You can modify what some hardware keys do in iPadOS 13.4 beta 1

Smart Keyboard Folio
Smart Keyboard Folio (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple released the first iPadOS 13.4 beta yesterday.
  • A new feature to modify hardware keys has been added.
  • You can make select keys perform other actions.

The recently released iPadOS 13.4 beta 1 update has some surprises up its sleeve. The one that some people will be most excited about is the ability to modify what some hardware keys do when they are pressed.

The ability to change modifier keys on physical keyboards was first spotted by developer Steve Troughton-Smith and he shared screenshots of which keys can be modified to Twitter.

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As you'll notice in that second screenshot, there are several predefined functions that can be configured. And if you'd rather the key does nothing at all, no problem. That's an option as well.

This is a feature that won't be of use to tons of people. In fact, most people won't even know that it's there or what it does. But if you're one of those who like to use the Caps Lock Key to Escape, you're going to have a very good time indeed.

Now we just need to hope that Apple doesn't remove this in a future beta release!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.