With iOS 8 you’re no longer required to use Apple’s stock keyboard on your iPhone or iPad. A feature that’s been available for Android for quite some time, now iOS users can pick their favorite from a number of awesome and unique keyboard options to use across all the apps on their phone.
From old Android favorites like Swype and Swiftkey, to unique options that offer a new way to type, there are a quite a few options out there already, and even more likely on the way soon.
In other words, these keyboards can make typing on the iPhone 6 much faster and easier.
If you’re anxious to give keyboard customization a try on your device, you'll need to first find one you like and download it from the App Store, just like you might download a traditional app. Once you’ve gotten it on your iPhone or iPad, go to your Settings menu, then to General and then Keyboard. Select the Add New Keyboard option on the page, and then pick the keyboard app you want from the list of options that appear.
If you’re not sure which keyboard to try first, here are some of our favorites that are already available:
Swype is one of the most popular keyboards for Android and was shown off on stage by Apple at WWDC earlier this year. With the keyboard, you simply drag your finger along the letters, connecting a line across all the letters you want to be part of your word.
SwiftKey works almost identically to Swype and follows your finger around as you slide it across letters on the screen. The more you use it, the more it will learn about how you type and the words you typically use, ultimately making it more accurate.
Fleksy is a keyboard designed for fast, but not-so-accurate typers. The keyboard can handle even the biggest typos and has gesture controls for things like punctuation and deletions. Fleksy also supports emoji.
Minuum looks a little different than any mobile keyboard we’ve ever seen. The keys collapse on the page, giving you more screen real-estate -- something you might not need on one of the new iPhones, but could likely use on an older iPhone 5S.
TouchPal looks a lot like the iOS keyboard you already know (and maybe love), with a few added features. Namely, the keyboard adds several shortcuts and a new integrated view for adding emoji to what you’re typing.
If you find yourself typing the same thing over and over again, then TextExapnder might be the keyboard you’ve always dreamed of. The app allows you to create shortcuts for things you often type like your mailing address or directions to your office, and then type in a short code to have the screen auto populate with an entire phrase or sentence.
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