Finding the + in iOS

Whenever I write on my iPad, there are two problems which drive me nuts. Today I will explain one of these issues.

Disclaimer: I am well aware that this is a very first-world problem, but I expect Apple to care about the little details.

The issue arrises when I am writing a text and need to insert a special character, such as the ‘+’ sign. On my iPhone I can find this symbol in a logical, easy to understand way.

iPhone keyboard 1

Since the ‘+’ sign is not on the main keyboard, I tap the ‘123’ button to go to the numerical keyboard.

iPhone keyboard 2

There are some characters on this keyboard, but not the symbol I was looking for. However, where the ‘123’ previously was, I now see ‘#+=’, clearly indicating that there is another keyboard with more characters, including the ‘+’ sign. There it is:

iPhone keyboard 3

That was easy and intuitive. Now let’s see what usually happens when I try to do the same basic thing on my iPad:

iPad keyboard 1

Though there are more characters available, the ‘+’ symbol is not there. Yes, I know I can swipe down the ‘ç’ key, but for the sake of this argument pretend that is not the case, as not all characters are available to swipe down and my fingers fail in swiping far enough about 20% of the time.

Just like on the iPhone, I have a button labeled ‘.?123’ to get to the numerical keyboard.

iPad keyboard 2a

On the numerical keyboard I once again see the ‘#+=’ button, clearly indicating that there is another keyboard with more characters, including the ‘+’ sign.

iPad keyboard 3

And here is my issue, since the ‘+’ button is nowhere to be seen on the third keyboard. What went wrong? The answer is on the second screen, so lets get back:

iPad keyboard 2b

The problem is caused by the label of the button which brings us to the special characters keyboard. The button is labeled as ‘#+=’ just like the iPhone, but in this case all three characters shown on the button are already on the previous keyboard.

If Apple would simply change the characters shown on the button to characters actually on the third keyboard (I propose ‘>|^’), my monkey brain would not make the mistake to press it when I’m looking for the ‘+’ character.

Jeroen Sangers @jeroensangers