A better way to edit text on iPad and iPhone

iPad Help, Tips & Tricks
// May 5, 2012

I think most people will agree that editing text on the iPad or iPhone can be difficult. Placing the cursor in the correct place can certainly be a challenge.

A YouTube user named danielchasehooper demonstrates an excellent solution to the problem in this video.

According to the developer, the solution is so good that Apple should incorporate the feature in iOS and we agree.

Here are instructions that the developer recommends for submitting the feature to Apple.

1. Go to bugreport.apple.com, sign in and click “New Problem”

2. Set the title to “Editing Text on iPad (duplicate of rdar://11365152)”

3. Set the product to “iPad,” version number to “N/A,” classification to “Feature (New)” and is it reproducible to “not applicable.”

4. Copy the following letter and paste it in the Problem Details section then click submit.

“I just saw Daniel Hooper’s iPad keyboard demo and I want that for my iPad! (Check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGQTaHGQ04Q) Apple says the iPad is the future of the Post-PC world; if it’s going to be my primary keyboard, I want a better way to edit text!

Tapping directly on text to move the cursor works well for small portions of text, but we don’t just write short portions of text anymore! When performing lots of edits in larger documents the direct interaction metaphor falls apart for cursor control. Even short portions of text can be painful to edit when you need to move the cursor to a precise location. Would you ever want to write a document on your computer without using the arrow keys? This is the reality iPad users face because they do not have the equivalent of arrow keys.

There is a better way.

Take advantage of gestures by making a drag over the keyboard UI move the cursor. Move the cursor in word increments when dragging with two fingers. And finally, let the user select text while dragging when they hold down shift.”

In the meantime, if you have a jailbroken iOS device you can install SwipeSelection for free in Cydia. The new tweak is based on the concept video by @danielchooper. We have been using it a short time and it does seem like a feature Apple should add to iOS.

Here is a video of the SwipeSelection for iPad.

Leave a Reply