[FR] iOS Full Keyboard Access

Steps to reproduce

  • Connect a bluetooth keyboard on iOS
  • Have the Settings > Accessibility > Keyboards > Hardware Keyboards | Full Keyboard Access turned ON.
  • Open an Obsidian note.
  • Optionally open a split note

When the Obsidian app gets focus using the keyboard (whether this is by Cmd+Tab into the app, by hotkeys-driven pane focus, etc. seems to be any method), the actual inner content editor cannot be activated or selected. See screenshot below - the blue outline is the indicator that shows where the accessibility focus is, in this case on the entire frame.

At this point, pressing (to select the focused area) will only select the note name field and no keystrokes or combinations will move focus to the editor.

Something similar happens with split panes, where the pane edges seem to be selected, rather than the editing space. I’m not going into detail about it here because I suspect the underlying issue is the same.


The only way to activate the editing pane in this situation is to tap it or click it with a mouse.

Expected result

I expect to be able to use iOS’s system-wide accessibility keyboard access selection/focus features to select any valid area of the Obsidian app, a standard feature all other iOS apps I use provide.

Actual result

iOS accessibility keyboard control seems to be un-implemented. Either the entire app gets focus in an unhelpful way, or unexpected areas get focus. Either way, the editing field is never focusable.


  • Operating system: iOS 14.6 on iPad Air 4th Generation (with bluetooth keyboard and mouse)
  • Obsidian version: 1.0.4 (iOS)

Additional information

We already lost vim keybindings on iOS, can we please have standard accessibility API adoption :slight_smile: ?

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I am gonna move this to mobile and consider it a feature request.

  • Is this specific to bluetooth?
  • When the title is selected, have you tried pressing tab or enter? That should move to the editor.
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I’ve never connected a USB keyboard to an iPad. Not sure it’s possible.

I have, yup. It does not move the cursor to the editor. It remains in the title field.

In almost every other app, the focus indicator highlight is more atomic - it highlights individual UI components and allows you to cycle through them (using tab and arrow keys) in order to activate one. As far as I’ve seen in Obsidian, the whole window is selected and the focus selector doesn’t seem to be able to drill down to inner UI components (like the editor field, the various menu buttons, etc.)

The following may be a total tangent, so I’m happy to ignore it for now or open a new thread, but I’ve just started testing out the iPadOS 15 public beta and this bug is even worse on iPadOS 15. When “full keyboard access” is turned on, entering characters in the editing pane works normally, but when pressing arrow down (for instance) focus leaves the Obsidian app altogether (and goes to whatever iOS UI element happens to be at the bottom of the screen).
So in iOS 15, if I want to be able to do normal editing actions in Obsidian - like move the cursor with arrow keys - I have to have “full keyboard access” disabled system wide. I’m happy to do it for now because Obsidian is essentially the reason I own this iPad, but it is inconvenient.