iOS has long been criticized for its lack of support for third party keyboards. Unless you jailbreak and install keyword tweaks, you’ll be stuck with the default iOS keyboard. But with the release of iOS 8, Apple has finally added support for third-party keyboards. Developers can now build custom keyboards which can be used for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Today, we will take a look at some of the best third-party iOS 8 keyboard apps that you can install on your iPhone or iPad.
Swype (0.99) by Nuance is one of the most popular keyboard alternatives for Android. Swype basically enables the users to input text by just swiping their fingers across the keyboard. You can just continue swiping without needing to lift your finger off the screen. Swype for iOS 8 is quite intelligent since it determines user intention. Swype supports 21 languages plus 16 more that you can download. Like most third-party keyboards, invoking Siri via Swype is not possible, that and the fact that it doesn’t support cloud syncing.
SwiftKey (FREE) is yet another popular third-party keyboard coming from Android. Advertised as the “smart keyboard that learns from you”, Swiftkey can also learn the way you type which leads to more accurate text input and better prediction. You can backup your personal dictionary on the cloud so you can easily access it between devices. Unfortunately, Swiftkey doesn’t have quick access to alternate characters which can be a deal-breaker for some. Still, Swiftkey is a solid keyboard and also free.
TouchPal (FREE) is an excellent free alternative to the stock iOS 8 keyboard. Like most third-party iOS 8 keyboards here, TouchPal provides faster text input with its sliding / gesture input. It also boasts superior prediction which claims to “save more than 90% keystrokes.” And for a free keyboard app, it sure does have extensive support for Emoji (800+) and themes. Compared to Swype and Swiftkey, TouchPal is more of a fun keyboard option.
Fleksy (0.99) is said to be the fastest keyboard in the world, previously utilized by Android users to set speed text input records. But Fleksy isn’t just the fastest third-party keyboard around, it offers many features like gestures, themes, cloud personalization, ability to resize keyboard, multiple themes, Emoji, badges and more. The design is quite the minimalist and it looks great. The app also supports 40 languages.
The internet sure do loves its animated GIFs. Nowadays, you just can’t surf the web without stumbling into one. If you enjoy those hilarious GIFs, then this might just be the keyboard app for you. I mean, why settle with boring Emojis when you can convey your feelings with the appropriate GIF? GIF Keyboard (FREE) is a fun keyboard app for sending those perfect GIFs straight from your keyboard! It’s a free app as well, so you might as well grab it now!
So for you our dear readers, what are the best third-party iOS 8 keyboard apps? Feel free to chime in with your favorite keyboards in the comments.