Holding an iPad, especially the larger-sized iPad one through four, can be an exercise in finger strength, especially when typing with your thumbs in landscape mode and holding the iPad with both hands. Luckily, back in iOS 5, Apple gave us all the ability to split the iPad keyboard and move it closer to the middle of the screen. This also comes in handy with the new iPad mini when in landscape mode.
Here’s how to make it happen.
Bring up an app in which you need to type, like the Notes app. Tap into a new note, and when the keyboard comes up, you have two ways to split it. One, tap and hold on the icon in the lower right-hand corner that typically dismisses the keyboard. A menu will pop up that says Undock and Split. Choose Split to spread the keyboard apart, bringing the keys closer to the edges of the iPad, making them more easily accessed with thumbs. The other way to split the keyboard is to simply place one finger from each hand in the middle of the keyboard, and swipe outwards. Or, if you have big hands, you can do it with a pinch outward tap and swipe gesture.
Tap and the keyboard dismiss button to see the popup menu. This time, choose Undock. The keyboard will float to the middle of the screen. If you tap and swipe the dismiss key upward, you’ll get both effects: the keyboard will slide upwards on the screen, and eventually split. Find the most comfortable place to place the keyboard, and go from there.
Tap and hold the keyboard dismiss button to Merge and Dock your keyboard as well, or pinch in and drag downward.