A definitive guide to third-party keyboards in iOS 8 - Page 3 of 5 | Cult of Mac

A definitive guide to third-party keyboards in iOS 8

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Minuum is one of the many third-party keyboards for iOS 8. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Minuum is one of the many third-party keyboards for iOS 8. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Keyboards without keys

Not all keyboards built for iOS 8 are designed for traditional typing. For those times when words just won’t cut it, other types of third-party keyboards will help you communicate… differently.

MyScript Stack (free)

Writing in Stack. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac.
Writing in Stack. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Stack is for those who just don’t like typing at all. It has no keys, there are no funky gestures to learn — you just write.

Stack uses handwriting recognition to detect the letters you draw on the screen, and because it’s super-fast, you can write letters on top of one another to spell out words and it’ll recognize them as you write.

One feature it shares with the other keyboards in this guide is input suggestion: After you’ve drawn “h” and “e,” it’ll suggest things like “hello” and “hey” — and you can then insert the full word with one tap.

I find typing on a traditional keyboard to be much quicker than using Stack, but if for whatever reason you prefer to write, it’s ideal — and it does work well.

Keymoji (free)

Keymoji for iOS 8. Screenshots: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
Keymoji for iOS 8. Screenshots: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

If you’re the type of person who sends text messages that include more emojis than words, you’re going to love Keymoji. Like many of the keyboards I’ve already mentioned, Keymoji has an autocomplete feature that’ll predict what you’re typing. But rather than presenting you with words, it offers up emojis instead.

If you type “piz,” the pizza emoji will pop up. Sure, it only takes one tap to insert an emoji, but if you use a lot of them and you have to keep switching to the emoji keyboard while you type, then Keymoji could save you some time.

PopKey (TBD)

PopKey isn’t actually available yet, but it’s one you’re going to want to look out for because it lets you communicate with GIFs. Awesome, right? You simply type words like “happy,” “shocked” or “facepalm” and PopKey will find associated GIFs that you can then insert into your messages.

PopKey will make recently used GIFs easy to access, so you don’t have to type the same word every time to find the ones you use most often, and you’ll be able to save your favorites under their own tab. What’s more, PopKey will even allow you to upload and use GIFs of your own. This is exactly why third-party keyboard support is one of the best improvements in iOS 8.

Next: Installation and companion apps