Best alternative, third-party keyboards for Android, iPhone, and iPad (2015 edition)
One of the coolest new features of iOS 8 is the possibility to (finally!) change the default Apple keyboard with third-party ones. Apple is also adding swipe gestures to its own solution, and that’s great. But what will the choice be once iOS 8 rolls out? Most of you could have heard about the most popular third-party keyboard on Android, SwiftKey, and it will certainly be one of the biggest highlights on the new iOS 8. Others will point out that Fleksy, another third-party keyboard, is already available on the platform.
The quick brown fox...However, it’s just one of many more to come, and in this article we take a quick look at all other keyboard options for the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system.
Not just that - since most of the top alternative keyboards are shared between Apple and Android, we're also looking at the best third-party solutions that will speed up your texting. Take a look at the best alternative, third-party keyboards for Android, iPhone, and iPad.
One of the most popular keyboards on Android, SwiftKey has brought excellent auto-correction, fast swipe-typing, and plenty of colorful themes to iOS as well.
#2: Google Keyboard
Download on Android
Google has recently made its stock Android 5.0 Lollipop keyboard available to the wide masses on the Google Play Store, and with a beautiful material design theme (the default is often set to Holo-themed KitKat looks, so you have to change it in the settings), well-spaced keys and a helpful tactile feedback on key press, this is our favorite Android keyboard for those of you who don't have a stock Android device.
The original swipe-typing app, Swype, is coming to iOS 8 and will try to set a high-bar for quick and accurate typing with your finger smoothly sailing the keyboard waters.
The first third-party keyboard for the iPhone is already available, claiming to be the fastest one in the world. It features over 600 emoji (and you know, they say an emoji is worth a thousand words, which would make for a dictionary of 600,000 words?!), great auto-correct options, and colorful themes.
#5: TouchPal Keyboard
One of the lesser known keyboard solutions, TouchPal still comes quietly as the default keyboard app on an impressive amount of Android phones, and it stands out with swipe-typing out the gate and nicely spaced keys for a roomy typing experience.
#6: AI.Type Keyboard
Price: Free | $3.99
AI.Type keyboard's biggest advantage is how smooth and fast it is to start, as much as to feel as a near-native application. With free themes including the best Android Lollipop keyboard clone we've seen, AI.Type is fast and visually sleek. It does have a limitation, though - the gesture typing and word predictions are only part of the premium package, and you can only use them for two weeks.
#7: Ginger Keyboard
This modern-looking keyboard solution is coming soon to iOS and features a grammar checker, sentence rephraser, translation, dictionary, text reader, and personal trainer - quite the large list, don’t you think?
Minuum looks nothing like all other keyboard solutions: it’s got a deceptively small layout, but with excellent auto-correct, it makes typing accurately easy.
#9: Custom Keyboard for iOS 8
Download on iOS
Custom Keyboard for iOS 8 does exactly what it tells you it wants to do: offer a fully customizable keyboard where you can select the shape of the keys (rectangular, rounded, etc), the color of the background, even the font and color inside each button. Heck, you can even select a custom sound on every keytap. With it, you can really start creating your own keyboard style and it's easy - no need to dig through tens of themes that someone else designed, but never quite fit your style.
Download PopKey on iOS
The world's first animated GIF keyboard comes with the promise to let you explain yourselves in a funny GIF.