A definitive guide to third-party keyboards in iOS 8 - Page 4 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

Installation

Installing a new keyboard in iOS 8 isn’t difficult, but it’s not quite as simple as just installing an app — though you will begin by downloading the keyboards you want from the App Store.

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Find the keyboard you want in the App Store and download it.
  2. Go into the keyboard preferences inside the Settings app (via “General”) and tap “Add New Keyboard…”
  3. Select the keyboard you’ve just installed from within the “Third-Party Keyboards” list.

Companion apps

Keyboard companion apps. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
Companion apps help third-party keyboards work. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Once installed, you’ll get a companion app added to your home screen, which is where you’ll go to customize your keyboard. Although you just enabled it from within the Settings app, you cannot select and edit dictionaries, apply themes or customize anything else from there.

Before you begin using your new keyboard, open up its companion app and set it up to work best for you. Enable any additional languages you’ll want to use; disable features like autocorrect and quick period if you don’t use them; and apply your favorite theme.

You may also want to set up any sync services for the keyboards that provide them — so long as you don’t mind them accessing your personal data to improve your typing experience — and if you’ve already used SwiftKey on Android, you’ll want to log in using the same account to access your existing dictionary.

Inside some of these keyboards — such as Swype — you’ll be able to quickly access the companion app and change settings by tapping and holding on the settings gear situated in the bottom-left corner of the keyboard.

Next: Full Access, security and limitations