When Apple rolls out a new iPhone, you're bound to hear all about stuff like the A12 Bionic chip, Neural Engines, Face ID and augmented reality. Those features sound sexy, but what about all those times the iPhone's keyboard size makes you squint? While Apple's iconic smart phone doesn't have buzzword-worthy built-in options that specifically make the iPhone keyboard bigger, you can make a few tweaks yourself to ease your tiny keyboard pain. Use these simple tips to give your eyes – and texting fingers – a much-needed rest.
Use Display Zoom
If you're using an iPhone 6 or later, the most painless way to make your virtual keyboard buttons bigger is to use a built-in iPhone feature called Display Zoom. When enabled, Display Zoom won't just make the keyboard bigger, it'll increase the display size of everything on your iPhone, including icons.
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To enable it, head to your iPhone's "Settings" menu and tap "Display and Brightness." Under the "Display Zoom" header, select "View" and choose the "Zoomed" option. If you like what you see, tap "Set" to enable Display Zoom. In some cases, your phone may need to reset to apply the change. On later models, this feature may be under the Accessibility settings, listed as "Zoom." In this case, you use a slider to customize the maximum zoom level to your liking.
Display Zoom does come with a few caveats, however. On phones in the Plus line, the zoom setting disables landscape mode. Despite being introduced with the iPhone 6, the iPhone X and XS lack this feature, which made its return with the iPhone XS Max.
Enlarge the Keyboard With Apps
A handful of third-party apps for iOS offer their own takes on big button keyboards for your iPhone, without increasing overall display size.
Big Keyboard, for instance, offers keys that are 40 percent larger than the iOS standard, displayed with 100 percent more contrast. The Big Keys Keyboard app caters to thumb typers by allowing you to specify how much the keyboard is enlarged in addition to offering other customizable features.
After downloading these or other third-party keyboard apps, enable them via your iPhone's "Settings" menu. Under "General" and "Keyboards," tap "Add New Keyboard" and enable the keyboard of your choice in the "Third-Party Keyboards" menu.
Try These Tricks, Too
IPhone keyboard tricks don't end with Display Zoom and accessibility apps. To make typo-editing easier on iOS 12, tap and hold the keyboard's space bar. This makes the keys disappear and allows you to use your finger to more precisely move the cursor around text you've just typed, reducing mistaken inputs.
To use a one-handed keyboard on iOS 11 or later, go to "Settings" and tap "General," "Keyboards" and "One-Handed Keyboard." This changes the virtual keyboard's layout to an ultra-accessible style that's friendly to one-thumb use.
Using your iPhone in landscape mode gives you more keyboard real estate, with iPhone Plus models even using the extra space to add additional formatting buttons to the larger board.
Display Zoom also works on your iPad and iPod Touch, so feel free to enlarge the keyboards on those devices, too.
- Apple: iPhone XS: A12 Bionic
- SwiftKey: Support: How Do I Resize My SwiftKey Keyboard on iOS?
- Apple: Support: If Your Home Screen Icons Are Magnified on Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
- 9to5 Mac: iPhone XS Max Includes Display Zoom Accessibility Feature Unlike iPhone X and XS
- Big Keyboard: Home
- ThickButtons: Home
- Mashable: Apple's Coolest Keyboard Trick Became Even Better in iOS 12
- Macworld: iPhone Tips and Tricks
- TapSmart: Landscape Mode: Access a Bigger Keyboard: iOS 11 Guide