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I just got an iPad 2 and I find the keyboard difficult to use, because the keys always show as caps.

Is there a way to modify the keyboard to display lower or upper depending on what the what the case of the next typed character will be?

Or better, is there a way to change the keyboard to a better one, perhaps with numeric keys accessible from the main keyboard?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Unfortunately what you're looking for is unavailable as of iOS 5.1.

The letter keys you type are lower case unless the shift key is blue. This does match a physical keyboard so hopefully you can get past that lack of displaying exactly what you get.

From a design standpoint, each app can add to the keyboard or replace the keyboard entirely, but you can't load a different keyboard if you don't like the ones that are delivered from iOS.

One example of an augmented keyboard is the Prompt ssh application by Panic.

enter image description here

One modification you can do to the keyboard is to "pull the keyboard apart". Using two fingers start in the center of the keyboard and slide your fingers towards the side of the iPad as if you were stretching the keyboard apart.

Also, if you're interested in editing in a language other then your device's default you can go to Settings -> General -> International then select one of several dozen languages available including Hebrew, per your comment. Once you've selected an alternate language you can tap the international icon to cycle through your selected languages as noted in the image below.

Animated internationalization switching

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That's unfortunate - so how do they handle foreign language keyboards such as kanji or hebrew. – Victor Grazi Apr 27 '12 at 19:21
I wouldn't muddy the waters with the split keyboard design. First, it doesn't affect what is drawn - just where it's drawn. Second, it works far less well when a 3PP app extends the keyboard. Try splitting things and undocking in the prompt app to see what I mean. – bmike Apr 27 '12 at 19:46
@bmike I understand the problem. I'm just offering Victor a small sense of customizability in an otherwise locked down world. Edit it out if you think it doesn't bring anything to the table. – Aaron Lake Apr 27 '12 at 19:49
@VictorGrazi Apple provides a large number of keyboards, they just do not let users modify such things in iOS. The same goes for adding your own fonts. – Tom Gewecke Apr 27 '12 at 20:31
I don't follow, do you mean physical keyboards. Else, where can I find some of these keyboards, I would perhaps like to install one. – Victor Grazi Apr 27 '12 at 21:25

There are various apps (search for "keyboard") which provide alternative keyboards that may be useful for certain purposes. Killibee Type is one. The apps Unicode Map will let you create a sort of custom keyboard.

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Unfortunately this is only within that app. If Victor wants to use the default iOS keyboard outside specific applications he's at a loss. – Aaron Lake Apr 27 '12 at 19:14
It depends what you want to do with the text you create. You can always copy/paste into other apps and sometimes the app lets you do things like email directly. – Tom Gewecke Apr 27 '12 at 20:29
I just want to open any application, such as gmail, and type. The default keyboard is very bare - keys only show caps, can't see the shifted value on each key, my old smith corona typewriter was more robust! :) – Victor Grazi Apr 29 '12 at 19:18

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