Speed up your iPhone keyboard typing with this little-known technique everyone should master

iPhone 15 Pro Max keyboard on a green and white chequered background
(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone is probably the world’s most used keyboard and there’s a simple secret hack that will speed up your typing with just a little tweak.

As an iPhone user for over 15 years (yuck I feel old), I only encountered this keyboard hack recently and it has made me a far more efficient typer on my iPhone 15 Pro Max. Before I would type the modifier (123) key to get to numbers and symbols, press the key I need, and then tap the button again or the space bar to go back to letters — but not anymore.

Here’s how to speed up your iPhone keyboard typing with a simple trick that, once you learn it, will become second nature to the way you use your smartphone.

Type quicker with this easy iPhone trick

Think of your iPhone like your Mac’s keyboard and use the modifier key like the Shift button. Instead of pressing (123) to get to your numbers and symbols, simply hold down the key with your left thumb, press the number or symbol you want, and then let go of the modifier key held with your left thumb. Almost like magic, your keyboard jumps back to letters, allowing you to continue typing without needing to press an extra key.

I realize this may not seem like a big deal, but once you start incorporating this way of using the modifier key into your daily use, you’ll realize just how much of a game-changer it is.

Once you’ve mastered this simple trick, you can delve further into the world of iOS 17 tips and tricks, including this neat hack that means you never have to type out your email address on your iPhone again

It doesn’t matter if you own the best iPhone or an older model, these software hacks will work on any device running iOS 17, and with iOS 18 on the horizon we’re sure to get more quality-of-life improvements in the near future.

Did you know about this keyboard hack? What are your favorite iPhone keyboard tricks, let us know below.

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit. 

  • Wotchered
    what a lot of hooey ! with my iPhone sitting on my left palm, supported by my little finger, the tip of my left thumb is level with "cancel" at the top of the screen. It is a bit of a contortion to get to the change function arrow with it. And I do not even have basketball hands ! I wish if journos have nothing sensible to say they'd just shut up !
  • Annie_M
    Thanks for the tip! I just gave it a whirl and it is handy!