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Top 5 third-party keyboards for iOS 8

By James Lu - 18 Sep 2014

Top 5 third-party keyboards for iOS 8

Apple's default keyboard may have received some nice, new improvements in iOS 8, adding predictive typing and a new layout, but the real upgrade is the ability to (finally) add a third-party custom keyboard that will replace the default keyboard throughout the entire operating system. iOS users, it's time to find out what you've been missing out on.

How to install a custom keyboard on iOS 8

Before we begin, here's how to install a custom keyboard on iOS 8. Go to the settings menu in your device, then go to General > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard. Scroll all the way down past the language options and you'll find the installed third-party keyboards. Tap on the name of the keyboard to activate it.

Top 5 third-party keyboards for iOS 8


1. Swype (S$1.28)

Swype was one of the first Android keyboards to offer swipe-based typing, and it's now available for iPhones and iPads. If you haven't experienced swipe typing, essentially you just drag your finger around the screen without lifting it up, connecting each letter to form the word. It's incredibly fast and Swype is smart enough to recognize what word you're trying to spell, even if your fingers aren't super accurate at hitting the correct key each time. If you're feeling extra lazy Swype also has an option for dictating your messages instead of typing.

2. SwiftKey (Free)

One of the most popular Android keyboards, SwiftKey was also one of the first companies to announce it would build an iOS keyboard. Like Swype, you can enter text by swiping your finger around, touching each letter as you go, or by tapping each individual letter like some kind of caveman. The app is regarded as having one of the best predictive-typing algorithms out there, and actually leans from your writing style, getting better at predicting your sentences over time. It also has a very smart adaptive autocorrect function, so even if you butcher your spelling, it will probably be able to decipher what you were trying to say.

3. TouchPal (Free)

Another popular Android keyboard, TouchPal offers similar word prediction and swipe-to-type systems as Swype and SwiftKey, but also adds a gesture system that lets you swipe up or down on various keys for quickly selecting words, numbers, and symbols. 

4. Fleksy (S$1.28)

Fleksy uses what it calls ‘Geometric Intelligence’ to combat sloppy and inaccurate typing - this just means that it has a highly advanced predictive text algorithm. Fleksy claims that its predictive texting is so good, you can actually blind type on its keyboard - as in, without looking at what you're typing - and it will still be accurate.

As it turns out, there may actually be some credence to Fleksy's claims - in May this year, the company officially broke the Guiness World record for the fastest touchscreen text message, when a Brazilian teenager typed this monster of a sentence in just 18.19 seconds using Fleksy: The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.

5. Kuaiboard (S$2.58)

Kuaiboard is an interesting keyboard in that it doesn't really change the way you type. What it does include is a clipboard where you can save frequently used text, like addresses, names and phone numbers, and easily paste them into the text - ideal for filling out lengthy web forms. It also has a handy tool for easily sending your location as a map link.

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