Apple iOS 8 keynote

Lookout, folks. Any and every keyboard developer for Android is licking its chops today, as Apple finally will allow third-party keyboards in iOS 8 — a feature we've enjoyed on Android for as long as I can remember. The difference, of course, is that Android's stock keyboard wasn't all that impressive for quite some time, allowing the likes of SwiftyKey and Swype to take over. It'll be interesting to see how many make the leap to iOS 8., but those two are well at work.

For its part, SwiftKey already is on board, telling us:

"We're delighted Apple has decided to embrace the importance of opening its platform to third party keyboards. For more than four years, SwiftKey has pioneered faster, easier typing on touchscreens, leading the industry with next-word prediction and smarter autocorrection. Our technology features on more than 200 million devices to date and we can't wait to reach more. We first brought a taste of our technology to iOS in January this year with the launch of the free note-taking app SwiftKey Note. Are we going to build SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS8? Of course we are. We've already started."

More going on at iMore.

 

Reader comments

Apple finally allows third-party keyboards for iOS

202 Comments

Well, there are less models to develop for (4 screen resolutions), and most are on the latest OS version. It should be fairly easy to support iOS along with Android (seeing has it should take less work).

With Android you usually develop something like this for the lowest common denominator. At this point I think it would be Jellybean.

Posted via Android Central App

I am talking about right now. I did an app not all that long ago and used the ICS emulator. THey wanted to be able to run the app on cheap tablets and the ones they picked ran it ok. For simple apps they usually are pretty forward compatible. I am sure the app would work pretty well on Kit Kat...

They said the info would still stay within the a chip they designed. But who knows. They finally got that and a quick reply option.

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Sure did. The iPhone keyboard is great but I guess they see another window to make money from since android has been doing it.

Posted via Android Central App

Seriously the keyboard is great? I use both a nexus 5 and and Ipad Air and I've owned iPhones in the past.
the android keyboard and swype functionalilty is much better than IOS's keyboard.

Allowing some user choice is a good thing for apple. I'm really surprised that this comment is on Android central.

You'd be surprised to know the number of closet fanboy-ish comments come from Android users. I've heard "apple just works" many times from die-hard Android owners who believe that there aren't any issues with iOS products.

I guess so, we need more regular users of both mobile operating systems like me I guess.
I like having one foot in each pond, keeps me open minded and honest about the state of both platforms.

I'm almost always a little frustrated that I can't swype on my iPad.

Apple does work for many people, iOS is really good, but in my opinion it's too simple, women only :)
Now i'm going the Android way, after being stuck on Windows Phone for 2 years :)

Women only? Really? Why would you say something like that? What would make you think that is an OK thing to say? You wouldn't say that about Jews or Black people, so why women?
(These are rhetorical questions BTW. I don't want to know your answers.)

I'm sure that was a joke, but it was a bad joke. When some 11 year old girl reads comments like that on the internet, it puts the idea in her head that women are somehow less capable than men intellectually.

That's not cool.

Way to be an inconsiderate d*ck, Credo93. I've seen just as many men not understand smart phones, be they Android, iOS or Windows Phone, as I have women. Go f**k yourself.

Sincerely,
Male.

Have to agree with all of the other posters, Women only? really?
I know male friends who can't understand an iphone.

Don't be a sexist pig, just because you think your among men.
It's wrong in any situation and there are women who view this garbage you post.

Agreed. Autocorrect fail sites have made their killing off of Apples intrusive predictive text experience.

Posted via my tricked out Moto X.

I see so many ppl complain about their predictive texts tho.. I mean unless they're just really bad at spelling..

Dude. Everytime a buddy hands me their iPhone to type something in, it's *painful* to use that keyboard. And I'm not talking about "swipe". I have a hard time not being to long-press for number and punctuation. *Especially* if I'm entering a complex password or something like that.

I don't see this being big on iOS because there keyboard is better than every android keyboard i've used. Their auto correct is near flawless. The only thing they can attract people with in my opinion is swype.

Yeah. The iOS keyboard was the biggest reason I went to Android instead of iPhone when I switched from BB. That was back in the 3GS days, and I know it's gotten much better since then, but nothing Apple has done even approaches SwiftKey, or even Swype. Had Apple done this years ago, I probably would've gotten that 3GS instead of the Nexus One.

Not even close, for me SwiftKey is an order of magnitude better, faster, more accurate. I can type twice as fast really easily on it compared to my iPhone, I seldom see a mistake, all in all just better. And the auto prediction is light years ahead.

Posted via Android Central App

This has got to be a joke. iOS keyboard at the moment is one of the worst mobile keyboards. I want to slam my mother's iPhone into ground every time she asks me to do something on her phone.

Near perfect keyboard on iOS? Hell, it takes 3 keystrokes to type a hashtag. I used to hate it when I wanted to do something simple like type a comma. The keyboard was the TOP reason I couldn't stick with the iPhone when I tried to change recently.

Posted via Android Central App

Their auto-correct is hideous, and the keyboard is so much harder to use it's not funny. The DYAC website wouldn't exist if it weren't for the iPhone's auto-correct system, and I've had to type passwords and addresses on iPhone keyboards *entirely* too many times not to make this face at your comment:

O.o

He means Apple invented the keyboard. And now they invented the keyboard with swipe functionality...magically....with some kind of dust....

Frankly the stock Google keyboard still doesn't wow me... SwiftKey ftw...

Posted from my Nexus 5 via Android Central App

I feel like I just watched iOS slowly morph into Android. Not completely, but quite a few features have been "invented" by Apple today that make it much more similar to Android. If Apple can change iOS so much, I can't wait until I/O! I've got a feeling that Google has an answer to Apple here!

Posted via Android Central App

Wait and see. I read and article that said Google is looking into self driving card while Apple is buying expensive headphone brands.

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A self driving card! Seems useful for when I need to send mail but don't want to wait for the stupid post office! I kid of course, but that does say something. Google is really looking into innovative ideas and putting a lot of R&D bucks into them. Apple is simply trying to find more ways to make the most money with the least effort

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Google may have innovative ideas but they do not understand the consumer market enough to execute them into revenue and popularity. Android was lucky because it is free for OEMS to use and it uses Google services.

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What? I'm guessing Google has some idea of how to execute them into popularity, seeing as how Android phones outsell iPhones in many markets. As far as Android being "lucky" because it's free and uses Google services... That's not luck at all. Google created android, of course it uses Google services. And giving it to OEMs for free is their entire strategy.

Is that why Forbes and many....many....other financial institutions have now labeled that Google is worth more than apple?

Good try but you #FAILED....

The market share leader doesn't understand how to reach the consumer base with their innovative ideas?

Posted via Android Central App

Agreed. His comment != logic

What they don't have, Zig, is the reality distortion field that makes all the Android users believe that outdated technology and a lack of features makes their device superior.

Agreed. The stock Android and iOS keyboards are both okay. But it's the third party companies that are full of talented devs who do literally nothing but think up and implement ideas about how to make input better that put out the really user-friendly stuff.

Frankly, you will *always* come up with better ideas with a system like Android. I even use a replacement for the auto-brightness setting on my phone that lets me customize how it sets the screen brightness exactly the way I like.

1,000,000 people are 100,000 times more likely to come up with more ideas than 10 people. And more things that are "possible" the more ideas they'll come up with. It's basic math.

I remember downloading a 3rd party keyboard on my first Android device, an HTC Hero.

Good to see Apple pulling their head out of their behinds, as someone who uses both. (For work, of course.)

Careful. Apple has a patent on the use of those words, Magical and Revolutionary....especially used in one sentence. :)

I'm gonna call it and say only on the top row of the launcher (or something similar), and the normal icon grid below. I can't see Apple making the drastic change from "Springboard" to an "Android-style" launcher in the next version. Maybe a iOS 11, or even 10, but I can't see a full-on "desktop-style" home screen in the next OS. But who knows? Maybe I'm wrong.

My mother in law just switched from an Android to an iPhone (which I actually am happy about, because now I don't have to fix her problems), and her first complaint was that there was no swype on her iphone.

Ugh! Now I want to switch back to ios. I really don't want to pay $850-$950 for an iphone 6 64gb.

Posted via Android Central App

Its easy for apple to headline so many new features when you have so few currently :)

Posted via Android Central App

Ya because you can already use a samesung laptop and phone and do everything they just did on that keynote...
keep wishing.

I wish you could respond to that article in a fashion that would make a difference. Samesung? If Tim Cook hasn't noticed, his precious iTerd and iOShit hasn't changed much since 2007. I hope Google and others take heed and lamblast the mutherfuker.

I am. And that's what they are. If you want non-clever wordplay, I suggest you read something other than a tech blog such as Forbes....

FINALLY! Shots fired. Will Google respond with something else IOS will take 4 years to get?

SwiftKey has been one of the main reasons to be on Android for a while. I could not function without it on my phone.

This is one feature I always wanted apple to do. After you use Swipe, its Really hard to use anything else.
So glad they added this ability. SwiftKey will make Millions.

Seems Apple is knocking out a lot of the reasons people had for switching to Android. The next years market share data will be interesting.

I use both and um......NO.

People switch to Android because of choices. With Apple, you get what they give you and you have to deal with it until you buy the next iTerd which is exactly like the last iTerd you bought....

Until they start offering the ability to swap out a *lot* more than just the keyboard, there will still be plenty of reason for people to choose Android. They might, someday, begin allowing things like setting "default apps", but I would shocked if Apple *ever* went so far as to allow things like 3rd party launchers. You can replace just about everything in Android, without being rooted. I use a 3rd party auto-brightness tool that lets me customize the auto-brightness. And I doubt Apple is ever going to really implement the "intents" system that Android has to allow apps to pass data between each other.

Well a lot of people. iOS users who were thinking of switching to Android. Android users who want to switch to iOS but held back because of no SwiftKey. iOS users who switched to Android but want to switch back but haven't because they love Swype or SwiftKey. Also writing in all caps like that makes you look stupid.
Posted via Android Central App

Yes. People switch ecosystems for a keyboard. Kinda like leaving a million dollar house for a doublewide trailer so they can have polyester curtains and a redwood deck....

To be honest...i want iOS keyboard port to Android since the days when i left iPhone 3GS to At&t Captivate..iOS keyboard is so better since then to now when i use my Dad's iPhone 5s...
Posted via Android Central App

Let's be honest, Apple killed it today... All people were crying for is here.. Keyboard, widgets, + apps preview and try before buy.. Now bigger iPhone and it will be very interesting.. I think Apple will be untouchable.

Yea that did have some great ideas today. I liked the touch id feat that integrates into other apps.

Posted via Android Central App

All this time.....I've been thinking.....if Apple were more like Android, I'd give them a shot! The time has come for me to........ehhhh j/k!!!

LMAO!!!

Apple still thinks one size fits all and that size is Small. Flash memory should be fixed and really expensive. Universal chargers and cables are a privilege, not a right. Phones should not be waterproof. Digital wallets are bad. And battery swaps should cost lots of money.
Posted via Android Central App

not untouchable, but certainly this fills in a lot of big holes, pretty much all the big holes I ever complained about.

Finally, I swype text with one hand and I hate two handed texting and thats what j had to do with apple, now I'm have a note 3 and never looked back, Swype is much better

Posted via Android Central App

About time hey. Seemed strange that they actually improved their own keyboard and then told you about 3rd party ones.

Posted via Android Central App

This is pretty bad news for Android in general. Today, Apple addressed a few things that were once key advantages to the Android platform (widgets, keyboards, etc). With the next iPhone expected to be larger, I have a feeling Apple is about to reclaim a big, big chunk of market share.

By the way I've long been an ardent supporter of Android, have an HTC M7 in my pocket so please don't even bother accusing me of anything.

I can see people that left because of screen size and keyboards switching right back.

Posted via Android Central App

Your a fool if you really think people won't switch back. People are still buying iPhone5s. Even with knowing the 6 will be out soon.

Posted via Android Central App

Here is in the office people are going away from iPhone in droves. Three or four people I personally know, lifelong iPhone users, have switched to Android in the last month or so. Yet, I don't know of anyone that's going the other direction.

Liken that's a problem. Google has already established a reputation to reacting quickly to competitive advantages. Whatever Apple brings, Google will counteract with something else.

Posted via Android Central App

Their are people that love Google and android and won't leave. But just for the people that left for the screen might be crawling back. Interesting to see how everything plays out in the upcoming months.
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Lemme put this in a nice way...

I own both Android and an iPhone 5s. And now that I have played with it on my terms, it's a big piece of shit. There is NOTHING that will make me keep it. Not iOS 8 and not the iPhone 6. Period. Maybe if it shit money I could be obliged but that ain't happenin'.

So in conclusion, I would rather use hot and cold cream on my balls than use an iPhone as my daily driver.

How so. I'm speaking about people that still love Apple but left because of the small screen. So your telling me they won't second guess... Sure

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I don't think there are *nearly* as many people as you seem to think for which screen size and keyboard are the *only* reason they left iOS.

Too bad iOS is now just a locked down version of Android. I don't see why people would pay a premium to buy an iPhone unless they're already vested in the ecosystem.

Posted via Android Central App

Really? Why? What, exactly, can an iPhone offer you that you can't get with the Android device you have now?

This is awesome news. I love my HTC One but I also love my iPad Air. The crappy tablet keyboard is the only think I dislike so I'll be buying SwiftKey tablet edition or Thumb Keyboard as soon as they are available.

I know it sounds crazy but I really hope Google brings the stock android keyboard to iOS. I HATE the iOS keyboard. Why the letters don't change when you press the shift or caps key I will never understand!

Posted via Android Central App

Over a keyboard that will not match Android offerings for some time? What do you take us for, simpletons?

Dude I'm joking your taking things to heart. Chill out. That sometime part is wrong they will push out keyboards faster then you think. How many people probably already said let's port it over or develop one but couldn't.
Posted via Android Central App

I'll best some of the 3rd party keyboards developers already knew this was coming and have been working on it for a while. I'd be a little surprised if iOS8 was released with no 3rd party keyboard options, considering how much they played this feature up.

As long as those developers remember who got them to where they are today and don't drop them to move over to Apple.

I'm pretty sure the "widgets" are still just in the notification shade. They've just enabled apps to make there own little "live" icon next to their notification. Not widgets in the same way we know them on Android.

can't wait to put swiftkey on my iPhone. It's not so much that the accuracy is better, but the auto-correct is much superior.

wait until iphone 6 with 5 inch iphone 6. Going to be interesting how many of you are going to switch? (in combination with amazing IOS8!!!)

There will probably be a few, but Android offers *far* more than just the ability to use a 3rd party keyboard.

ZOMG!!! ...... Ok.... Sooooooo welcome to being able to choose.... We at android call this "choice" hope you like it.

John Hancock

Whenever I want to explain Apple's draconian "walled-garden" approach I always used keyboards as an example. Now I'll have to select from the myriad of other ridiculous policies to explain why Apple hurts consumers.

Well of coarse! When you have a phone and an OS that's as worthless as tits on a bullfrog, this is what you get.

If Google had the exact level of integration and synergy now that iMessage does, I probably wouldn’t be as tempted to switch. Sure, if you’re in the US you can sign up for Google Voice, but even that’s been neglected for years and doesn’t even support MMS.

Fingerprint APIs, per-app passcoding with TouchID, home automation, health device management: all at the OS level mean that the experience is consistent across apps and the end-user just needs to buy a compatible accessory (which there are tons of).

Even something like quick reply for iMessage will eventually have the exact same interface as actionable Facebook, Email or Twitter notifications. Compare this to quick reply in Cyanogen 10.2, which only works in Cyanogen and only for SMS.

I’m not saying Apple is better in every respect, but there’s plenty of things on the iOS side that Google could take some inspiration from.

First off, you don't need CyanogenMod to get quick reply. Just download Textra or Handcent or any of a dozen other Android SMS apps that offer the feature. And I'm still shocked at Apple's definition of "actionable notifications".

I do agree that something like iMessage for Android would be nice, but I'm not sure I want it at the expense of the issues iMessage can cause for people. It's definitely not something I'm willing to lose all the features of Android for, though. Like the ability to define my own default apps, or replace almost any part of the OS with a 3rd party app, or (the big one) be able to share data between apps.

Honestly, there's really *almost* nothing that iOS can do that I think Android should try and adopt.

The way I see it is that most people have an iPhone cuz they don't want options like this, they want bare bones cuz they don't care about this stuff so I bet most people won't even try to change their iPhone keyboard.

Posted via Android Central App

Did I misread something or did apple also say Android is 99% malware? wonder where they even got that statistic...

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They said 99% of Malware was in Android. That based on an independent study done. What they failed to mention was that was from third party app stores and pirated apps. And not from Google Play where the Malware is more like 0.01 percent.

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Yup. 99% of the malware in existence is targeting Android, because Android has close to 80% world-wide mobile market share. That left that last bit out, though.

So against apples ecosystem. What do you think apples going to get to next?

Posted via Android Central App

My employer has adopted the iOS platform giving us iPhones and iPads and the native keyboard is so different from my personal setup on my Note. It's hard to go back and forth. Looking forward to the ability to use the same keyboard everywhere!

VZW NOTE 3 via AC app

I've seen people purchase an android simply because they hated typing on ios and wanted to use swype.

Posted via Android Central App

That's because they probably didn't care which ecosystem (Android / iOS) they used. They're not fanboys of either.

Everyone that I know (with the exception of *exactly* 1 person) who has ever jumped from Android to iOS has jumped back the instant their contract was up.