Practically in every iOS 8 review the possibility of installing third-party keyboards is mentioned. We were not the exception, but decided to move slightly further, and to prepare some special material about new apps.
The Android OS is compatible with tens of excellent and hundreds of midrange keyboards, including those, which have interface of the iOS keyboard, quite attractive, by the way. So we can be sure of their realization on the new platform in the near future.
In comparison with the native keyboard, third-party ones have some advantages: new options, inputting of the text by sliding your finger, saving the settings in the "cloud", a whole bunch of covers, and of course additional characters. Besides, the majority of the reviewed apps offer a cover in the iOS style, so that there are no visible distinctions.
It is a pity that the keyboard for iOS 7 is not created - this opportunity has appeared only in iOS 8. As soon as it happened, there were plenty of questions in the style "how to change the keyboard in iOS 8?". And you know, the answer has already been given in the appropriate material. And further we will talk about nine third-party keyboards for iOS 8. The tenth one is a native keyboard presented in the system initially. It is very important to compare their possibilities. So, let’s start.
Native iOS keyboard
To understand if it’s worth additional efforts, let’s first take a closer look at the native iOS 8 keyboard. While testing we used two languages – Russian and English, so we’ll mention necessarily about the function of language switching.
So, we have iOS-based (version 8.1) iPhone 4S. The model of the phone is not very modern, but the tested software is equal both for iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 4S. We will not complain about the small screen size (and as a consequence - an awkward use of input method swype). Almost.
Language switching (to be exact – the Russian and English keyboard) is performed by touching the image of "Globe" (hereinafter - the "Globe"). For this purpose both languages should be selected in the phone settings (Settings> General> Keyboard> Keyboard> Keyboard New> Proposed keyboards).
Additional characters on the "main" screen of the keyboard are not provided (only "e" to "¸"). To enter them you need to go to another screen by pressing the "123". On the same screen, we’ll find a comma.
A period, as we remember, can be received by double pressing of the "spacebar", if this option is on in the settings. Besides, there’s a possibility of using shortcuts. In general, the settings in the "native" keyboard are not very extensive, but soon we will see that even this set is not found in all third-party apps.
ai.type Keyboard - the best keyboard for iOS
During the preparation of the material we have noticed that the new keyboards appear almost daily. For example, ai.type. The keyboard appeared much later than TouchPal or SwiftKey, and the first application was paid. But soon the developers have changed the policy, so it is possible that the situation on the keyboard market will be absolutely different a month after our review.
So, ai.type Keyboard - our first third-side keyboard for iOS 8. At the moment of testing it offered the widest range of possibilities, so we will consider it a kind of starting point for the rest.
Seven covers are offered: standard interfaces of iOS, Android and WP, brand cover ai.type Keyboard, Cover-sketch and others. There is an opportunity to use your image as a background.
As you can see, there are lots of additional characters and a separate line for numbers. Judging from our own experience with the keyboards, we could note that the mere presence of this line predetermined the choice of the apps. But it would be too subjective.
There are many languages, including Russian. Switching between them is made by clicking the "Globe". The keyboard settings can be shown by pressing the button with a special icon.
A very useful feature is keyboard’s height adjustment, separately for portrait and landscape modes. But there’s no possibility to input the text by sliding, and this is the only omission of ai.type Keyboard. We are not fans and do not agitate for this way, but if there is demand, it should be supplied.
In general, the keyboard is quite good, and obviously claims to be the most favorite among similar apps in the App Store.