How to access the Galaxy S4 Floating Keyboard

I love my Galaxy S4.

I use it as a mobile hotspot in the city, monitor my data usage and enjoy all the hidden tricks it offers.  It’s a great phone but one thing that bothers me is that it’s a little difficult to type on on the QUERTY keyboard using one hand.

On the one hand (pun intended), this problem is simply a corollary of having a large screen. With a screen size of 5 inches, it could be argued that the GS4 is a large smartphone with a large display.  This makes viewing movies, sending emails and browsing the web a joy but on the other hand, it can also make texting, emailing and typing messages a bit cumbersome (especially if you have small hands).

I’m 6’2″ and my hands are pretty big but even I find it difficult to type on this large phone with one hand.  While I’m power walking through New York City I often have my phone precariously perched on the fingers of my right hand while I shield it from angry pedestrians with my left hand (New York pedestrians are ruthless during the work week; they’ll walk right through you if you’re not careful).

Fortunately there’s a way to make single hand typing a little easier: use the built-in floating keyboard.

Let’s dive into how this works:

Go somewhere on your phone that requires you to input text.  Compose a new email message, reply to a text message or touch the location bar of your mobile browser.

I opened my Chrome browser, visited news.google.com and initiated a search for news articles about Windows 8.1.

Galaxy S4 QUERTY keyboard

To float the keyboard touch the microphone icon in the bottom left corner between the Sym button and the Spacebar.

Galaxy S4 QUERTY keyboard options

You’ll see a mini-panel of six icons.  To detach the on-screen keyboard so you can drag it around the screen, just touch the last icon on the right.  It’s supposed to resemble the keyboard with arrows going in all directions.

Galaxy S4 QUERTY keyboard options floating keyboard

Now the keyboard is free!

You can move it anywhere on the screen by dragging the top tab.  Since I like to text with my right hand, I moved mine all the way to the right.

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