How To: Get the New Dark Keyboard in iOS 7.1 (Plus, the Darker Home Screen Dock & Folders)

Get the New Dark Keyboard in iOS 7.1 (Plus, the Darker Home Screen Dock & Folders)

There are a lot of cool things in iOS 7, but there are also a lot of annoying things about it. One of the biggest issues I have is Apple's stock wallpaper options. I was really hyped about the new dynamic wallpapers, but they turned out to be a real disappointment because of the new interface.

Update: This Feature No Longer Appears in iOS 7.1

To our dismay, Beta 2 removed the dark keyboard from Beta 1.

There are alternative options to change the keyboard's look in the public version of iOS 7.1, such as bold fonts and reduced transparency, but they apply device-wide, not just for the keyboard. Check out our latest What You Need to Know About iOS 7.1 to check them out.

There was also a good jailbreak option that brought back the dark keyboard, but there is no jailbreak yet for iOS 7.1, so we'll just have to wait for that too.

The Dark Keyboard from iOS 7.1 Beta 1

Folders do not pop and it's fairly hard to read the white fonts for app and folder names using one of the lighter wallpapers, and only 8 out of 40 of them let you change the font to black. This means about half of the stock dynamic and still backgrounds are useless for me.

In the latest iOS 7.1 software, there's a change that makes the dock and folders easier to see, plus a new keyboard option. Check it out in the video below, or hit up the details afterward for more info.

Making the Home Screen Easier to See in iOS 7.0

You can make the fonts a little easier to see on your iPad or iPhone by bolding them in the Accessibility settings, but it only helped so much. Plus, it affects the whole device, not just the home screen, which is the only place I need it.

You could also increase the contrast, but it did very little to help.

Image via

It made the dock slightly easier to see (as seen below), but when viewing folders, it only did so much.

How to Make the Dock & Folders Easier to See in iOS 7.1

Now, in iOS 7.1, they've adjusted they've changed the Increase Contrast option so that it really makes a difference. Just go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Increase Contrast and turn on Reduce Transparency.

You'll now have a dark background for the home screen dock.

And when you open folders, you also have the dark background.

To see how to make nameless folders, check out the section on dynamic wallpapers in my previous post.

Now, I'd just like the option to add this dark background to folders on the home screen so they don't blend in so much with the wallpaper, but that may be asking too much.

This Also Darkens the Notification Center

Previously, when Increase Contrast was on, it would make the Notification Tray a solid gray background on the lock screen. Now, it's even darker and more distinct.

Image via

How to Get the Dark Keyboard in iOS 7.1

They've also added a similar dark look for the keyboard, in case you were having trouble seeing the keys. Just go back to the Accessibility settings and enable Use Dark Keyboard. You might have seen this darker keyboard pop up every now and then in iOS 7.0, but there was no way to set it manually until now.

If you have Reduce Transparency on too, it will make it even darker.

What do you think of the new darker options in iOS 7.1? Let us know below.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new emoji, enhanced security, podcast transcripts, Apple Cash virtual numbers, and other useful features. There are even new additions hidden within Safari. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.4 update.


There doesn't seem to be any choice for darker key board or reduce transparency in latest iPhone 5 up date . How does one do this????

This is only in version 7.1, which is currently in beta, and won't be release publicly until next month some time. If you're running iOS 7.0.4 (the newest public update), you won't see these options. You will, however, be able to "Increase Contrast" and "Bold Text" if you want. I talked a little bit about those features in this article.

I hope they can improve the features on iMovie. :(

I have heard that Apple in their great wisdom have removed the dark keyboard from the Beta 3,( which is due for release in March )is this true?

I have 7.1 beta 3 and there is no option like you showed on your video to change the keyboard darker :(

Apple scrapped it in the second beta build, which sucks because I personally enjoyed it.

Yeah, it's not there anymore. This was something that was added in the first beta version of iOS 7.1, but they removed it and never brought it back.

They need to bring that option back!!

I dont see Use Dark Keyboard lebel

I just updated to 7.1.1 this week and unfortunately there is no option for dark keyboard. Wish there was though. Thanks for the tips!

It was abandoned in beta 2 of 7.1, which sucks because I liked that keyboard.

Maybe they are still trying to improve it somehow. It looked very similar to the Palm Pre keyboard but I never got to try it. Hopefully they add it to the next update.

Is there a way to downgrade from the version 3 to the older beta so that this can be used? I would love to do that as there really isn't a big difference between them.

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