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I am working on a application, for which I intend to suggest the use of a feature similar to what is used on most smartphones' keyboards to select special characters:

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However, while it is easy to explain face-to-face, I feel that my report should have a better name for it than "that thing on your iPhone where you press a letter and other letters appear".

Is there a standard name for this feature?

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How about 'Special character selector' or 'Alternate character grid'?

When in doubt, just say 'the thingy you use to make letters like ę and ū show up.'

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It's an accented character selection, which is needed for most latin character based languages. English is pretty unique in it's lack of accents (with the exception of adopted words).

So I would just refer to it as:

Accented character selector

or

Accented character overlay

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