There were a couple of big third-party changes introduced with iOS 8, and we looked at one of those earlier this week in Five free iPhone iOS 8 widgets.
The other change, as iOS becomes ever-so-slightly more open, is support for third-party keyboards, and here – since Apple doesn’t exactly supply a manual – we’re looking at how to install and use them.
Where can I find third-party keyboards for iOS 8?
This is similar to the iOS 8 widget thing, in the sense that third-party keyboards don’t (yet?) have their own section in the App Store. And like widgets, third-party keyboards aren’t a separate thing; they both start life as plain old apps.
As such, you kinda have to know what you’re looking for. We’ll be back shortly with something along the lines of The five best third-party keyboards for iOS 8, but in the meantime, here - in no particular order - are a few you might want to check out:
- Swype (69p @ App Store)
- SwiftKey Keyboard (free @ App Store)
- DrawType Keyboard (69p @ App Store)
- Hanx Writer (free @ App Store)
- Slated – Translation Keyboard (£2.99 @ App Store)
Incidentally, if you’ve any third-party keyboard recommendations, be sure to let us know below.
How do I install third-party keyboards for iOS 8?
Unfortunately, simply downloading a third-party keyboard app isn’t enough to launch the associated functionality. The apps generally contain instructions for getting you up and running, but the process is the same in any case.
To activate a third-party keyboard in iOS 8, just tap Settings > General > Keyboards > Keyboards (again) > Add New Keyboard.
In the second ‘Keyboards’ screen, you’ll see any keyboards you’ve already installed. Under ‘Add New Keyboard’, you’ll see any available yet-to-be-installed third-party keyboards; just tap to add them to the list.
How do I use a third-party keyboard in iOS 8?
Wherever you see the keyboard in iOS 8 – Facebook, Twitter, Messages, Mail or anywhere else – tap the little globe icon in the bottom left to cycle through available keyboards. That’s it! The functionality differs from keyboard to keyboard; I’ll leave that to you to figure out <insert winky face>.
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