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. 

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.


#1: SwiftKey

Price: Free

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

Price: Free
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.


#3: Swype

Price: $0.99
Download Swype on iOS 8 | Android

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.


#4: Fleksy

Price: $0.99
Download Fleksy on iOS 8 | Android

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

Price: Free

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
Download AI.Type on iOS | Android

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

Price: Free
Download on iOS | Android

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?

#8: Minuum

Price: $1.99

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

Price: Free
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.
 

#10: PopKey

Price: Free
Download PopKey on iOS

The world's first animated GIF keyboard comes with the promise to let you explain yourselves in a funny GIF.


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48 Comments

1. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Does this mean we will see less of damn you autocorrect? Because it always appeared to me, 90% of those were on an iPhone. Shame, I rather liked those

21. pulkit1

Posts: 354; Member since: Jul 03, 2014

most are photoshopped jokes meant to be funny . Did you really not know that ?

25. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I knew some of them couldnt been true, didn't think they were photoshopped just typed incorrectly on purpose. Which would have been a whole lot easier and made more sense than photoshopping

26. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

They can be faked by using a number of websites too where you just type what you want the message to say and it adds it to a iOS looking screenshot like this one for example, http://www.ios7text.com/

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 31760; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Not too excited about this. On my note 3, I have the Samsung keyboard, and the kit kat or jellybean one, and never use them.

7. jackwong64

Posts: 60; Member since: Apr 23, 2014

Right, I would rather stick with the regular keyboard, I don't see what is wrong with that?!?!?! I always stick with the stock app.

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31760; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yeah, stock is best.

10. bestmvno

Posts: 251; Member since: Mar 07, 2014

That "Samsung" keyboard is actually Swiftkey, or a derivative depending on how you look at it. Swiftkey partnered with Samsung for that device, and so Samsung's keyboard uses Swiftkey's technology as a base.

23. cheeseycheeser

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

And that's why the samsung keyboard is bae

12. Quezdagreat

Posts: 428; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

and what does this article have to do with note 3 or android?

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 31760; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Nothing, other than to point out that I don't use em on a platform that's had em for eons, and probably won't now in iOS.

19. Quezdagreat

Posts: 428; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

Ok I got you

28. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I don't think a lot of iOS user will switch to third parties keyboard. Human are creature of habits. Still there maybe be a few Android users that is also iOS user, good to stick with a common keyboard for both platform.

3. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

3rd party keyboards?!?! Such innovation. It's about time, Apple. But thanks for the years of hilariously horrible/naughty autocorrects. With Swiftkey I've never had a DYAC incident, although the time it suggested "Santorum" after typing my boss' name "Rick" was a bit of a head-scratcher.

16. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

Just so you know... DYAC's were made. Not auto correct funny fails, although some were. DYACs large iPhone community was due to the ability to make your own convo with yourself, and edit the contact name. Most DYACS are not DYACs like you think they are.... Just a pro tip for the fooled ones.

4. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

inb4 "urr durr innovation Apple is late" troll comments.

5. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 914; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

My sausage fingers have been begging for swiftkey the few times I use my 5s for a while now.

6. blingblingthing

Posts: 986; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Why isn't Google keyboard on the list?

27. marlboro

Posts: 94; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

ask Microsoft! lol

8. fatexo

Posts: 221; Member since: May 21, 2010

I have used all types of phones in the past (WP7, Android 4.4, iOS6-7), I always used the stock default keyboard.

9. agentoj

Posts: 105; Member since: Oct 29, 2009

How do you guys like swiftkey vs swype? I used swype on my Evo, but never for around to using swiftkey.

11. bestmvno

Posts: 251; Member since: Mar 07, 2014

Swiftkey is great at word prediction, but I always found it to be pretty bad at "flow" their term for swiping. When you flow, you are often only given one word as an option when you've completed flow, for me, that word is wrong way more often than it should be, particularly when compared against Swype.

52. g2a5b0e unregistered

I agree 100%. I used Swiftkey for months, but I had to go back to Swype because of that. The one other thing I'll give Swiftkey is the dedicated number row. I still prefer Swype by a large margin though.

15. willytbk

Posts: 252; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

I use swiftkey before on my G2 but now use Google Keyboard on my Moto G. As for iPhone, i am ok with the stock keyboard, we'll see whwn iOS update on my 5s.

17. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

Would be great if Google adds its excellent Google Keyboard to the party! Use it on all my devices!

18. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

Google keyboard sucks Imo... I prefer swype over anything.... Just my preference.... No offense...

44. Fazz1977

Posts: 153; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

Google keyboard rules.

20. scsa852k

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

Swiftkey all the way.

22. 87186

Posts: 312; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

shape writing is the only one that's been accurate enough for me to actually use

24. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

I was so hyped about iOS 8 and third party keyboards, but I'll have to wait to get it on my iPhone 5S. My company told me that there are some compatability issues with iOS 8 and that I should refrain from upgrading until further notice. :( I really don't like the default iPhone keyboard and was hoping to replace it with SwiftKey. Looks like I'll have to wait before being able to type better on my iPhone. At least my iPad Mini is my personal device, so I can get iOS 8 on it and add SwiftKey.

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