One of the most promising of the 200 new features arriving with iOS 5 is perhaps the one least advertised: the split-screen keyboard for iPad. Available within any app, the keyboard is available in both portrait and landscape view, as it was in previous iOS versions. Now, however, you can split the keyboard in two, moving each piece anywhere on the screen. And yes, the end result is pretty amazing.

The Split Keyboard

The Split Keyboard

To activate/deactivate the split keyboard, hold the show/hide button at the bottom right of the keyboard until the new options activate. These include Undock and Split.

Undock allows you to move the entire keyboard to any location on the iPad screen. Once activated, you’ll need to hold in the show/hide button to actually move the keyboard to a new location. To turn undock off, select Dock under the show/hide button.

Look Mom, An Undocked Keyboard

Look Mom, An Undocked Keyboard

Split divides the entire keyboard in two beginning on the first row between the letters “T” and “Y.” Even when split, the keyboard may be moved in both portrait and landscape mode. You can also split the keyboard simply by moving it apart with two fingers, which is actually the cooler of the two ways to do this!

If you haven’t yet downloaded iOS 5 for your iPhone/iPod touch or iPad, get it now in iTunes.