iOS 8 is out and with it ends the 7-year moratorium on third-party iOS keyboards. That’s a good thing. Third party Android keyboards have come up with a few nice innovations, like prediction and glide typing, while iOS has largely remained the same. I’m going to show you how to purchase third party keyboards and install them.
The Default iOS Keyboard
Lost in the shuffle is that the standard keyboard got a lot better. Apple’s new keyboard has some pretty good prediction. If that’s all your looking for and not other features like glide typing, alternate layouts, or customization, I’d give the standard keyboard a try. If not, let’s go shopping.
Buying your New Keyboard
The good news here is that you have several options and they’re some of the best. There’s SwiftKey (free), reviewed here, Swype ($0.99), reviewed here, Fleksy ($0.99), and a few more. That’s on day one. Buy the keyboard(s) like any other app. You may want to get a couple since you might end up finding you like one better than the one you thought you’d go with. If auto-install is on, you’ll automatically download the app.
Installing they keyboard
The process to add and switch between third-part keyboards is actually the same one used to switch between second languages in iOS. If you know that process, you should be able to figure this out. However, there may be some settings required in the keyboard’s app. Start by opening that up. They usually have their own tutorial, but I’ll run your through it just in case.
First, open up your Settings. Scroll down to General. Click on it. Now that you’re In General settings, scroll down to Keyboard. Click on that.
Next click on Add New Keyboard. In the list of Keyboards, there will be a section for Third Party Keyboards. In this case, the keyboard we’re adding is SwiftKey. Click on it to add.
If it worked correctly, the new third party keyboard list should now appear in the list of keyboards. You can switch between keyboards while typing by clicking and holding the globe-shaped icon. Some keyboards in the list may have extra options and will have on arrow on their right. In the case of SwiftKey, this involves giving them full access including your keystrokes. There are benefits to full acccess, but please weigh the impacts on your privacy fully before making a decision.
You are now set up to use your third party keyboard.