The iPhone Keyboard Has Had a Mouse This Whole Time

By Shannon Donohue

Good news, iPhone users! Your phone has had a hidden mouse all along.

The iPhone Keyboard Has Had a Mouse This Whole Time
Photo: iStock

If you have an iPhone with 3D Touch capability (i.e. the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, 7, or 7 Plus), you’re in luck. Editing text on your phone just got a whole lot easier with this new hidden feature.

When you’re typing away and look back on your message to see that you’ve made a mistake, your instinct is probably to tap the screen where you want to edit, or press and hold to create the magnifier tool and edit from there. But sometimes your finger gets right in the way of what you’re trying to edit, so you can’t fully see where the cursor is going, or it doesn’t register your click correctly.

Luckily, Apple has remedied this issue with its latest batch of iPhones. Your keyboard now doubles as a mousepad, making edits easier and more precise than the tapping or magnifying manoeuvers.

To activate the hidden mousepad, press firmly on any key until all of the keys turn blank and you feel a light tap on your finger from the screen, also known as the taptic feature. This turns the keyboard into a mousepad and your finger into the mouse. The keyboard tracks your fingers movement, making the cursor on the screen smaller and easier to navigate. It also solves the issue of blocking your edits with your finger, since it stays on the mousepad the whole time. Watch the mousepad in action in the video below.

You can also select groups of text with this feature for bulkier editing. First, make sure the trackpad is activated. Then ease the pressure your finger is applying to the screen without letting go, and press again firmly to activate the highlighter and move your finger to select what you want to edit.

This new feature definitely takes some getting used to, as it is incredibly responsive to how much pressure you apply and much faster and more accurate than the old “tapping” methods. But once you get the hang of the iPhone’s handy new editing tool, you’ll be typing away all day with ease.

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