Split Your iPad Keyboard In iOS 5 And Give Your Thumbs A Workout [iOS Tips]



When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, people either loved or hated the virtual keyboard. I still have mixed feelings about it, but I definitely prefer the one on the iPad over the one on the iPhone. It accommodates my big hands and fingers by being a lot more responsive, and with buttons so big I’m less likely to make mistakes.

Although the iPad keyboard is good enough for most people, users with smaller hands or people who like to use their thumbs for data entry will be happy to know the iPad virtual keyboard in iOS 5 can be split into two pieces that can easily be accessed using your thumbs.

If you press and hold the keyboard icon on the iPad’s virtual keyboard, you’ll be presented with a menu like this:

If you select Undock, the keyboard is moved to a place in the middle of the iPad screen. That looks like this:

If you select Split, it will look like a keyboard you can use with your thumbs while holding the iPad.

There you go! Now you have a couple of keyboard options to use with your iPad.


  • Jgrow44

    You can tap and hold with both thumbs at the same time and pull towards each end or side of the iPad (depending on orientation) and that will split the keyboard as well. To put back together, just tap and hold with your thumbs again and push the pieces towards each other.

  • prof_peabody

    Personally, although I avidly awaited it’s release, I was instantly disappointed in the split keyboard and find it almost useless in practice. 

    The keys spread apart, but get significantly smaller as well.  Also with the split being so wide, your head switches from side to side watching your fingers which slows everything down considerably.  

    My advice is that unless you have tiny hands, to try to use the full keyboard for portrait thumb-typing.  It will hurt a bit at first, but once the muscles are trained it’s a lot faster than the split keyboard IMO

  • kavok

    I find that I can actually type without looking much easier with the split keyboard, and with more accuracy.  That’s one thing I like about Apple products; there is more than one way of doing something so that everyone can find which they like best.

  • Patrick

    Omg such a noob.

    Apple is behind the curve as usual: they should have the Swype keyboard.

  • liu4m

    The quickest way to restore the keyboard and the fastest way to split it. Described nicely here… http://iphonetipsandtricks.lookitupforme.com/the-fastest-way-to-split-the-ipad-keyboard/

    And for those who think swype is better – think siri. It has blown past swype and is miles ahead.