Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

There's a secret one-handed keyboard hiding in your iPhone


There's something mysterious hiding in the depths of your iPhone: a special keyboard, built for use with one hand.

It's Apple's secret weapon, built to combat that starkest of smartphone issues - while screens have been getting bigger, your hands have remained stubbornly hand-sized. The odd thing is, they don't want you to use it. 

This is what it looks like.


This lopsided marvel was recently dug up by app developer Steve Stroughton-Smith, who found this alternative QWERTY keyboard sitting dormant in the current iOS build.

According to the developer, it's hanging about in Apple's operating system "since iOS 8" - software that was built to coincide with the release of Apple's first XL-sized phone, the iPhone 6 Plus. 

Mindful that some digitally-challenged (small fingered?) users might struggle with the six-inch Plus monster, it would appear that Apple was playing around with a solution for texting with one hand - but decided not to give it the green light.

While it's not accessible from a normal iPhone, Strought-Smith demonstrates that it can be accessed from a 'jailbroken' iPhone, a model that's been tweaked to allow unapproved software and operations to be carried out on it. 

However, if you're not keen to jailbreak your iPhone (it'll ruin your warranty if you try it), one-handed keyboards are available from other developers. Microsoft has the very swish Word Flow Keyboard, while SwiftKey offers a heap of customisable keyboard placements. 

Here's hoping Apple unlocks their Plus-conquering keyboard in the near future. Our thumbs could use the break. 



Why your iPhone battery keeps dying at 25 per cent


The big problem with Google trying to get us to talk to our phones


The new Apple Mac candle and 6 other 'mandles' you'll love


Fidget spinners might contain deadly levels of lead

Is your toy slowly poisoning you to death?

by Gary Ogden
02 Jun 2017

We might be about to get smartphones that charge fully in five minutes

An Israeli start-up claims it's going to go into production next year

by Tom Mendelsohn
15 May 2017

5 of the best fidget toys on the market right now

Tackle your knuckle cracking head on

by Matt Tate
10 May 2017

Some Italians have created a phone cover that also makes espresso

No, we don't know why either

by Tom Mendelsohn
08 May 2017

New app will rebalance the London rental market in favour of landlords

Finally, the capital's hard-up property owners will get their due with Rentberry

by Tom Mendelsohn
26 Apr 2017

This knife-toting robot playing stabby hand will make you nervous

I for one welcome our new robot overlords

by Tom Mendelsohn
25 Apr 2017

Now you can turn your iPhone into a retro mac

For the man who has everything

by Tom Mendelsohn
21 Apr 2017

The best turntables of 2017

How the tables have turned

by David Cornish
20 Apr 2017

The Tamagotchi is back

Great news for fans of neglecting responsibilities and watching tiny creatures literally shit themselves to death!

by Emily Reynolds
11 Apr 2017

Self-healing smartphone screens could exist by 2020

Could it be curtains for shady smartphone repair stalls across Britain?

by Tom Mendelsohn
05 Apr 2017