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.

iphone x keyboard image 3

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."

iphone x keyboard mockup alex muench

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.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

djcerla Avatar
66 months ago
Alternate universe headline: “iPhone X users complain about inadvertently entering symbols while using home gesture”.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PastaPrimav Avatar
66 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)
joshwenke Avatar
66 months ago
Apple is really slipping in the quality control department recently...
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PastaPrimav Avatar
66 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)
randymac09 Avatar
66 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)
Nick A Avatar
66 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)

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro hands snowflakes 1

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Wednesday November 23, 2022 1:55 pm PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Black Friday 2022 is no different. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like the iPhone 13. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors....
apple watch gold ornaments

Best Black Friday Apple Watch Deals Still Available

Wednesday November 23, 2022 9:31 am PST by
We're tracking all of the best Apple product discounts for Black Friday this week, and the Apple Watch always makes a great gift around the holiday season, so you're guaranteed to find solid discounts right now. In this article, you'll discover the best Black Friday sales on Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these...
new airpods lineup black friday

Best Black Friday AirPods Deals Still Available

Tuesday November 22, 2022 10:01 am PST by
Although we've been tracking Black Friday deals for a few weeks now, the shopping holiday is officially kicking off this week and we're highlighting the best sales for each of Apple's product lines. In this article, you'll find the best Black Friday sales on AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors....
ipad holiday bulbs

Best Black Friday iPad Deals Still Available

Thursday November 24, 2022 12:25 pm PST by
Black Friday deals have been in full swing for the better part of a month, and now that the shopping holiday is officially here we're seeing even more solid discounts on Apple devices. We're highlighting the best sales for all of Apple's product lines, and in this article you'll find the best Black Friday sales on iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner ...
mac imac snowflakes

Best Black Friday iMac and MacBook Deals Still Available

Thursday November 24, 2022 1:07 pm PST by
Our Black Friday coverage continues today with the best deals you can find on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac. As with all Black Friday deals, we aren't sure how long any of these will last, and prices are always fluctuating, so if you see something you want, be sure to buy it soon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Black Friday is winding down for 2022, but many Apple products are still seeing major discounts. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you...
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Blue

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Get Right Now: AirPods, Apple TV, Mac, iPad, and More

Saturday November 19, 2022 8:00 am PST by
Last week was jam-packed with early Black Friday deals, and now that the shopping holiday is right around the corner, we're going back through all of the best sales you might have missed over the past week and updating as prices change and new deals arrive. As with all holiday shopping, there's no guarantee that better prices won't come around later in the season, but if you want to shop early,...
Best Buy November Deals Hero

Best Buy Reveals Black Friday Plans With Sitewide Sales Available Now

Tuesday November 22, 2022 3:49 pm PST by
Following in the footsteps of Target and Walmart, Best Buy this week detailed its plans for the Black Friday shopping holiday and its schedule looks a lot like other retailers. In terms of sales, Best Buy has the expected list of TVs, appliances, video games, computers, streaming devices, and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a...