1

The iPad now contains a mini, draggable, floating keyboard as an alternative to the full screen keyboard. This was released in iOS 13 / iPadOS 13 in September 2019.

This mini keyboard is roughly the size of an iPhone keyboard, but floating on your iPad's screen.

From the iPadOS release notes:

QuickType

New floating keyboard leaving more room for your content—drag it anywhere you like

and Features:

Floating keyboard

Pinch to shrink the QuickType keyboard and move it wherever you want so there’s more room for your apps.

How do you enable this iPad mini floating keyboard?

iPad Floating Keyboard

  • Added a tag QuickType. Also, smaller images are good on eyes, for both Mac and mobile users. – ankii Sep 30 '19 at 18:48
  • A 2011 question Floating virtual keyboard iOS – ankii Sep 30 '19 at 19:10
3

Tap and hold the "Dismiss Keyboard" button in the bottom-right corner.

You will see a "Floating" pop-up. Select this action to activate the Floating keyboard.

Floating

To return to the standard iPad keyboard, grab the Floating Keyboard's drag handle and drag the keyboard to the bottom of the screen.

  • doesn't work for me. I have iPadOS ver 13.1.1. – jmh Sep 30 '19 at 19:24
2

How to turn on iPadOS 13’s floating keyboard

  1. Open any app where the standard iOS onscreen keyboard appears.

  2. Once the keyboard appears, use your thumb and index finger to pinch the keyboard. This works in any orientation and in any spot, so long as both fingers are on the keyboard interface.

  3. The keyboard immediately shrinks down a shape and size that resembles an iPhone keyboard.

  4. To move the keyboard, press down on the bar at the bottom of the keyboard interface and move it as needed.

  5. To return the keyboard to its default orientation, pinch outward on the keyboard interface.

Alternatively, while the iPad is in its default screen-wide configuration, you can hold your finger down on the key with the keyboard icon in the lower-right and pressing the Floating prompt that pops up like @pkamb shows you above. You’ll still have to pinch outward to close the keyboard, though.

Note that the keyboard will stay in the last mode and orientation you left it in regardless of which app you’re using.

  • My keyboard never stays in the last opened position. Sometimes if I open and close it immediately it will but otherwise it tends to keep going to left-hand position even after I move it to the right hand position. Any clue how to fix that? – Xtremefaith Oct 28 '19 at 4:02

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