iOS 8 Insight: Apple’s QuickType Plus Initial Third Party Keyboards




With iOS 8 comes all new keyboards, first in Apple’s default installment, and then in the third party extensions. Apple has updated the default iOS keyboard functionality for the first time since its inception offering a new suggestive keyboard known as “QuickType. In iOS 8, as you type there’s a bar above the keyboard with word suggestions that are based upon past conversations, and your writing style. The system constantly takes into account your conversation data to change the suggestions based on who you’re communicating with, and what app your communicating in. The suggestions change based on if you’re using Mail or Messages, or talking to a friend, or business partner.
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The communication data is stored privately on your device, and there’s nothing to set-up, or even turn on as QuickType is installed by default. The suggestions can be quite good, but there is a potential slow down in typing if you decide to look at the suggested words, rather than tapping the on-screen keys. If QuickType isn’t for you, just go to Settings > General > Keyboards, and turn off “Predictive”, and you have the familiar keyboard. In addition to Apple’s new QuickType keyboard, iOS 8 gives you the ability to install third party keyboards from the App Store, and then use those keyboards across every other app. There are already quite a few third party keyboards in the App Store, which we will highlight right now.

It’s worth noting that you install these keyboards by going to Settings > General > Keyboards > Keyboards (again in the new menu) > Add New Keyboard, and select from the list. Any keyboard app you install from the App Store will be in the list to add. It’s worth noting that by default, Apple locks the keyboards down, so they can’t track what you type, but you can flip the option on to allow Full Access under the individual Keyboards settings in the same menu described above. When allowing Full Access, the keyboards could potentially send your key strokes to the app servers, which is helpful for predictive text, but can also track passwords, card numbers, and personal info.

For any of these keyboard apps, once you add them, switching to them is as simple as tapping the globe in the lower right on the main keyboard within any app. The implementation is a little clunky with a noticeable delay on switching, but the choice is now there as part of iOS 8.

SwiftKey Keyboard (Free, Universal)

Flesky Keyboard ($0.99, Universal)

Swype Keyboard ($0.99, Universal)

Minuum ($1.99, iPhone)

TextExpander 3 ($4.99, Universal)

KuaiBoard ($1.99, Universal)

MyScript Stack (Free, Universal)

TouchPal (Free, Universal)



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