What’s on the App Store: Keyboard apps for iOS 8

Harry Tunnecliffe
25 September, 2014
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App Guide

iOS-8-update-apple-macworld-australiaWith the recent release of iOS 8, the keyboard interface was opened up to developers for the first time in the history of the iPhone.

Third-party keyboards have been a part of the Android landscape for a long time, so there has not surprisingly been an explosion of third-party keyboards, providing alternatives to the often much-maligned iOS standard.

Here are some of the best third-party keyboards currently being enjoyed by iOS users for the first time, including some that are exclusive to iOS (Keymoji, GIF Keyboard).

Keymoji

Free; Literati Labs; Utilities

iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

iPad Screenshot 1

This is an “emoji autocomplete keyboard” for iOS 8 users. As you are typing in any app, the keyboard will automatically show suggestions based on a crowdsourced database of emoji combinations, allowing you to replace your text with a sequence of emoji that best describes what you’re trying to say. You can even contribute your own creations to help build the database, or try to make it to the top of the emoji leaderboard. The future of conversation clearly does not involve words.

Swype 

$1.29; Nuance Communications; Utilities

iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

iPad Screenshot 1

This app has been in the top two of the top paid apps chart on the App Store since its release last week. As the name indicates, it lets users enter a number of words, symbols, punctuation and other written items using swipe gestures. Swype learns the way you type and adjusts itself accordingly to make typing or swiping easier. The more often you use the keyboard – the better it gets.

GIF Keyboard

Free; Riffsy; Utilities

iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

Gifs

Essentially a keyboard that allows you to quickly and easily send GIFs to friends. Choose from millions of categorised GIFs, each one has an associated hashtag to help identify what situation it should be used in. Apart from a ‘recent’ tab to keep track of your favourite GIFs, you can even save new GIFs that you find through the Safari app directly to the GIF keyboard – keeping them out of your camera roll.

Fleksy Keyboard – Happy Typing

$1.29; Syntellia; Utilities

iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

iphone-ipod

Happy typing indeed. Rated as high as five in the top paid app charts, Fleksy is a great example of the new powers given to the keyboard thanks to iOS 8. Customise the colour and size of the keyboard and choose from over 800 emoji. Fleksy claims to have the fastest keyboard in the world thanks to its predictive text features and use of swipe gestures that can add punctuation, space, delete words and much more.

SwiftKey Keyboard

Free; SwiftKey; Utilities

iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

Like the other new keyboards, SwiftKey adapts to the way that you type, giving you increasingly accurate autocorrect and predictive text – constantly reducing keystrokes required for messages. Very quickly you will find that after typing just one letter you are given a super-accurate word prediction. Includes its own swipe-rather-than-type option called ‘SwiftKey Flow.’

While not as popular as the Swype keyboard, SwiftKey does have the added benefit of being free.

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