One of the most baffling changes in iOS 7.1, you will agree, is the redesigned Shift key in the virtual keyboard. There was nothing wrong with the way it was implemented under iOS 6 and iOS 7.0.x and I honestly can’t think of a reason to justify this change — it just seems so arbitrary. If you want to take a look at a comparison of the changes in the Shift key behaviour under iOS 6, iOS 7.0 and iOS 7.1, read Nick Heer’s impressions in his article Dot One.
Simply put, the new Shift key design is confusing. So I came up with a little trick to instantly tell whether the Shift key is engaged or not. The Caps Lock state remains recognisable in my opinion (the arrow symbol gets ‘underlined’, resembling the Caps Lock key on Apple’s keyboards), so I won’t mention it here.
The trick for me is to look at the Delete key. If Shift and Delete look similar (i.e. they have the same colour scheme), then the Shift key is not engaged. If the Shift key has an inverse colour scheme, then it is engaged.
Fig. 1 — Keyboard with light theme. Observe the Shift and Delete keys: both have white pictograms on a grey background. This means that the Shift key is OFF.
Fig. 2 — Keyboard with light theme. Here, the Shift key looks inverted if compared with the Delete key. This means that the Shift key is ON.
Fig. 3 — Keyboard with dark theme. Observe the Shift and Delete keys: both have white pictograms on a dark grey background. This means that the Shift key is OFF.
Fig. 4 — Keyboard with dark theme. Again, the Shift key looks inverted if compared with the Delete key. This means that the Shift key is ON.
I’ve found that since learning to look at the Shift key in connection with the Delete key, I can readily tell in which state the Shift key is at any moment. (I only need a moment to adjust when I use an app that still employs the old iOS 6 keyboard style.) If this doesn’t work for you, iMore offers another suggestion.