Enable the Globe key on external keyboards for iPad

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If you use an external keyboard on iPad, this is the most important thing to do - remap a key like the fn key to the globe key. Here is how I do it for an older Apple wireless keyboard like the second generation A1255 or third generation A1314.

When I started using an external keyboard for my iPad, I realized I’d have to re-learn many shortcut keystrokes to get around! But not to worry, iPadOS has a very simple way to display the shortcut keys available.

But first, with an old keyboard, you need to make sure you have the key:

After connecting the external keyboard via Bluetooth, in Settings, find General > Keyboard > Hardware Keyboard> Modifier Keys. Tap on the fn Function Key, and change it to Globe.

iPadOS External Keyboard Settings

Now, when you tap on the new key, you will get the emoji picker.

And finally - to the point of this post - to display the list of short cut keys, press and hold down the key.

You’ll be greeted with a popup of categorized global system-wide shortcuts:

iPadOS Global Keyboard Shortcuts

Shortcut Description
+H Home screen
+Space Search
+Tab Switch App
+A Dock
+Shift+A App Library
+Q Quick Note
+S Siri
+C Control Center
+N Notification Center
+Up App Switcher
+Left or Right Previous or Next App
+Shift+Left or Right Tile Window Left or Right
+\ Show Slide Over
+Alt+Left or Right Move to Left or Right Slide Over

This list is even searchable, just start typing!

Similary, press and hold down the Command key to see the a list of application-specific shortcuts.

For example, in Notes:

iPadOS Notes Commnad Keyboard Shortcuts

And in Safari:

iPadOS Safari Command Keyboard Shortcuts

Aside: Doesn’t this key remind you of the Windows key?

It’s funny how once very different design languages are is converging... Of late IMHO, Windows 11 is more like macOS, macOS is more like iPadOS / iOS, iPadOS / iOS is more like Android, and Android is more like iPadOS / iOS.