Buried deep within the code in iOS 10, there’s a special dark mode just waiting to be activated. It was discovered shortly after the first iOS 10 developer beta was released back in June, and it was believed that Apple might finally enable the new dark mode feature ahead of iOS 10’s public release last month. We all know that didn’t happen, and it doesn’t look like dark mode will be available in Apple’s iOS 10.1 update either, since we’re already on iOS 10.1 beta 5.
Dark mode is a feature that has been wished for over and over again by iPhone users, but it’s not the only oft-requested iPhone feature that’s currently hiding inside iOS 10.
Apple’s gigantic iPhone 7 Plus is now officially the iPhone. In our recent follow-up review of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus one month after launch, we discussed how the Plus version of this year’s iPhone is the iPhone experience that Apple truly wants to put in users’ hands. Meanwhile, the smaller iPhone 7 is basically now an “iPhone Lite,” offering a down-sized, stripped version of the iPhone experience.
But the iPhone 7 Plus has some downsides as well. Chief among them, perhaps, is the fact that Apple recycles the same exact design from the 4.7-inch iPhone on the larger 5.5-inch model. This design is great for a smaller phone, but when it scales to the Plus it’s far more unwieldy than rival smartphones with the same display size. It’s top-heavy, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s very difficult for many (most?) people to use with one hand.
Apple’s Plus-sized iPhone is expected to be much more compact next year when Apple releases the completely redesigned iPhone 8. In the meantime, many users have gone in search of third-party keyboards that make one-handed typing easier on the iPhone 7 Plus and earlier Plus models. Microsoft has a nice free option called Word Flow, but third-party keyboard support is still pretty terrible in iOS. People want a first-party keyboard that makes one-handed typing easier, but there has been no indication that they’re going to get one… until now.
iOS developer Steve Troughton Smith discovered a nifty one-handed typing mode buried within the code in iOS 10, though he says that the feature has actually been there since iOS 8 and maybe even in earlier versions. When enabled, a swipe inward from the outside edge of the keyboard activates a one-handed mode that shifts the keys a bit to one side of the keyboard. He posted a video on Twitter showing the keyboard in action:
The bad news is that, like dark mode, there’s no indication that Apple will actually enable this feature anytime soon. In the meantime, slap a case on your iPhone and try not to drop it.