Secret Unreleased One-Handed iPhone Keyboard Found In Xcode iOS Simulator

Apple One-Handed Keyboard

Well wouldn't you know it, Apple's been working on a one-handed keyboard for iPhone devices dating back to iOS 8, but it remains unfinished and of course unreleased. You can "unacknowledged" to the list of adjectives, at least officially. Unofficially, we know it exists because there's a video of the one-handed keyboard in action that developer Steve Troughton-Smith posted to Twitter.

Steve said he discovered the one-handed keyboard code while "poking around in UIKit for markup stuff." After making the discovery, Steve hacked the iOS Simulator, software Apple provides to developers for simulating iOS on Mac systems, to demonstrate the plank in action. While the keyboard code exists in iOS 10, it's been around for the past two prior major versions of Apple's mobile operating system.
Apparently Apple's been working on this one-handed keyboard to solve the problem of reaching keys on larger size displays. As configured, Apple intended to let users activate the keyboard by swiping left or right from the edge of the keyboard, which pulls or pushes the plank to one side or the other. It also clumps a column of cut, copy, and paste shortcuts into the mix. By scrunching them up like that, it's easier to reach all the keys with a single hand.

Apple One-Handed Keyboard Code

Taking things a step further, Steve made the code available for any developers wanting to make a jailbreak tweak to turn the feature on, provided one doesn't exist already.

It's an interesting find, one that shows Apple continues to brainstorm ideas on how to make typing easier on its larger size iPhone models. We've already seen Apple roll out other features designed to make things easier to reach, notably the Reachability feature that collapses the icons after double-tapping the Home button.