iPadOS 15 – iPadOS 15.4: All the New Keyboard Shortcuts

BY Parth Shah

Published 23 Oct 2021

keyboard shortcuts for iPad on iPadOS 15

Even though iPadOS 15 – iPadOS 15.4 didn’t bring a huge overhaul that many were expecting, the updates do include noteworthy features such as better multitasking, App Library, widgets on the home screen, and more. Another improvement is in terms of keyboard shortcuts. iPadOS 15 – iPadOS 15.4 introduces several global keyboard shortcuts to the compatible iPad models.

Apple wants to pitch the iPad as the computer replacement for many. While the cumbersome multitasking and trackpad experience might suggest otherwise, the added keyboard shortcuts with the Globe key are a step in the right direction.

iPad already had keyboard shortcuts such as Cmd + Tab to switch between apps, text editing shortcuts, and more. With the help of Globe key, Apple takes the whole iPad productivity to the next level with system and multitasking shortcuts. Here they are.

The iPad feels barebones to use with a touch interface only. With the use of relevant accessories such as Apple Pencil, an iPad case doubling as a stand, and a third-party keyboard (or Apple Magic Keyboard), you can convert it into a proper workstation (something that Apple is pushing for lately).

Most iPad keyboards come with a Globe key in the corner. With iPadOS 15 – iPadOS 15.4, the system can take advantage of the Globe key and perform a bunch of global shortcuts on the go. No need to stretch your hand to the iPad display to perform an action.

iPadOS 15 Global Keyboard Shortcuts

For your convenience, we have divided the keyboard shortcuts into three categories – System shortcuts, Multitasking shortcuts, and Split view shortcuts. Let’s start the list with System shortcuts.

iPadOS 15 System Keyboard Shortcuts

As the name suggests, the System shortcuts are designed to offer better system navigation. Users will be able to go back to the home screen, activate Siri, access Control Centre, App Library, etc., without lifting their finger from the keyboard:

  • Globe + H: Go back to the Home Screen
  • Globe + A: Showcase Dock
  • Globe + Shift + A: Open App Library
  • Globe + Q: Create a Quick Note
  • Globe + S: Launch Siri
  • Globe + C: Open the Control Centre
  • Globe + N: Reveal Notification Centre
  • Globe + M: Open the list of all keyboard shortcuts

quick note on iPad

Multitasking Shortcuts

iPad gets new multitasking capabilities with iPadOS. You can easily utilize them using the keyboard shortcuts below:

  • Globe + Up arrow: Open the App Switcher
  • Globe + Down arrow: Display all windows
  • Globe + Left arrow: Go to the next app
  • Globe + Right arrow: Go to the Previous app

multitasking on iPadOS 15

Split View and Slide Over Shortcuts

Use the mentioned keyboard shortcuts to manage Split View and Slide Over apps:

  • Control + Globe + Left arrow: Tile Windows Left
  • Control + Globe + Right arrow: Tile Window Right
  • Globe + \: Show Slide Over
  • Command + Globe + \: Next Slide over Window
  • Options + Globe + Left arrow: Move to Left Slide Over
  • Options + Globe + Right arrow: Move to Right Slide Over

We know these can be difficult to memorize. At any point, you can hit the Globe + M keys and open the keyboard shortcuts menu. Apple has listed all the keyboard shortcuts in several categories.

Alternatively, you can show all the keyboard shortcuts as a menu by pressing the Globe key and then tap on action to perform the shortcut or start typing to search the shortcuts.

Add the Globe Key to a Third-Party Keyboard

As you can see from the iPadOS 15 – iPadOS 15.4 keyboard shortcuts list, the Globe key plays a vital role in helping you navigate the OS or get things done. Most iPad keyboards do have the relevant Globe key. But it’s not something you will find on other third-party keyboards not designed keeping iPadOS in mind.

As you may already know, users can easily use a normal Windows/Mac keyboard with an iPad via Bluetooth. And on these keyboards, you will see there is no Globe key to utilize new shortcuts. But don’t worry, you are not completely out of luck.

Similar to macOS, users can remap Globe key and iPadOS as well. Follow the steps below to add the Globe key to a third-party keyboard on iPad.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on iPad.

Step 2: Scroll down to the Accessibility menu.

Step 3: Select VoiceOver > Typing and tap on Modifier Keys.

Step 4: Choose your least used key from the menu. For example, let’s select Caps Lock Key.

Step 5: Select Globe to turn your Caps Lock Key into a Globe key.

You can now easily use the modifier key as the Globe key and use all the mentioned keyboard shortcuts at the top.

open modifier keys

With iPad Air and M1 iPad Pro, Apple continues to pitch the iPad as the perfect touch-based computing experience on the go. While users are yet to replace their existing Windows or Mac setup with an iPad, the keyboard shortcuts introduced in iPadOS 15 – iPadOS 15.4 do bring Apple’s vision one step closer to reality.

How do you plan to use new keyboard shortcuts in iPadOS 15 – iPadOS 15.4? Sound off in the comments sections below.