iPhone X Owners Complain About Keyboard's 'Wasted Space'

As early adopters began to experience the iPhone X for the first time this past weekend, many users took to the MacRumors forums, Reddit, and Twitter to discuss the gap that exists below the keyboard within iOS 11 on iPhone X. As some users pointed out, this space was likely meant as a way to more easily swipe up to go Home, and potentially for ergonomics reasons since a lower keyboard could be more difficult to type on, but many iPhone X owners are still getting used to the way the keyboard looks across all apps on the device.

The iOS keyboard on iPhone X

On the new keyboard, the Globe or Emoji icon and the Dictation icon both sit below the space bar at the very bottom of the screen. Between these two buttons is a wide, empty gray area that isn't sitting well with some iPhone X owners, and which some early reviews of the device pointed out last week.

BuzzFeed, for example, wondered why Apple didn't do more with this space, potentially including adding "common punctuation, frequently used emojis, or literally anything."

It’s when the keyboard, in any app, is on screen (which, for me, is most of the time): There’s all this dead space on the bottom, where Apple could have put common punctuation, frequently used emojis, or literally anything, but instead left it blank. Other full-screen apps on other phones put navigation or other design elements in that area, and it doesn’t look crowded or crammed. It looks fine. It’s puzzling why Apple didn’t put something more useful down at the bottom, or why it didn’t add a row of numbers or emojis up top and push down the keyboard to make it more thumb-accessible.

Alex Muench, a UI/UX designer for apps like Todoist and Twist, went a step further and created a mockup of how this could look on future versions of iOS on the iPhone X. Muench likened this space on iPhone X to be a potential area for recently used emojis, "like Touch bar on Mac."

Twitter user @Yespur asked third-party keyboard SwiftKey if the company will "fill the bottom part of the screen," to which SwiftKey responded: "We'll have to look into it. Nothing to comment on beyond that." It's unclear whether third parties will have any ability to design for this area of iOS on iPhone X. In the Human Interface Guidelines for the new smartphone, the only direct mention of the keyboard asks developers to not duplicate the Globe and Dictation keys.

Don't duplicate system-provided keyboard features. On iPhone X, the Emoji/Globe key and the Dictation key automatically appear beneath the keyboard—even when using custom keyboards. Your app can't affect these keys, so avoid causing confusion by repeating them in your keyboard

The iPhone X comes with a variety of new interface gestures, features, and interactions that take some time getting used to following years of the traditional iPhone experience. Without a Home Button, unlocking the iPhone X requires you to swipe up from the bottom edge of the device, and also rearranges some physical commands like taking a screenshot by pressing the Side Button and Volume Up Button. For more information on Apple's newest smartphone, check out our iPhone X Roundup.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
38 months ago
Alternate universe headline: “iPhone X users complain about inadvertently entering symbols while using home gesture”.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago

Apple is really slipping in the quality control department recently...

Totally irrelevant, uninformed comment. That would imply Apple just didn't know it looked like this. They know. And its on purpose. Try reading their Human Interface Guidelines. You're not supposed to crowd content close to the Home Bar, and precisely zero users would want them (or other devs) to do so.

Unfortunately, most "users" don't know what they want until they see it and try it. But, Apple isn't going to give you something bad just so you can decide for yourself that it was right the first time.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
Apple is really slipping in the quality control department recently...
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
Why do we have to shove things in there? I really don't want stuff in that close proximity to the Home Bar. There's enough screen in use already.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
I saw somewhere else someone mentioned that iOS 11 is really like iOS 1 for the X. It’s a completely new device and needs a different OS than the others. These things will get worked out. I’m not taking the blame away from Apple, but I think come iOS 2 for the X (i.e. iOS 12) we will see a much improved UI.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
I think it’s fine the way it is. It’s neat and clean and doesn’t look cluttered like it does in that mock-up pic with the emojis.

The keyboard on the X is also sits in the natural position your thumbs go when holding the phone.

I do wish Apple would fix the bug that keeps changing my “I” to an A with a question mark though!!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 Will Be Released September 16

Tuesday September 15, 2020 11:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced that iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 will be officially released on Wednesday, September 16. Apple has seeded the final Golden Master beta versions of each update to developers in advance. ‌iOS 14‌ and iPadOS 14 introduce dozens of new features, including a redesigned Home Screen that supports widgets on the iPhone and iPad for the first time. For more...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Full Transcript of Apple's 'Time Flies' Event With Apple Watch and iPad Updates

Tuesday September 15, 2020 8:46 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Time Flies" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut new Apple Watch and iPad models, but it appears we may not see the iPhone 12 until next month. While we're not expecting to see new iPhones today, Apple's software updates for its various platforms are likely nearly ready for launch, so we may be hearing more about them today. Check...

Everything Apple Announced at Today's iPad and Apple Watch Event in Just Seven Minutes

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:19 pm PDT by
Apple today held its annual September event, but this year was a bit different because no new iPhones were announced. The "Time Flies" event focused on the Apple Watch Series 6 and the iPad Air, and saw the debut of a new Apple One services bundle. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce the new devices, but we've recapped the event in...