Tech Tips: Kill the new iPad keyboard |

Tech Tips: Kill the new iPad keyboard

Q: In a previous tech tip, you indicated that you kind of liked the new iOS 11 iPad keyboard. Well, you’re wrong: It’s terrible! I end up typing the wrong thing all the time. Is there some way to turn this new “improved” keyboard off before I throw the iPad out the window?

A: We were slightly surprised at the vehemence of this (and other) comments and questions about the new iPad keyboard, added in iOS 11. This new keyboard supposedly makes it easier to enter both letters and numbers, and other symbols.

Rather than having to switch to a separate keyboard layout to type numbers and symbols, you can press and then swipe down (a gesture Apple calls a “flick”). Once you get used to it, these flicks make it easy to enter numbers in the middle of a sentence, for example, without having to switch to the secondary keyboard layout.

But not all improvements work for everyone, we understand! Perhaps, rather than tossing the iPad into the trash, you might consider simply disabling the “flicks” feature, and returning to the classic, normal keyboard. It’s easy to do!

In the Settings app, select General, then Keyboard. Find the Enable Key Flicks option, and toggle it off. That’s it! Now your iPad will return to working the way it used to, and you can refrain from tossing out your perfectly good tablet!

Battery drain with iOS 11

Q: Since I have updated to iOS 11, I’ve found that the battery on my iPhone 6 drains much quicker than it used to. I didn’t change any settings other than installing the new operating system, yet, I can’t get through a day without needing to recharge my phone. This is unacceptable! What can I do to fix the problem?

A: Clearly, it’s an iOS 11 day! So many issues!

In any case, Apple works to ensure that each update to iOS sucks down the juice no faster than previous versions, but sometimes (as in this case), the company fails. It’s clear that iOS 11 eats more power than iOS 10, given the same device, but at least the answer is simple!

In iOS, applications have the option to receive background updates, even while you’re not using the application or the phone/tablet.

For example, an email application can receive email while you’re not using the phone, so when you look at it next, you’ll see the most current email. The same feature is useful for a weather or news application.

Using background updates, you don’t have to wait for data refresh when you look at the phone — the data has already been refreshed and it’s ready for you.

The problem is that these background updates consume battery power. Prior to iOS 11, this feature wasn’t enabled for all apps.

Starting with iOS 11, however, Apple decided that you should have background updates enabled for all apps by default, whether or not they’re necessary. It’s up to you to turn off the updates for apps that really don’t require them.

From our perspective, only email, news, and weather apps really need background updates — for anything else, you can manually update the content when you need it.

To fix the problem, open the Settings app. Select General, and then Background App Refresh. This page displays a list of all your installed apps. For all but the mail, news, and weather apps, turn off background refresh. That’s it!

It may take a few days before you notice a difference in battery usage, but not refreshing data in all your apps should make a difference in the battery life of your device.

Doug Behl and Ken Getz spent years answering technical questions in private, and are minimizing the questions by pre-emptively publishing the answers. Hear Doug and Ken’s tech tips on KNCO radio weekdays at around 8:21 a.m. and 5:38 p.m.; find full write-ups including links to the products they mention at Submit your own technical questions to

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