iPhone and iPad users can use the Dvorak keyboard layout with onboard resources for the first time. The new option also pleases Apple co-founder Woz.
Apple has quietly integrated a new keyboard layout in iOS 16: As a QWERTZ or QWERTY alternative, iPhone and iPad users can now choose Dvorak for the English keyboard without having to switch to external keyboards or third-party digital keyboards.
Dvorak keyboard long-serving on Macs
The “American Simplified Keyboard” introduced by the American psychologist August Dvorak in the 1930s is intended to enable faster typing, but in English consecutive letters are often assigned to different hands.
The placement of the most frequently used characters in the middle row also promises more relaxed typing with less frequent use of the pinky and ring finger. Dvorak can actually only show its advantages when typing with ten fingers, but those who are used to the keyboard layout should also be happy to be able to use it with two fingers on the iPhone.
Apple had not announced the new keyboard layout and does not mention it in the detailed feature overview for iOS 16. It also remains unclear why it was added after all these years. In macOS, the Dvorak keyboard layout is a veteran, there are even special left-handed and right-handed Dvorak layouts to choose from, as well as an additional mode that quickly switches back to QWERTY. On Macs, Dvorak support stretches back to the Apple IIc.
Enable Dvorak in iOS 16
In any case, the addition of the Dvorak keyboard in iOS made Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak happy, who is a self-confessed Dvorak user. Typing requires less energy, Wozniak explained to Ars Technica. “Since the advent of iPhones, I’ve had to go back to QWERTY, but it just wasn’t in my brain.”
In iOS 16, the new layout can be found in Settings under Keyboard > General > Keyboard > Keyboards. Dvorak can then be selected for English keyboards. The new keyboard layout also comes to iPads with iPadOS 16.