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iPad App Switching Shortcuts On Apple Keyboard [Tips & Tricks]

by on June 25th, 2012

Those who use a standard Apple Wireless Keyboard with their iPads must know that there is no ready way to perform any task-switching action, even though third-party keyboards like the ones from Logitech allow this using dedicated keys. But now, folks over at Tao of Mac (via The Verge) have found a workaround and have published a list of keyboard shortcuts that should definitely make typing on the iPad with Apple Wireless Keyboard a little bit easier.

Here is a list of some interesting key combinations:

  • Ctrl+Alt+S silences VoiceOver
  • Ctrl+Alt+H equates to a Home button press (do it twice to show the task bar, add a little pause to go to Spotlight)
  • Ctrl+Alt+I pops up the Item Chooser, which allows you to pick just about any accessible element on the screen and jump to it – try it on your home screen to get a nice list of folders and apps
  • Left+Right to go into quick navigation mode and go over all the accessible UI elements
  • Up+Down to “press” a UI element
  • Alt+Arrow Keys to scroll a screenful at a time (in an app, sideways on the home screen, etc.)
  • Cmd-Shift-Tab switches “right” to the previous app, just like a four-finger swipe (think of it as a way to move back through the task switcher)
  • Cmd-Tab switches back “left” to the app you were originally in (the screen will bounce a little when you’re already on the “latest” app)
  • Left+Right followed by Option-Left/Right to page through your dock (if you go all the way left, you’ll get to the volume, playback and brightness controls)

Full-keyboard navigation is an entirely different beast and using it for a while makes you a lot more appreciative of the effort Apple puts in where accessibility is concerned.

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Posted under: Tutorials

  • Steve Higgs

    None of these work for me :S  I’m using Apple’s Bluetooth Keyboard but I am on iOS 6 Beta 2. Anyone else having trouble?

  • http://www.phronk.com/ Phronk

    You have to turn on VoiceOver, under Accessibility in the settings. That’s kind of an important detail that got left out. :)