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TouchPal shows off third-party sliding keyboard input in Apple's iOS 8

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
With Apple set to open iOS 8 to third-party keyboards when it launches this fall, TouchPal on Wednesday showcased its own upcoming text entry software, with a sliding style of text entry that allows users to keep their finger on the screen at all times.



The video shows how TouchPal will allow users to slide their finger over the letters on the keyboard to automatically form a word. Users can also slide up for numbers and down to access symbols.

The keyboard is also said to support mistyping correction and next-word prediction, though neither feature is shown in the new video posted online Wednesday.

TouchPal told AppleInsider that it is planning to make its keyboard available to test for some iOS 8 beta users in the coming weeks.




The video comes after popular custom keyboard company Fleksy offered a sneak peek screenshot of its software running on iOS 8 last week. Developers can sign up now to be among the first to test Fleksy once its available, though no release date has been given.

TouchPal and Fleksy will join SwiftKey and Swype, both of which are also confirmed to be coming to iOS 8. And Apple's integrated keyboard will also be upgraded with QuickType, a new feature that suggests words to users and adapts to their language over time.




Apple revealed last week that third-party keyboard support will be available through the new extensions capability for developers in iOS 8. The keyboards will be available to use system-wide once a user installs them, and Apple will present users with the following warning before they enable a third-party keyboard:

"Full access allows the developer to transmit anything you type, including things you have previously typed with this keyboard. This could include sensitive information such as your credit card number or street address."
post #2 of 46
Certainly looks interesting. I'm very curious to try third party keyboards in a real world scenario though.
post #3 of 46
I don't recall it being mentioned during the keynote but any secure field in an app will use the default keyboard even if you have chosen to use a 3rd-party option.

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post #4 of 46
Interesting, thanks. But since secure fields are going to be passwords 9/10 times they'll mostly be covered by TouchID anyway.

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post #5 of 46
Here's a good way to predict which stories show up on Appleinsider. Read Macrumors, then look for a similar story to show up here about 45 minutes later.
post #6 of 46

Get the jailbreak swype tweak and combine that with the standard keyboard im happy

post #7 of 46

"Full access allows the developer to transmit anything you type, including things you have previously typed with this keyboard. This could include sensitive information such as your credit card number or street address"

 

Anyone else nervous?

 

Does my phone know everything I've previously typed?  I'm kinda guessing it's more like a weighted word/phrase dictionary of some sort that it builds over time, rather than a simple verbatim history.  Even so, I think I'll be skipping a 3rd party keyboard until I know more.

 

Ah, wait - it appears only to be things typed with that particular keyboard.  Is that how everyone else reads it?  Still.... kind of nervous.

post #8 of 46
Originally Posted by jinglesthula View Post

Anyone else nervous?

 

Anyone nervous about this is smart enough not to use third party keyboards or allow them access. Anyone else is stupid enough that they deserve what happens. Actually, anyone dumb enough not to be nervous won’t be smart enough to install a third party keyboard in the first place. :p

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post #9 of 46

I suppose there are a lot of people interested in these types of keyboards, but I've never had much luck with them. I prefer to tap on the keys or have suggested words I can select. Yes, I'm too old to "get it". :p

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post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Anyone nervous about this is smart enough not to use third party keyboards or allow them access. Anyone else is stupid enough that they deserve what happens. Actually, anyone dumb enough not to be nervous won’t be smart enough to install a third party keyboard in the first place. :p

 

Ha!

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post #11 of 46
Christ alive paranoiacs, Apple aren't the only trustworthy company out there! What exactly have Swype, Swiftkey and the like done to earn this suspicion? Android certainly hasn't suffered for them.

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post #12 of 46

A fool and his money are soon parted, why pay a third party to record your key strokes? Makes no sense. And to top it off only .5% or 1% of the users out there will even try third party keyboards, this is just a item (so-called feature) checked off from the Geek list.


Edited by Danox - 6/11/14 at 1:31pm
post #13 of 46

All I want is for Apple to improve the shift key and give me the option of a black keyboard. That's all. :D


Edited by SpamSandwich - 6/11/14 at 1:44pm

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post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Christ alive paranoiacs, Apple aren't the only trustworthy company out there! 

Yeah, I don't get it, but it's a consistent paranoia.

post #15 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Anyone nervous about this is smart enough not to use third party keyboards or allow them access. Anyone else is stupid enough that they deserve what happens. Actually, anyone dumb enough not to be nervous won’t be smart enough to install a third party keyboard in the first place. 1tongue.gif
Pretty funny.

But I was under the impression that the reason why it took Apple so long to allow third-party keyboards and other such features… Is because they had to find a way to do it while maintaining our security and privacy.

True with android devices, third party keyboards can take and use your private sensitive information… But if I'm not mistaken I think Apple has found a way to circumvent this.

It would be very un-Apple like if they didn't.
post #16 of 46
Originally Posted by StephanJobs View Post
But I was under the impression that the reason why it took Apple so long to allow third-party keyboards and other such features… Is because they had to find a way to do it while maintaining our security and privacy.

 

Which is true; that’s exactly what they’ve done. They recognize, however, that some keyboards might want to call out for added features, so they give the option to do so in a popup (which, as has been said, WILL send everything you type to whomever owns the company behind the keyboard).

 

The main question here isn’t anything regarding Apple, but rather why a keyboard would NEED to call off-device for ANY reason in the first place.

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post #17 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Christ alive paranoiacs, Apple aren't the only trustworthy company out there! What exactly have Swype, Swiftkey and the like done to earn this suspicion? Android certainly hasn't suffered for them.

 

No-one is saying Apple is the only trustworthy company out there. But they have set a pretty high bar. 

 

A part of me is wondering whether you were being sarcastic or not? In particular due to that last sentence. "Android certainly hasn't suffered for them." I laughed, no guffawed, out loud at that one.

 

I mean, really...? You mean Android, the least secure mobile platform on the planet? 97% of all of today's mobile malware lives on or emanates from Android devices. It's a huge security hole swarming with hapless (often clueless) victims and so, yeah. I'm going to err on the side of caution when it's revealed that a company, ANY company with a keyboard app, can transmit all my current (and past??) keyboard input to... um.... where? And why, exactly?

 

Seriously...

 

How about this. When (and only when) I know there's no extra NSA (or hacker or malware) layer in between, when I know where that data (everything I type!!!) is being sent, and WHY it's being sent, and exactly how securely it's being sent and/or stored, and to what purpose, and when I'm specifically told what's being done with that data, AND who can or can't access and read it after it's sent? Once I know all that, then yeah, maybe then I'll use their 3rd party keyboards. Until then? Nah..............

 

It isn't being paranoid, it's being "not stupid". Because using them without knowing all of that information first would be privacy suicide... just saying.

post #18 of 46

Holy crap, using the current iOS7 keyboard I would've typed (touched) a longer sentence, gotten a reply, and replied back in the same time as this guy typed his first sentence. Can't wait to try the new iOS8 keyboard, which is, I'm sure, even faster!

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post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinglesthula View Post

"Full access allows the developer to transmit anything you type, including things you have previously typed with this keyboard. This could include sensitive information such as your credit card number or street address"

Anyone else nervous?

Does my phone know everything I've previously typed?  I'm kinda guessing it's more like a weighted word/phrase dictionary of some sort that it builds over time, rather than a simple verbatim history.  Even so, I think I'll be skipping a 3rd party keyboard until I know more.

Ah, wait - it appears only to be things typed with that particular keyboard.  Is that how everyone else reads it?  Still.... kind of nervous.

I believe anything typed in a 'secure' box (where you put in CC numbers and passwords) does not register with the keyboard. What you're typing doesn't show up in the predictive word spaces. The numbers/passwords are never saved into memory.
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post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

No-one is saying Apple is the only trustworthy company out there. But they have set a pretty high bar. 

A part of me is wondering whether you were being sarcastic or not? In particular due to that last sentence. "Android certainly hasn't suffered for them." I laughed, no guffawed, out loud at that one.

I mean, really...? You mean Android, the least secure mobile platform on the planet? 97% of all of today's mobile malware lives on or emanates from Android devices. It's a huge security hole swarming with hapless (often clueless) victims and so, yeah. I'm going to err on the side of caution when it's revealed that a company, ANY company with a keyboard app, can transmit all my current (and past??) keyboard input to... um.... where? And why, exactly?

Seriously...

How about this. When (and only when) I know there's no extra NSA (or hacker or malware) layer in between, when I know where that data (everything I type!!!) is being sent, and WHY it's being sent, and exactly how securely it's being sent and/or stored, and to what purpose, and when I'm specifically told what's being done with that data, AND who can or can't access and read it after it's sent? Once I know all that, then yeah, maybe then I'll use their 3rd party keyboards. Until then? Nah..............

It isn't being paranoid, it's being "not stupid". Because using them without knowing all of that information first would be privacy suicide... just saying.

Do you know Android is the least secure, or are you going by numerous reports you've read? I can definitely say Windows XP was a malware magnet because I had tons of malware instances, but I shop almost daily on my Android phone using SwiftKey and not once has any of my accounts been compromised. Any claim of malicious purposes by 3rd party keyboard devs is pure FUD.
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post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post

Certainly looks interesting. I'm very curious to try third party keyboards in a real world scenario though.

iMessage (as shown n the video) is not a real world scenario?

Or you mean you are curious to try it any way at all?

post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

I believe anything typed in a 'secure' box (where you put in CC numbers and passwords) does not register with the keyboard. What you're typing doesn't show up in the predictive word spaces. The numbers/passwords are never saved into memory.

The system keyboard will slide in to replace the 3rd-party keyboard when the secure field Is selected and then slide out again when you're done.

Does Android do that?

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post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


The system keyboard will slide in to replace the 3rd-party keyboard when the secure field Is selected and then slide out again when you're done.

Does Android do that?

From the docs it appears that the system will override third-party keyboards when a text field with the secureTextEntry flag set (https://developer.apple.com/library/prerelease/ios/documentation/General/Conceptual/ExtensibilityPG/Keyboard.html). Does this behavior also apply to password fields in the browser, which are defined by html instead of cocoa objects? 

post #24 of 46
All I want is a numpad keyboard I can call up at any time. Why CC/phone number/any all (mostly) numeric fields don't invoke a numpad keyboard all the time (or at least as an option) is beyond me.
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post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The system keyboard will slide in to replace the 3rd-party keyboard when the secure field Is selected and then slide out again when you're done.

Does Android do that?

No it doesn't. If that's the case with iOS then what's everyone worried about?
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post #26 of 46
The new iOS8 keyboard displays the suggestions too slowly for it to be useful. I naturally didn't care about them. On Swiftkey for example they come up faster and I end up using them.
Still a lot of time to make it better.

Flesky looks nice with the keyboard without buttons.
post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

The new iOS8 keyboard displays the suggestions too slowly for it to be useful. I naturally didn't care about them. On Swiftkey for example they come up faster and I end up using them.
Still a lot of time to make it better.

Flesky looks nice with the keyboard without buttons.

SwiftKey has been at it for a few years. Their user base grew slowly, and had plenty of time to iron out any wrinkles. I'm sure Apple's keyboard will be much improved by the time iOS 8 is released to the public. The predictive feature takes time before it's really intuitive.
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post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

No it doesn't. If that's the case with iOS then what's everyone worried about?

That only shows Apple considering a major security issue, but it doesn't mean they have considered all of them or that a 3rd-party couldn't override that field By exploiting a bug. We've seen plenty of apps over the years that have made it to the App Store that shouldn't.

I also think @d4NjvRzf brings up a good point about security fields in the browser. Now 1Password is very intelligent with such fields and I assume that Apple is too with their newer iCloud passwords so perhaps Apple has incorporated that "awareness" into 3rd-party keyboards in browsers.

Regardless, security is something we have to always be conscious of. At this point I have to reason to not trust Apple to "work to" protect the user but mistakes can happen, especially with newer tech, and especially if it's still in beta so I think these inquiries are good to get a better sense of the imposed boundaries and capabilities.

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post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcstarheel View Post

All I want is a numpad keyboard I can call up at any time. Why CC/phone number/any all (mostly) numeric fields don't invoke a numpad keyboard all the time (or at least as an option) is beyond me.

It's up to the app developer to identify the type of field (text, url, email) .

If no field type is identified, keyboard defaults to standard text field.

post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

No it doesn't. If that's the case with iOS then what's everyone worried about?

That only shows Apple considering a major security issue, but it doesn't mean they have considered all of them or that a 3rd-party couldn't override that field By exploiting a bug. We've seen plenty of apps over the years that have made it to the App Store that shouldn't.

I also think @d4NjvRzf brings up a good point about security fields in the browser. Now 1Password is very intelligent with such fields and I assume that Apple is too with their newer iCloud passwords so perhaps Apple has incorporated that "awareness" into 3rd-party keyboards in browsers.

Regardless, security is something we have to always be conscious of. At this point I have to reason to not trust Apple to "work to" protect the user but mistakes can happen, especially with newer tech, and especially if it's still in beta so I think these inquiries are good to get a better sense of the imposed boundaries and capabilities.

Imagine if we lived in a world in which no-one had to worry about security because everyone was good.
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post #31 of 46
I like unicorns and rainbows made of candy too.

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post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

I like unicorns and rainbows made of candy too.

Why can't you try to engage in a mature and rational manner?

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post #33 of 46

Clearly I can, and I do all the time.

 

Plus, I don't think it was immature or irrational, it was just a more colourful version of "You can imagine it all you want, it isn't going to happen," which is the only sensible response to such imaginings.

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post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post
 

Clearly I can, and I do all the time.

 

Plus, I don't think it was immature or irrational, it was just a more colourful version of "You can imagine it all you want, it isn't going to happen," which is the only sensible response to such imaginings.

 

If you think that that is the only sensible response, then you lack imagination.

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post #35 of 46
Clearly I don't, I can imagine rainbows made out of candy.
Edited by Crowley - 6/14/14 at 12:20pm

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post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Do you know Android is the least secure, or are you going by numerous reports you've read? I can definitely say Windows XP was a malware magnet because I had tons of malware instances, but I shop almost daily on my Android phone using SwiftKey and not once has any of my accounts been compromised. Any claim of malicious purposes by 3rd party keyboard devs is pure FUD.

 

First, where has anyone "claimed malicious purpose" by 3rd party developers? That is so beside the point, seriously...

 

Second, your reply is akin to saying, in response to giving "sneak and peek" powers to the FBI, "I have nothing to hide, so I have nothing to fear from that..."  What you're essentially saying is, "as long as none of my shopping accounts have been compromised, I could care less if Swiftkey employees can read everything I've ever written using their software......."?  And, how do you KNOW none of your accounts have been compromised? Because no-one has stolen anything from them (yet)? Psh....

 

Anyway, you clearly missed my point. Which was, "I'm not interested in handing "power" to an anonymous developer to track, broadcast or store everything I type." It was NOT "I suspect any and all third party developers of malfeasance", and NOT "Apple is the only honest company on the planet". Get it?

 

With the wording of Apple's disclaimer warning popup, it says to me that whether or not the developing company is benevolent, you are still for all intents and purposes installing a KEYLOGGER onto your phone which can (and probably does) send everything you type to a third party..... why would you do that?? Without knowing first exactly how, why, to WHOM exactly, and to what purpose?

 

That was my point, and you completely skipped it......... yeah, well, go on shopping and feeling safe. I'll wait for answers to those simple questions first before I ever use one of those apps...

post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

First, where has anyone "claimed malicious purpose" by 3rd party developers? That is so beside the point, seriously...

Second, your reply is akin to saying, in response to giving "sneak and peek" powers to the FBI, "I have nothing to hide, so I have nothing to fear from that..."  What you're essentially saying is, "as long as none of my shopping accounts have been compromised, I could care less if Swiftkey employees can read everything I've ever written using their software......."?  And, how do you KNOW none of your accounts have been compromised? Because no-one has stolen anything from them (yet)? Psh....

Anyway, you clearly missed my point. Which was, "I'm not interested in handing "power" to an anonymous developer to 
track, broadcast or store everything I type." It was NOT "I suspect any and all third party developers of malfeasance", and NOT "Apple is the only honest company on the planet". Get it?

With the wording of Apple's disclaimer warning popup, it says to me that whether or not the developing company is benevolent, you are still for all intents and purposes installing a KEYLOGGER onto your phone which can (and probably does) send everything you type to a third party..... why would you do that?? Without knowing first exactly how, why, to WHOM exactly, and to what purpose?

That was my point, and you completely skipped it......... yeah, well, go on shopping and feeling safe. I'll wait for answers to those simple questions first before I ever use one of those apps...

The keyboard is the single most used 'app' on a smartphone. Glitches and bugs will be found by the multitudes instead of the few. Devs need feedback in order to continually improve their product. You don't know for certain that they're keylogging. Network connectivity is needed for diagnostic reasons, language packs, themes/skins, emoji packs, etc, etc...
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post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

Imagine if we lived in a world in which no-one had to worry about security because everyone was good.

What are you talking about? Everyone is good; at least whilst they sleep lol.gif
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post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post
 

Clearly I can, and I do all the time.

 

Plus, I don't think it was immature or irrational, it was just a more colourful version of "You can imagine it all you want, it isn't going to happen," which is the only sensible response to such imaginings.

 

So, prior to what Edward Snowden revealed, were you of a mind to also speak thus to the "conspiracy minded" folk pointing at US (and other) intelligence services as behaving like "big brother"?

 

I was told by a large number of people that I was a "conspiracy theory nut" for saying I thought that agencies like the NSA were way over the line (remember the AT&T "data scooping" scandal at a facility in SF, revealed during the Bush years?)..... that was years before the Snowden revelations... yet people then said there was nothing to it, "mass surveillance...? you can imagine it all you want", they said, "it isn't going to happen..."   Yeah, right?

 

How do you know "it isn't going to happen", and what exactly "isn't going to happen"? Sure, there are plenty of benevolent, sensible reasons to have "tracking" capabilities in a keyboard. The other guy I'm dialoguing with laid out a very respectable list. SO, who is guaranteeing that the uses will be limited to those sensible, respectable, benevolent purposes? Do you have a EULA that spells out exactly how YOUR data will be used (and more importantly NOT used)? I'm guessing you don't...

 

 

So again, without the slightest bit of paranoia involved: What I want to know (not guess at) is exactly how that data is being collected, stored, processed and used, and exactly why. Who has access to it? How secure is it?

 

To NOT ask these questions is to be purely complacent rather than "sensible". Seriously.

 

You prefer to assume that the anonymous developer you don't even know the name or location of is going to take real good care of your correspondence data? How do you determine which developers are "ok" and which are less trustworthy?  IS it a case of "I have nothing to hide so I don't care if anyone reads it"? Well, even my most trivial, pointless missives are MINE and/or private, and I prefer to keep them that way, if at all possible. 

 

I have learned to consider the worst case first. So until the developers clearly state what they do and don't do with the data, how it's collected, processed and stored, and who can see it and WHY, then I'm not handing it to them as if it doesn't matter... it does, and I'm shocked that you or anyone else like you can't see that it does.


Edited by tribalogical - 6/14/14 at 4:18pm
post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


The keyboard is the single most used 'app' on a smartphone. Glitches and bugs will be found by the multitudes instead of the few. Devs need feedback in order to continually improve their product. You don't know for certain that they're keylogging. Network connectivity is needed for diagnostic reasons, language packs, themes/skins, emoji packs, etc, etc...

 

Sure, those are all such sensible and benevolent sounding reasons, and if they are clearly spelled out by the developers that those are the ONLY reasons they collect the data, that those are the ONLY ways that collected data will be used, that ALL (your) personally typed data will be kept safe, secure, inaccessible by third parties, and only used for those anonymous non-invasive reasons, *guaranteed*.... then we're on the right track. I might consider it, but very much depending on the answers to those questions... 

 

You're right. I don't know (yet) for sure they are key logging. You don't know that they AREN'T. I'm not complaining about any apps having "network connectivity", that's a totally different topic. And honestly? "Full access allows the developer to transmit anything you type...."  is really REALLY different than simply allowing an app to have network access.... ya think? That is NOT the concern being discussed at all!

 

But here it is, spelled out clear as day, and completely lacking in developer qualifiers (let me ask you, which 3rd party keyboard developer has spelled out their privacy manifesto, answering to all those concerns I have?). This is how it IS...  no paranoia required: 

 

"Full access allows the developer to transmit anything you type, including things you have previously typed with this keyboard. This could include sensitive information such as your credit card number or street address."

 

Anything. Anything. Including sensitive personal information. And you feel just fine about that, even when they have NOT implicitly and directly addressed to YOU how they will transmit it, use it, store it, or exactly why? You don't really know, do you. You just.... trust....

 

Well, you've been warned. Once more for good measure:

 

"Full access allows the developer to transmit anything you type, including things you have previously typed with this keyboard. This could include sensitive information such as your credit card number or street address."

 

That's all I need to know to "just say no" until the developers fill in the necessary security details. Their answers will remove or confirm my concerns. That's way too invasive to ignore, or to simply call "paranoid" when someone says, "hey, that seems a bit invasive.."  I mean, wow. Are you really that blind, ignorant or just plain complacent?

 

No wonder privacy is headed south.... people apparently don't value it as much anymore...


Edited by tribalogical - 6/14/14 at 4:35pm
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AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › TouchPal shows off third-party sliding keyboard input in Apple's iOS 8