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iOS 8 first look video: Installing a third-party keyboard on iPhone

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
iOS 8 marks the first time ever that Apple will allow iPhone and iPad owners to install third-party keyboards of their choosing. AppleInsider offers readers a first look at the process of installing, enabling and using alternative keyboards in iOS 8.



Keyboard makers TouchPal provided an alpha copy of their forthcoming keyboard for iOS 8 on Friday, and the video above shows how users will go about enabling the keyboard once it's installed on their device. First, a third-party application must be downloaded from the iOS App Store, which then adds a new keyboard option in the iOS Settings application, under "General," then "Keyboard."

Installed keyboards show up under their own section entitled "Third-Party Keyboards." This also comes with a disclaimer that reads: "When using one of these keyboards, the keyboard can access all the data you type."

Apple also offers a quick link to further details about third-party keyboards and privacy. However, as of the second beta of iOS 8, only placeholder text is in place, and no warnings are displayed when a keyboard is enabled.

After the keyboard has been turned on, users can open any app that uses a virtual keyboard. Once the keys are on the screen, simply press the "globe" button at the bottom to switch to an alternatively installed keyboards.

Users can also choose to delete the default iOS "QWERTY" English keyboard if they so choose. Doing so would make it possible to have the third-party keyboard of the user's choosing the only one available when a virtual keyboard pops up.

The TouchPal keyboard tested by AppleInsider on Friday allows sliding input, which means users can guide their fingertip over the letters they wish to use and the keyboard will intelligently interpret what word they might mean. The keyboard also offers quick access to numbers --?as can be seen in the video above, simply sliding a finger up from the top row of letters quickly inputs a corresponding number. Quick access to symbols sucha s "@", "?" and "!" is also available in the bottom row.

In addition to TouchPal, Fleksy, SwiftKey and Swype have all announced they will be bringing their third-party keyboards to iOS 8. And Apple's integrated keyboard will also be upgraded with QuickType, a new feature that suggests words to user and adapts to their language over time.

iOS 8 is currently in beta for developer testing. It is expected to launch on iPhone and iPad this fall. For more, see AppleInsider's other iOS 8 videos, which can also be found below:

post #2 of 47
"First, a third-party application must be downloaded from the iOS App Store,"

This I do NOT like. I don't mind it all having to go through the same checks etc but it shouldn't require us to have to have an app. Just create some kind of plug in system that works directly out of the settings.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #3 of 47
Maybe I'm just old or used to playing instruments that require you to move your fingers, but swiping to type doesn't seem like it would be much faster.
post #4 of 47
I like the default keyboard. I've tried the Android variants of most of these and don't see the point, at least not for me.
post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

Maybe I'm just old or used to playing instruments that require you to move your fingers, but swiping to type doesn't seem like it would be much faster.
Yeah I don't get the swipe keyboards. Maybe it would be faster once I got used to it. But this video makes it look awful.
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

Maybe I'm just old or used to playing instruments that require you to move your fingers, but swiping to type doesn't seem like it would be much faster.

Certainly not when you are playing Beethoven's Piano Sonata N01. in F Minor (thanks Shazam), with your other hand.

post #7 of 47
Swipe seems like it may tolerate inaccuracy better than the default. If so (and realzing that I've only seen OTHER people use it) then that could make it better. It may not be the swiping per se? (Swiping has more friction than air, after all.)
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

"First, a third-party application must be downloaded from the iOS App Store,"

This I do NOT like. I don't mind it all having to go through the same checks etc but it shouldn't require us to have to have an app. Just create some kind of plug in system that works directly out of the settings.

Meh, it'll just go in some deep dark corner of my utilities folder. Out of sight, out of mind.

On the plus side, it can be deleted just like any other app rather than requiring some other UI paradigm.
post #9 of 47
how to do this ???
post #10 of 47

Swipe keyboards are much faster to type on with one hand once you get used to it.  That's the big advantage

post #11 of 47

You realize that posting any pictures or videos of iOS 8 is is a clear violation of the Apple NDA? Discussing it is OK.


Edited by SpamSandwich - 6/20/14 at 2:28pm

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post #12 of 47

Swipe keyboarding boils down to a complex gesture system for whole words.  Like those unlock patterns I see among non-iOS mobile users.

 

I love words too much; I try to vary my usage a little every day.  With this approach, every word becomes a unique, tiny gesture/performance (to be memorized, if fluency is your goal).

 

Perhaps someone with a limited vocabulary might find this useful. 

 

(Almost certainly, arthritis sufferers need not apply.)


Edited by PScooter63 - 6/20/14 at 2:18pm
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post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

"First, a third-party application must be downloaded from the iOS App Store,"

This I do NOT like. I don't mind it all having to go through the same checks etc but it shouldn't require us to have to have an app. Just create some kind of plug in system that works directly out of the settings.


I'm perfectly fine with 3rd party tweaks requiring an App to be delivered through the App Store. Rolls it in with ecosystem for discoverability and delivery, and easy install/uninstall. To remove the keyboard, you delete the App. Simple. 

 

I don't like tweaks being installed on people's devices and they have no idea where it went. Not to mention the whole new UI needed for removing tweaks, bleh. Not needed.

 

The "App" is already a hugely developed mechanism for delivery 3rd party stuff to the device. No need to build a whole new one just for keyboards, or any other types of 3rd party tweaks that come along in the future.

post #14 of 47

I've never understood the hate for the Apple keyboard. I type fine on it and easily type more accurately and faster than anyone using Android that I've encountered.

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post #15 of 47
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I've never understood the hate for the Apple keyboard. I type fine on it and easily type more accurately and faster than anyone using Android that I've encountered.

 

Android 1.6 on my iPhone can’t even recognize the Q or P keys, and this is using the then-most accurate and sensitive touchscreen on the market. More so than any shipping Android product. :lol:

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post

Swipe keyboarding boils down to a complex gesture system for whole words.  Like those unlock patterns I see among non-iOS mobile users.

I love words too much; I try to vary my usage a little every day.  With this approach, every word becomes a unique, tiny gesture/performance (to be memorized, if fluency is your goal).

Perhaps someone with a limited vocabulary might find this useful. 

(Almost certainly, arthritis sufferers need not apply.)

Most people are capable of typing words with a swipe keyboard without memorizing specific gestures.
post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Android 1.6 on my iPhone can’t even recognize the Q or P keys, and this is using the then-most accurate and sensitive touchscreen on the market. More so than any shipping Android product. lol.gif

My girlfriend often has problems swiping on the edges of screen on her iPhone 5 when playing Candy Crush.

Btw did you really go ahead with the rudimentary hack of installing Android on a iPhone released a few years ago?
Edited by dasanman69 - 6/20/14 at 4:59pm
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post #18 of 47
In case anyone's curious to try it out, you can download the Touchpal keyboard in the App Store. You'll have to wait until iOS 8 to replace your native keyboard, but you can download it free now as a standalone app.

It's surprisingly easy to use, but after a few minutes of use it's apparent that the benefits are strictly for one-handed typing. Not sure it's faster than typing with two thumbs.
post #19 of 47
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
My girlfriend often has problems swiping on the edges of screen on her iPhone 5 when playing Candy Crush.

 

Oh, that’s just the accidental touch detection that they didn’t need to put in at all. 

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Oh, that’s just the accidental touch detection that they didn’t need to put in at all. 

I can understand accidental touch detection, but it should be able to discern a deliberate swipe from a brief tap.
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post #21 of 47
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
I can understand accidental touch detection, but it should be able to discern a deliberate swipe from a brief tap.

 

They’ve thrown it into Yosemite now, too. My Magic Trackpad refuses to accept the swipe I’ve always used to get up to Notification Center. :grumble:

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #22 of 47
I type with both thumbs most of the time.
When the bigger iPhone is coming out, it would make even more convenient to type with both thumbs.
It is much faster than one finger.
post #23 of 47

I have TouchPal and I type WAY much faster and get text done faster as well. I really look forwarded to see it as my keyboard once I upgrade my iOS. 

post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 View Post
 

Swipe keyboards are much faster to type on with one hand once you get used to it.  That's the big advantage

 

But from my limited experience with this swipe keyboard, it can only be used one-handed and it's not nearly as fast as typing with the default keyboard with two thumbs. So one advantage of the standard keyboard is that it can be used one- or two-handed, with the second option offering greater speed.  


Edited by freediverx - 6/21/14 at 10:35am
post #25 of 47
Would be cool to have a T9 keyboard for old times sake. Hopefully someone makes it.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by maclvr03 View Post

Would be cool to have a T9 keyboard for old times sake. Hopefully someone makes it.

So there's your chance to make a app. IMO T9 is still the best way to send a quick one handed message.
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post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

Maybe I'm just old or used to playing instruments that require you to move your fingers, but swiping to type doesn't seem like it would be much faster.
Certainly not when you are playing Beethoven's Piano Sonata N01. in F Minor (thanks Shazam), with your other hand.

It’s such a well-known sonata that everyone learns as a child, and yet I thought it was Mozart. I enjoyed it anyway, though it was a shame that the video ended just as the development was hotting up.

Note to AI staff: please enable the 'fit music to video length' option in your video-editing software. Poor Beethoven.
Edited by Benjamin Frost - 6/22/14 at 5:44am
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post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post
 

Swipe keyboarding boils down to a complex gesture system for whole words.  Like those unlock patterns I see among non-iOS mobile users.

 

You don't have to memorize any gestures. The idea is to touch the first letter of the word you're typing and then instead of tapping the remaining letters, you slide your finger to the remaining letters in sequence.

post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


My girlfriend often has problems swiping on the edges of screen on her iPhone 5 when playing Candy Crush.

 

Does she use a case with her phone?

 

Since iOS 7's introduction of edge-based gestures, I've found that some cases that cover the edges of the screen interfere with the detection of these.

post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Does she use a case with her phone?

Since iOS 7's introduction of edge-based gestures, I've found that some cases that cover the edges of the screen interfere with the detection of these.

No case whatsoever
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post #31 of 47
jkichline and rogifan,
This was an absolutely horrible demo of an alpha (repeat: alpha) release. Indeed, the Swype keyboard available for Android products is much, much faster than a single-touch keyboard. On this demo, they guy seemed to be waiting for each word to appear, then hitting the space bar. In actuality, the space is automatic, and one doesn't wait for each word to appear. The Swype cannot achieve touch-typing speeds on a mechanical keyboard, but typing just flies compared to what you're used to. Typing on my iPad Mini is downright painful compared to typing on my Galaxy phone with Swype. The swiping keyboards are, in my experience, 2-3 times faster than the old-fashioned iOS keyboards. In fact, the terribly aggravating old iPhone keyboard is the main reason I've been a late adopter, but now, with the adequate screen sizes and THIS feature, I simply cannot wait for the iPhone 6.
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post
 

 

But from my limited experience with this swipe keyboard, it can only be used one-handed and it's not nearly as fast as typing with the default keyboard with two thumbs. So one advantage of the standard keyboard is that it can be used one- or two-handed, with the second option offering greater speed.  

 

You're wrong.

 

Swiftkey supports pecking and swiping at all times. So no, it doesn't force you to type one handed. You can peck two handed if you choose to.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urahara View Post

I type with both thumbs most of the time.
When the bigger iPhone is coming out, it would make even more convenient to type with both thumbs.
It is much faster than one finger.

 

What makes you think you won't be able to with a custom keyboard?  See my above answer.

post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post

You're wrong.

Swiftkey supports pecking and swiping at all times. So no, it doesn't force you to type one handed. You can peck two handed if you choose to.

That's not correct either. One can turn off the swiping feature in SwiftKey.
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post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


That's not correct either. One can turn off the swiping feature in SwiftKey.

 

It is correct. Swiftkey is my daily driver and I switch off between pecking and swiping depending on what I am doing, and how much I need to type. You don't need to disable the swiping function to have dual input types either. You can, but it isn't necessary.

post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post

It is correct. Swiftkey is my daily driver and I switch off between pecking and swiping depending on what I am doing, and how much I need to type. You don't need to disable the swiping function to have dual input types either. You can, but it isn't necessary.

What I mean is that you can have both, but if you want to disable swiping you can. You're not forced to have the swiping feature on all the time.
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post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post
 

I've never understood the hate for the Apple keyboard. I type fine on it and easily type more accurately and faster than anyone using Android that I've encountered.

 

The Apple keyboard is very good. About the only feature it is missing is learning and predictive selection. That's probably what I am most looking forward to in iOS 8.

 

With Swiftkey I can damn near type an entire paragraph with barely typing a couple of words. It just knows the words and phrases I am most likely to use and it populates them accordingly.

post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


What I mean is that you can have both, but if you want to disable swiping you can. You're not forced to have the swiping feature on all the time.

 

Agreed. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post
 

Swipe keyboarding boils down to a complex gesture system for whole words.  Like those unlock patterns I see among non-iOS mobile users.

 

I love words too much; I try to vary my usage a little every day.  With this approach, every word becomes a unique, tiny gesture/performance (to be memorized, if fluency is your goal).

 

Perhaps someone with a limited vocabulary might find this useful. 

 

(Almost certainly, arthritis sufferers need not apply.)

 

You have no idea what you are talking about. There are not "gestures" per say. You are spelling the word without pecking.

 

In return Swiftkey and Swype will return the most common words that fit your motions and work in tandem with a learning algorithm that will also supply words you use the most, or begin phrases you use frequently. 

 

If you are illiterate, Swiftkey won't work all that well.

post #38 of 47

You are right. And I am going to give it a try when it will be available on the iPhone.

I just felt that the video-demo was somehow slow. And if they wanted to show that the technology makes it faster - they should have done it differently. Also, maybe, by showing how fast it really can be.

And since typing with 2 fingers is faster than with one (without swipe and possibly with swipe technology/technique), they could have shown  a fast  'double swipe' demonstration. ;)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post
 

 

You're wrong.

 

Swiftkey supports pecking and swiping at all times. So no, it doesn't force you to type one handed. You can peck two handed if you choose to.

 

 

What makes you think you won't be able to with a custom keyboard?  See my above answer.

post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post
 

You're wrong.

 

Swiftkey supports pecking and swiping at all times. So no, it doesn't force you to type one handed. You can peck two handed if you choose to.

 

 

You're right. Not sure how I missed something that obvious. :embarrass

post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post
 

 

You're right. Not sure how I missed something that obvious. :embarrass

 

I promise, you'll like having the option of using custom keyboards :)

 

I know some people want to paint the feature in a really negative light because android has been doing this for awhile, but it's no skin off our back or Apple's to open up this feature as an option. It doesn't mean the Apple keyboard is crap, or that android is better. It just means you have more flexibility than you did in iOS7.

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