The iPhone’s Virtual Keyboards: A Visual Catalogue

by Joey deVilla on February 18, 2013

The computer desk in Joey deVilla's home office.

The Apple side of my desk at my home office.

Vaya con iOS: Exploring iPhone and iPad programmingWhile doing some serious iOS development self-training this long weekend (it’s Family Day weekend in many parts of Canada), I looked around for a visual catalogue of the standard iPhone virtual keyboards, but couldn’t find any.

Yes, Xcode’s Interface Builder gives you a list of keyboard types…

Drop-down menu of keyboard types in Xcode

…and the UITextInputTraits Protocol Reference in Apple’s online docs does an adequate job of telling you what the UIKeyboardType enums are:

typedef enum {
   UIKeyboardTypeDefault,
   UIKeyboardTypeASCIICapable,
   UIKeyboardTypeNumbersAndPunctuation,
   UIKeyboardTypeURL,
   UIKeyboardTypeNumberPad,
   UIKeyboardTypePhonePad,
   UIKeyboardTypeNamePhonePad,
   UIKeyboardTypeEmailAddress,
   UIKeyboardTypeDecimalPad,
   UIKeyboardTypeTwitter,
   UIKeyboardTypeAlphabet = UIKeyboardTypeASCIICapable
} UIKeyboardType;

…but I couldn’t find any resource that showed me both the human-friendly and UIKeyboardType enums, what the primary and alternate views for each keyboard look like, and a half-decent description of each. In the spirit of the “See a need, fill a need” hacker ethos, I put together this visual catalogue of the iPhone’s standard virtual keyboards to share with the iOS developer community. Enjoy!

iPhone Virtual Keyboards and UIKeyboardTypes Visual Catalogue

Keyboard Name Description
ASCII Capable

UIKeyboardTypeASCIICapable

iOS "ASCII capable" keyboard, default letter viewiOS "ASCII capable" keyboard, alternate number view

A general-purpose keyboard, containing standard ASCII characters. The primary view shows letters, and the alternate view shows numbers and punctuation.

Numbers and Punctuation

UIKeyboardTypeNumbersAndPunctuation

iOS "Numbers and punctuation" keyboard, default number view

iOS "Numbers and punctuation" keyboard, alter letter view

Like the ASCII Capable keyboard, but the views are reversed: the primary view shows numbers and punctuation, and the alternate view shows letters.

URL

UIKeyboardTypeURL

iOS "URL" keyboard, default letter view

iOS "URL" keyboard, alternate number view

A keyboard optimized for entering URLs. The keyboard features a “.com” key, makes the “.” and “/” keys prominent, and omits the space bar. The primary view shows letters, and the alternate view shows numbers and punctuation.

Number Pad

UIKeyboardTypeNumberPad

iOS "Number pad" keyboard

A numeric keypad designed for PIN entry. It’s labelled phone-style with letters, featuring the digits 0 through 9 prominently. This keyboard has a single view and doesn’t support auto-capitalization.

Phone Pad

UIKeyboardTypePhonePad

iOS "Phone pad" keyboard, default number view

iOS "Phone pad" keyboard, alternate "star/pound/plus" key view

A numeric keypad designed for phone number entry. It’s labelled phone-style with letters, featuring the digits 0 through 9 prominently in the primary view, and the pause, wait, “*“, “#” and “+” keys in the alternate view. This keyboard doesn’t support auto-capitalization.

Name Phone Pad

UIKeyboardTypeNamePhonePad

iOS "Name phone" keyboard, default "name" view

iOS "Name phone" keyboard, alternate "phone" view

A keyboard for entering names and phone numbers. The primary view shows letters. The alternate view shows a phone-style number pad with the digits 0 through 9; holding down the 0 key enters a “+” character.

E-mail Address

UIKeyboardTypeEmailAddress

iOS "E-mail address" keyboard, default letter view

iOS "Email address" keyboard, alternate number view

A keyboard for entering email addresses, with “@“, “.” and space characters featured prominently (even though email addresses shouldn’t have spaces in them). The primary view shows letters, and the alternate view shows numbers and punctuation.

Decimal Pad

UIKeyboardTypeDecimalPad

iOS "Decimal pad" keyboard

A numeric keypad suitable for entering general numbers including a decimal point.

Twitter

UIKeyboardTypeTwitter

iOS "Twitter" keyboard, default letter view

iOS "Twitter" keyboard, alternate number view

A keyboard optimized for tweets, providing easy access to the “@” and “#” characters. The primary view shows letters, and the alternate view shows numbers and punctuation. As the only keyboard type devoted to a specific third-party web application, it’s a testament to Twitter’s reach.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Jonathon Hibbard April 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Thanks! I was looking for a quick reference to all of the keyboards and found your site. Seems to be the only one that lays it out nice and easy. Added to my delcious feed even =)

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