Full Keyboard Access (Settings>Accessibility>Keyboards)

iOS and iPadOS


I was wondering how many folks on here have tried using said new feature mentioned above.

For those who haven't looked at said setting yet, it's mainly another set of commands that can be used to do many things by using an external keyboard, the way you wish to do them.

Yes, you can use VO+H/F1 Twice to bring up the apps Switcher for example (like how ya could always do it for the longest time), but now ya can bring it up also by holding down tab while tapping the letter A, then release it. In addition, Tab C opens the control panel, Tab N opens the notification area, Tab L locks the screen, etc.

Navigating with Tab/Shift-Tab and the arrow keys (just like on a Macintosh) happily works without much issue, while the space bar activates buttons and menu items for example.

CTRL-Option-Shift-Command-R by the way, let's you restart your device without needing to use Voice Control or the Power Off screen.
Also, Tab S activates Siri.

All commands can be customized by the way, as yall see when browsing said list.

Two places to be aware of for now which Full Keyboard Access is having issues with include:

1. The Apps Switcher
2. Web Browsing (though only if you manually go to the bottom of the screen).

One app that's having issues with the Keyboard Full Access feature, is Discord. Although, Telegram may be problematic in some spots with this too.

Feel free to share what yall find, and if you created shortcuts of your own.

PS. I almost forgot to mention, Tab X toggles on/off accessibility, which in our case (for most of us) is VoiceOver.



Submitted by dvdmth on Monday, March 30, 2020

Club AppleVis Member

Not sure how much I will use this feature, but I did experiment with it this morning, and it is certainly nice to see how much effort Apple put into this. I have heard multiple complaints from sighted iPad users who wish they could select apps on the home screen with the keyboard the same way they can on a Mac, and this feature lets them do just that. Of course I could do it with VoiceOver, but until now VoiceOver was the only way.

I noticed that, in some places, VoiceOver focus acts differently depending on whether full keyboard access is enabled or not. I think it's trying to synchronize the VoiceOver focus with whatever has keyboard focus on a particular screen, which can change what has focus when a screen first appears. For example, when I open Overcast the focus likes to land on the podcast I last interacted with, rather than the top of the screen which VoiceOver normally does. I noticed similar behavior in the News app, where focus likes to land on the article I last read. Useful in some situations, but in some cases it can be an annoyance. On the lock screen, for some reason, focus sometimes snaps to the page turner at the bottom instead of the current time or notifications.

Submitted by Trenton Matthews on Monday, April 27, 2020

One of the most interesting things I found out that works so well when Full Keyboard Access is enabled, is using it with the Tweetings application.

I never had a wonderful experience with Twitter on iOS/iPad os till then!

Okay, yes you can use many Twitter apps with the VoiceOver Cursor/QuickNav, but the fact ya can actually use Tweetings with normal cursoring key functions along with Tweeting's own standard hotkeys? I like that!

PS. The up/down arrow keys, do absolutely nothing with Twitter or Twitterific running, if using iOS/iPad OS 13.4.1 or later.

Submitted by Ekim on Thursday, April 30, 2020

I’m experiencing a lot of issues when I turn on FKA. In addition to the app switcher and web browsing, I get weird results in Settings and Mail. I actually bought a new iPad because I thought the screen was somehow broken but then figured out that FKA seemed to be the issue. Of course, I returned the new iPad. :)

A lot of the commands seem to be the same but with new shortcuts. Also, the regular cmd shortcuts are already available when you connect a keyboard. For example, zooming, cutting, pasting, scrolling,, using the quick app switcher (cmd+tab), etc.

Two things which sound nice are the customized commands and the ability to define gestures. That would provide a happy medium for me since I can still see enough of the screen.

I guess I just need to play around with it more but it doesn’t seem possible yet until they fix some bugs. Maybe it’s an issue because I have both FKA and VO on at the same time?

Submitted by Trenton Matthews on Thursday, April 30, 2020

Yep, i'll be sending feedback to apple about this feature.
Definitely could be better, especially with the jumping of the cursor problems.
I do like it overall.
Oh and yes, I hope they fix the track pad feature while VO is on. I don't have a magic trackpad myself to test it.

Submitted by Peter space capital EARL spa… on Saturday, September 25, 2021

I have had several problems and issues accessing the keyboard. Even before I upgraded to iOS 15 I was having problems accessing the keyboard. Ever since I’ve been having other issues with voiceover in the cursor and resetting the settings I have had issues. I found that I now have partial access to the keyboard. Now especially now I have had even less excess and there’s no reliability with using the keyboard particular with Safari and also now even with the mail the keyboard will sometimes work and also not work. In the mail though the keyboard doesn’t work at all there are keys on the keyboard does not work at all. Are used to be able to use the caps lock off and on the caps lock and space to open and close things but I cannot do that any longer. All these issues are now pertaining to us especially issues now related to the iPad the iPad and the keyboard is not working reliably and needs to be some fixing on the iPad an external keyboard the keyboard is well it’s an audio keyboard. The keyboard that I have is also a Logitech keyboard. The iPad either the type of iPad that I have or the iPad itself just does not work in the same of the keyboard. Again all I get is partial access it’ll work it will sometimes partially work and then stop working so there’s no reliability with the keyboard and either it Hass to do with the focus or something but it’s not as reliable with the keyboard now. If anybody else is having any problems such as this with the keyboard let us know and thanks I’ll be get some responses.

Submitted by Travis Roth on Saturday, September 25, 2021

On my iPad Pro running iOS 15, if Full Keyboard Access is enabled, the biggest issue I found was the Space key does not work in Messages using the Mantis. Good luck typing a message! In addition, the arrow keys no longer move VoiceOver focus by element like flicking although this may be intended? But the Space key was a killer.