Slash might be iOS’s most powerful keyboard, and it’s free

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Slash Keyboard makes it easy to add GIFs, emojis and just about anything else to your messages.
Slash Keyboard makes it easy to add GIFs, emojis and just about anything else to your messages.
Photo: Slash Keyboard

I’m not usually a big fan of third-party iOS keyboards because they’re often clumsy and perform worse than iOS’s default keyboard. But I like Slash Keyboard. It’s fast, it’s accurate, and it allows you to search for and insert nearly anything on the web – GIFs, stickers, YouTube videos, Foursquare locations, you name it — into an email or text message, without once changing screens.

Slash Keyboard is named after the way it supercharges the forward slash key to let you use simple commands to search other services.

It works sort of like entering a command in IRC or Slack. For example, type /giphy (search term) and it’ll search Giphy’s directory for the appropriate GIF, then insert it into your message.

You can do loads of other things, too. You can search and insert links from Google Maps, Foursquare, YouTube, Google, your emoji library, your iTunes and photo libraries, your contacts, your Facebook, Spotify, Amazon, The New York Times, SoundCloud and much, much more. And it all works seamlessly, without ever pulling you into a separate app or even keyboard.

Most impressive to me, though? Slash Keyboard’s speed seems to match Apple’s default offering. For my money, that makes it at least worth downloading to see if it’s a fit for you. If you’re someone who communicates a lot by text, this might be the best iOS keyboard for you.

You can download Slash Keyboard from the App Store.

You can search for pretty much anything and insert it into a text with Slash Keyboard.
You can search for pretty much anything and insert it into a text with Slash Keyboard.
Photo: Slash Keyboard