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Buried treasure: A hidden one-handed iPhone keyboard has been uncovered

Apple iPhone 7
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Just because you have two hands doesn’t mean you should have to use both of them to type, right? Especially when you’re typing on your iPhone.

The good news is that a developer named Steve Troughton-Smith found a one-handed keyboard on the Apple device. He discovered it within Apple’s iOS Simulator, which is a program that allows folks like Troughton-Smith to test and debug iOS apps on devices other than say, your iPhone.

Today's fun hack (been there since at least iOS 8); the iOS keyboard has an unused left/right one-handed mode. Activated by edge-swipe pic.twitter.com/zIk7x7CVmu

— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) October 19, 2016

The bad news, however, is that you can’t use it. At least, not officially.

It’s unclear as to why Apple never made the one-handed keyboard an actual feature for its millions of dedicated patrons. After it’s meant to make texting and emailing on your mobile device easier by shifting the whole keyboard to one side of the phone so you don’t have to struggle and stretch your hand in order to reach the farther buttons. Curiously enough, the developer says that the one-handed keyboard has actually been around since at least iOS 8, which would actually make a lot of sense. When that operating system was unveiled back in September of 2014, it was heralded as the “biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the App Store.” It also came out alongside Apple’s largest phone to date — the iPhone 6 Plus. And that’s certainly a phone that could benefit from a one-handed keyboard.

But don’t despair quite yet — Troughton-Smith has created a way to access the one-handed mode. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll have to have a jailbroken iPhone in order to implement the developer’s hack.

Of course, now that the keyboard has been discovered, it may just be the impetus Apple needed to actually release the feature at large. So if your small hands have trouble reaching all the way across that big iPhone screen, there just may be a solution in sight.

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