Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

From emoji, to GIFs and fancy font styles, iOS 8 allows you to install third-party keyboards that change the way you input text on your iPhone or iPad.

We have already reviewed four popular keyboards iOS 8 Lets You Replace Your iPhone Or iPad's Keyboard – Here's How iOS 8 Lets You Replace Your iPhone Or iPad's Keyboard – Here's How With iOS 8, you can finally to change your iPhone's keyboard, and you have some awesome options. Read More (SwiftKey, Swype, Flasky and Minuum) and a smart iOS translator that takes a similar approach Slated Is An iOS 8 Keyboard That Translates Conversations For You Slated Is An iOS 8 Keyboard That Translates Conversations For You My German-Italian mother-in-law and I haven't talked this much via SMS in ages. Read More . Since then several other similar apps have been released, and you will be amazed by what features can be packed into simple keyboard. Let’s check them out.

Installing Keyboard Apps

After downloading a keyboard app, you will need to enable it on your device by going to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard. For most keyboards you will need to enable Allow Full Access, which gives the app access to all of the data that you type on your device.

Enabled keyboards

After a keyboard is installed, tap and hold the globe icon in Apple’s default keyboard, and then select one of the enabled keyboards.

Activate keyboard

Ads by Google

GIF Keyboard (Free)

If you want to spruce up your instant messages, Riffsy’s GIF keyboard provides a fun way of doing so. This keyboard allows you to search and select from over a million GIFs and videos that can be copied and pasted into iMessage, the text messages app, WhatsApp Better Than Text Messages & Free - WhatsApp For Android Reviewed Better Than Text Messages & Free - WhatsApp For Android Reviewed A moment of introspection, please: What do you do more often - call people using your phone, or text them? I would bet it's the latter. For many people, texting is more convenient than calling.... Read More , Twitter, Messenger, the photo sharing app, SnapChat, and the Mail app.

Note that in the add new keyboard settings, the app is named “Riffsy Keyboard”, instead of “GIF Keyboard” or similar.

GIF keyboard

You can press and hold on a GIF and save it to one of your custom folders for later use. And yes, GIF Keyboard also includes a keyboard (tap on the Aa button) so you don’t have to switch to another keyboard to type actual words.

Better Fonts (Free and Pro)

Even if you prefer using an advanced, quick swipe keyboard, you might like sprucing up your messages with a different style of font, which is exactly what Better Fonts provides. Its pro version, $4.99, provides up to 115 fonts to choose from, including emojis, upside down text, bubble letters, many more.

Better fonts

Open the Better Fonts app to preview the free and pro options. The app itself also includes a notepad for typing and copying text.

Better fonts 2

Fancy Texts Keyboard (Free)

Fancy Texts also has a wide assortment of free and paid font collections that can spice up your messages and comments, in apps like iMessage, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Fancy texts

Messages can also be composed in the Fancy Texts app itself, and copied and pasted in other apps.

BrightKey (Free)

If you fancy changing the color theme of your keyboard like changing your clothes, BrightKey makes that possible. The free version of the app includes five vibrant colors to choose from, and eight other themes (3 metals and 5 woods) for purchase.

BrightKey themes

But BrightKey has two other awesome features. Swipe up from its spacebar and it reveals a set of snippet messages you can quickly paste into a text box. Plus, while long-pressing on the space bar, you can slide the cursor between characters. These two functions could be highly useful on any third-party keyboard.

BrightKey snippets

Ginger Keyboard + Page (Free)

Ginger Keyboard is more than a keyboard. It was developed for those who want to build and perfect their English writing skills. Similar to Apple’s default keyboard, Ginger also includes predictive words, and auto-correction and auto-capitalization. But to make full use of the app, you need to sign up on the Ginger website, which can be done through the app itself.

Ginger app

Registration provides access to Ginger’s proofreading, dictionary, suggested grammar corrections, language translations, and other contextual synonym and definition tools. After tapping the “G” icon, your typed or selected text will be copied and analyzed on Ginger’s online application where it will make suggestions for corrections in your text, or for translating it to another language. It also includes a text-to-voice reader.

The online site, which can be opened from the keyboard, also includes fifteen keyboard themes to choose from, and it even allows for creating new themes. The site provides handy tutorials for getting the most out of the app.

Ginger themes

More Than Enough

There are many replacement iOS 8 keyboards to choose from. Unfortunately, no single keyboard has all the features we would like, but switching between keyboards is relatively easy. Here’s a tip: in the keyboard Settings, arrange third-party keyboards starting with your favorite one at the top. When you switch between keyboards, the one at the top will show up first.

You should also remove any you don’t use, as they’re bound to just get in the way and frustrate you when you accidentally enable them.

keybobards

Let us know which third-party keyboards you have used in the comments below.

What features would you like to see in a replacement iOS keyboard?

  1. Stefan Andersson
    August 20, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    I just wanna be able to install new fonts to use in the twitter app and such.

  2. Johnathan
    March 28, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Take a look at this one: http://swipekeys.com
    What do you think? :-)

  3. Anthony
    February 10, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    And I want a circle word

  4. Anthony
    February 10, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    I want pretty cool is a keyboard in cool fonts

    • Bakari Chavanu
      February 19, 2015 at 4:06 am

      Anthony, did you try the Better Fonts app?

  5. Matthew De Santis
    December 10, 2014 at 4:56 am

    Thanks for your review of Brightkey Keyboard, we're glad you like Quick-Fire Messages and spacebar cursor control! Just a small note that Wood and Metal themes are included for free too (and through the holidays we also have a Limited Edition "Vibrant Christmas" collection) making 18 free themes total. It's the designer themes, like Pantone Color of the Year, are the in-app purchases. Thanks again! -Matthew De Santis, Brightkey CEO

    • Bakari Chavanu
      December 12, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Matthew, thanks for the clarification and feedback. Congrats on getting your developed.

  6. Katrina
    December 9, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Nice apps! Hanx writer has a typewriter keyboard, and MyScript lets you use your own handwriting instead of a keyboard.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hanx-writer/id868326899?mt=8
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/myscript-stack-handwriting/id914007100?mt=8

    • Bakari Chavanu
      December 12, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      Katrina, I’ve seen that app on iTunes, but haven't had a chance to download it. Thanks for letting us know about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *