Once again proving the velocity of jailbreak, no sooner did Daniel Hooper's concept video for an overhauled, gesture-based, keyboard-board iPad text editing update get reported, but it's now been coded up by Kyle Howells as SwipeSelection.
Hooper's concept involved a combination of single and double finger gestures and a Shift key modifier to make text selection faster when doing heavy duty editing. SwipeSelection implements that functionality for both iPad and iPhone. iDownloadBlog's Jeff Benjamin gave it a test drive and liked the way it handled.
It works extremely well, so much so, that I was totally used to it within minutes. SwipeSelection feels incredibly native, and perfectly natural. [..] I’ve tried SwipeSelection on my iPhone, and it works there as well! The only issue is that there isn’t a shift key on the right side of the keyboard like there is on the iPad, so selecting text works better from left to right instead of from right to left. The single finger, and two finger drags work exactly like they do on the iPad, which makes text editing so much more intuitive.
Given Apple's history of adopting ideas that were first implemented by the jailbreak community, and hiring jailbreak developers, there has been some speculation that Hooper and/or his text editing concept could be next.
I'm still not convinced Apple would do anything to divide the text editing experience into distinct keyboard and keyboard-less mode, though a higher level gesture "keyboard shortcut" mode for expert users could be interesting. (Bluetooth keyboard implementation is not a precedent since your hands are physically removed from the multitouch display when using a keyboard and base functionality has to be remapped to match the different input mode.)
The most important thing here is that text editing on iOS has gotten some much-needed attention. Apple took 3 years to introduce text editing into iOS, and while they've been adding options to their popup ever since, they have improved the basic mechanics at all. Coming up with a better, finer grained text selection system across iOS, regardless of keyboard state, would be yet another excellent improvement for iOS 6.