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How to use Key Flicks on iPad's QuickType keyboard in iOS 11

Thanks to iPad-specific features in iOS 11, iPad is becoming the everyperson's portable computer and that means the tablet has to be packed with productivity features that make getting work done that much easier and that much more delightful. One of the new features, called "Key Flicks" is more of a game changer than I realized. It makes typing on iPad's QuickType keyboard super-fast and a little fun, too.

Key Flicks puts many of the numbers and symbols hidden behind the More Numbers button front and center, hidden behind a simple swipe gesture.

How to enable Key Flicks on iPad's QuickType keyboard in iOS 11

Key Flicks is on by default in iOS 11, but if you don't see it, you might have to turn it on first.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.

  1. Tap Keyboard.
  2. Tap the toggle next to Enable Key Flicks to enable Key Flicks.

How to use Key Flicks on iPad's QuickType keyboard in iOS 11

Using Key Flicks is incredibly simple — you simply flick down on the key to access the symbol above the key. Say you're typing a message and you want to send your email to someone. Say your email is my.name@example.com, here's how you'd go about using Key Flicks to type your email:

  1. Type out the beginning of your email: my.name
  2. When it's time to type the @ symbol, put your finger on the a key and flick down. You should see an @ symbol appear in your text field.

Flick Keys on iPad

It really is as simple as that! Any number or symbol displayed above the key in the QuickType keyboard is accessible via Key Flicks.

How to turn off Key Flicks on iPad's QuickType keyboard in iOS 11

Not diggin' Key Flicks in iOS 11? You can disable it! Here's how:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.

  1. Tap Keyboard.
  2. Tap the toggle next to Enable Key Flicks to disable Key Flicks.

Not seeing Key Flicks on your iPad in iOS 11?

If you don't see Key Flicks on your iPad running iOS 11, it's because your iPad is too big! No, really. Apple says Key Flicks works with all iOS 11-compatible iPad models save for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro uses a different system for accessing extra keys by sliding up on a key instead.

Here's the list of iPad devices that work with Key Flicks in iOS 11:

  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad 5th generation
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2

Questions?

Run into any trouble using Key Flicks on iPad's QuickType keyboard in iOS 11? We're here to help! Give us a shout in the comments and we'll try to troubleshoot the issue.

Mikah Sargent is Senior Editor at Mobile Nations. When he's not bothering his chihuahuas, Mikah spends entirely too much time and money on HomeKit products. You can follow him on Twitter at @mikahsargent if you're so inclined.

7 Comments
  • why would it not work on 12.9 Pro? That seems to be an odd exclusion given all of its capabilities.
  • It is working fine on my 12.9" iPad Pro!!!
  • Honestly, why wouldn't this be included on the iPhone (especially the iPhone 6/7+)? There really needs to be quick access to at least numbers on the iPhone too.
  • Flick keys are available in the current release of iOS Numbers. I couldn't figure out how to utilize them until this article - thanks.
  • I look forward to using this new feature on the iPad, but really wish it was also available on the iPhone. I feel like the iPhone keyboard is one of the worst ever in terms of productivity. I am still amazed that one has to press the shift key to insert a capital letter. Apple, please please please give us a keyboard that incorporates a long press to insert upper case letters. Other keyboards have had this for years. It would make the typing experience so much better on the iPhone!
  • I like the concept, but not where they put certain swipes. I use … quite a bit when I type and it used to be with the . on the old keyboard, but now, while typing text, if I want to use an …, I need to switch to numbers first. I also have another major complaint with the keyboard layout. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I wish they would switch the location of the number and emoticon 'keys' on the soft keyboard. I switch to numbers FAR more often than I use emoticons when I type. But, like I said, maybe that's just me…
  • Where is the dash.