If you have a new iPad Pro and have had issues using the new software keyboard, you’re probably not alone. Aside from following the iPhone 6/Plus lead and adding new keys in the space around the QWERTY keyboard, iPad Pro includes a full sized shift key and half-height number keys which in theory require fewer taps to access more characters.
In practice, the new layout requires an adjustment period, to put it mildly, as the keys most frequently accessed are surrounded by targets that you have to avoid tapping accidentally. I’m on day four and getting better, but there’s one embarrassing keyboard bug that had me convinced I was crazy. Turns out I may not be. Here’s the deal:
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The new iPad Pro mimicks a full-size keyboard layout with full-width tab, caps lock, and shift keys while plus a half-height number row with punctuation and special characters. iOS by default capitalizes the first letter of each new sentence. These two features aren’t playing nice, and Apple hasn’t resolved the issue in either iOS 9.1 or iOS 9.2 beta 3 on iPad Pro.
For that reason, typing a new tweet like “@apollozac Hi!” will actually type “2apollozac Hi!” or adding an entry to a spreadsheet in numbers like “$169” will likely type “4169” instead when holding shift and tapping a number key. This only happens at the beginning of a sentence while anything after that works just as expected.
To fix this issue, disable the Auto-Capitalization feature on your iPad Pro until Apple fixes this keyboard bug. To do that, go to the Settings app, find the General section on the left, then the Keyboards section on the right, and toggle off Auto-Capitalization. New sentences won’t automatically start with capitalized words, but both shift key and symbols keys above the numbers row will work like the physical keyboard that the iPad Pro’s virtual keyboard mimics.
Alternatively, you can leave Auto-Capitalization on and ignore the symbols keys above the numbers keys when beginning a new sentence, instead using the old method by tapping the .?123 key like on older iPads. The least efficient solution is tapping the shift key a couple of times to toggle the key case state, then holding the shift key and tapping a number to activate the character above it, but this method is wonky and difficult to get right.
Hopefully the iPad Pro software bugs get worked out sooner than later for more owners (and Apple’s Smart Keyboard accessory becomes more readily available), but until then I hope this fix helps you for now.