model in QuickPath on iOS.

Did you know that you can now drag the type onto the keyboard of your iPhone or iPad? This feature is enabled by default, but if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a try! You might be surprised how much easier (and faster) it allows you to type.

Let’s take a look at QuickPath, Apple’s fancy name for its version of the Swipe-to-type keyboards that Android owners have used for over a decade. Some people may call it sliding input or slide input – it’s the same thing.

Why bother?

Apple first authorized third-party keyboards in the App Store with the release of iOS 8 in 2014. Swipe-to-type keyboards were available from the start, so iPhone and iPad owners were able to use this typing style for almost a decade.

With the arrival of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, Apple has finally added this functionality to its native iOS keyboard. The function is activated second you go to iOS 13.

Swipe-to-Type with QuickPath in iOS.

When you drag your text, you don’t need to lift your finger from the keyboard between key presses. This is particularly useful when you are typing with one hand. It is also generally faster than two-handed typing due to the much higher error rate when using your thumbs.

People prefer to type in different ways. Swiping is pretty nice in practice, but you may have to go back and fix what you’re dragging.

Try it and see what you prefer. The good thing is that you can now use both input methods and switch back and forth as often as you like.

How to type while swiping on your iPhone

Using QuickPath may take a bit of practice, but it’s very intuitive once you know it. To get started, grab your iPhone and type in a few simple words or phrases.

Let’s say you want to type the word “iPhone”. Place your finger on the “I”, then swipe towards “P”, “H” and the rest of the letters in order, without lifting your finger from the screen. . When you’re done, your device should also capitalize the “P” for you, thanks to automatic correction.

When you drag the type, you create a pattern that your device will recognize and build on in the future. To test this, type “iPhone” again, but this time, do it much faster. You don’t have to stop on any letter; go as fast as you want.

After each word, iOS also inserts a space for you, so you can keep swiping your next word.

How to use Swipe to type on your iPad

You cannot use QuickPath by default on the full-width iPad keyboard. Either way, sliding your finger across the width of the iPad wouldn’t be very convenient. You can, however, use QuickPath if you enable the miniature floating iPad keyboard, which you can drag to reposition.

To do this, pinch inward (as if you were zooming in) on the default full-width iPad keyboard. You will see a smaller keyboard which you can then drag onto your screen and drag the text.

To return to the larger keyboard, simply pinch outward (as if you were zooming out) on the smaller keyboard.

RELATED: How to use text editing gestures on your iPhone and iPad

Words with double letters

When using QuickPath, you treat double letters (like the two P’s in “Apple” or the two T’s in “Letter”) as one letter. For example, to drag the “Apple” type, you must start on the “A”, slide to the “P”, then go to the “L” and finish with “E.”

The predictive engine at the heart of QuickPath adds the extra letter (in most cases). “Too much” is an obvious exception; QuickPath often uses “to” instead. It depends on the context, however, so it often corrects itself when you continue typing.

For example, if you type “it hurts” and your next word is “a lot”, iOS will use “too much” instead and correct the entire sentence. If your next word is “walk”, no correction is made.

Automatic correction by replacing “by” with “too much” in QuickPath.

Most of the time, you should be able to type naturally and trust your device to get it right.

What if QuickPath gets the wrong word?

If you think QuickPath is wrong, you can always pause after typing it and look at the QuickType suggestion box (the three suggested words that appear above the keyboard depending on what your phone thinks you mean) ).

Usually the correct word will appear in the QuickType field. To change a word, however, just tap it. Your iPhone will learn from the fixes you make, so (hopefully) you shouldn’t have to do the same in the future.

The context has the greatest impact on the word that your iPhone will choose in this case. For example, when I type “scan”, my device corrects it with “scan”, probably because it’s a more common word. The word “scan” is also associated with an emoji, which could also have an impact on selection.

Choose another word in the QuickType selection box.

How to access numbers, punctuation and symbols

Punctuation can slow you down as you walk away at lightning speed. Fortunately, there is a quick way to select numbers, punctuation marks, and some common symbols.

Simply press and hold the “123” button to switch to the symbol display, then swipe to the number, symbol, or punctuation mark you want to use. Release your finger on it and it will appear in the text field. The keyboard then returns to normal input mode so that you can continue your message.

Add an exclamation mark in QuickPath.

You can still access long press symbols (like º under the 0 key) when using this method. To do this, simply hover over the button for one second. Unfortunately, if you need one of the more obscure symbols on the second page, you’ll have to lift your finger.

How to select an Emoji

Selecting an emoji can be a drag when you drag into QuickPath. However, it also slows down regular typing. The best remedy is to type the name of the emoji you want to use. It should appear in the QuickType area above the keyboard.

Type the name of the desired emoji, then drag it when it appears.

Tap the emoji and it replaces the last word you typed. You can also use this tip when typing regularly. It is much faster than scrolling and searching for a particular emoji. However, you may need to experiment a bit to find the right description of the emoji you want.

Third-party Swipe keyboards

Third-party scanning keyboards for iOS have been around for almost a decade. And many of them (Swype, Microsoft’s SwiftKey and Google’s Gboard) were available on Android before that. Before iOS 13 was released, you had to use a third-party option to drag the type to an Apple device.

Now that the functionality is available in iOS natively, there is no major reason to use a third-party keyboard to drag the type. Another reason not to use one is confidentiality, because many third-party keyboards require “full access” to provide the full range of functionality.

“Full access” means that the keyboard can see what you are typing, instead of just recording equivalent keystrokes on the system keyboard. This allows the keyboard developer to do things like implement a custom dictionary or search engine functionality.

If you have a GIF keyboard installed, it also needs full access to search for a GIF.

The problem with full access is that you have to speak to the developer so that whatever you type is not collected, stored, or used in any way. When two of these developers are Google and Microsoft, we understand why you might hesitate before granting them this type of access.

Microsoft now owns SwiftKey, which is probably the most famous magnetic keyboard. It is now available for free on all platforms. Google’s attempt is Gboard, which offers integrated Google search, quite impressive translation services and themes. Another option is Fleksy, which focuses on raw speed.

Turn slide off to type

If you do not want to use QuickPath, you will probably never meet it, even if it is activated. If you want to deactivate it, simply go to Settings> General> Keyboard and deactivate “Swipe to type”.

QuickPath was not the only new typing enhancement introduced by Apple with iOS 13. Don’t forget to check out the full range of text editing gestures now available on your iPhone or iPad and impress your friends (or just become a better typist).

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