If like me you use two or more international keyboards when typing Messages on your iPhone, you know it can sometimes be a bit frustrating to have to switch between them. As a matter of fact, I’ve wished iOS could automatically figure out what keyboard to use for a while. And I’m hardly the only one. A few months ago, MacStories’ Federico Viticci tweeted that iMessage should be able to automatically switch international keyboards based on the recipient’s language.

It seems that someone at Apple heard him, as this is now a feature in iOS 6

As Federico noted, the keyboard now automatically switches back to the last language used in a conversation. For example, the keyboard will be in English when I message my friend Scott, but it will automatically switch to the French keyboard when I message my cousin Jeremy, in France.

This is a great little detail that has its importance. Too bad it doesn’t always work! As I was able to verify on multiple occasions, the keyboard doesn’t always switch back to the last keyboard used. At least in my experience, the keyboard doesn’t always switch to French when I text my cousin. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. I can’t seem to find a reason why it won’t always work. As far as I can tell, it’s just a random bug.

At any rates, this is a new feature that people who use several international keyboards will surely appreciate.

  • That’s pretty cool because I have a friend who only speaks emoji.

  • Latinpride011

    Is that only on ios 6?

  • And I actually found out about it couple of hours ago!

  • Serkan Gurbuz

    It. Could be even better if I could ad keyboard on contacts info so message wil auto switch

  • Xavier du Coudray

    iMessage but not the native message app somehow… that’s sad

    • Falk M.

      Huh? De fuq?

      • Xavier du Coudray

        I don’t get what you mean. Is is working on your native message app or are you WTFing about why it doesn’t work on it when it does iMessage?

      • Falk M.

        iMessage is not a separate app bro…

      • Xavier du Coudray

        I realize this lol. What I meant was it seems that the keyboard changes to the appropriate language only when the message was sent via iMessage, not via your phone provider. Does that make sense?

      • Falk M.

        Ah ok… got it… Hmmm… Might should try this out… 😛

  • these ad pop ups are so annoying…

    • What ad pop ups are you referring to?

      • notewar

        porn pop-up, no doubt here

  • what’s the point of switching keyboard based on the language ?
    i don’t get it, i can write in french or in english with a qwerty or an azerty keyboard, if the same alphabet it doesn’t matter…
    as a matter of fact switching from qwerty to azerty is just confusing most of the time.. when you are used to one of them
    There would be a problem if the defaut keyboard was a Qwerty one for russians natives but otherwise, i just don’t see it

    • Xavier du Coudray

      When you change the keyboard, it changes the dictionary as well, so it’s going to auto-correct you in the right language.

      • that explains it… i gave up a long time ago on the autocorrection feature…

      • Falk M.

        Same here, but you can have the spell check run and underline your wrong words in red now. 🙂
        So like Spell Checker in Pages on your Mac or any other application.
        You can then tap on a suggestion and it will apply it, otherwise, if you proceed typing, it won’t do anything.

        Spell Checking as it should have been on the iPhone from the beginning.
        I use it that way now and am a happy camper 🙂

    • Falk M.

      Because AutoCorrect and Spell Checking work based on your input keyboard’s language.
      If you’re used to one layout, you often can use a layout that you know and love with another language, effectively making this only a language chooser.
      I have set up English to work with QWERTZ just like my Germany keyboard. 🙂

  • DC

    Now with the taller Iphone 5 we need an extra row of buttons that have numbers!!!
    Cmon Apple- no brainer here

    • Falk M.

      Nah, not really…
      I like typing in the Messenges app longer and still seeing the prior message.

      • DC


        Give us the CHOICE of having another row for numbers- Maybe even two rows- another one for symbols)- then we can choose what suits us best.I type in a lot of numbers in texts and having to flip back and forth is a pain

      • Falk M.

        Fair enough, I guess at one point you might also wanna look into a bluetooth keyboard if it’s that much… hmmm.
        Maybe that’s an idea for your case? I don’t know…

      • DC

        One thing I really like a lot on my new IP5 is the amazing, almost surreal accuracy of the touchscreen/keyboard combination. For me at least it is as close to perfect as the phone typing experience can be. Far better than my “old” Galaxy S2. Adding the row of numbers above would just be the icing on the cake for me.

  • Milad Khahil

    Well I have French and Arabic keyboards that i use very often and just got my iphone 5 on Friday and did notice that switch you are talking about … I was a little bit confused … Now I know what’s up … Cool 🙂

  • Oh, this is great! I hate having the keyboard in English when I’m typing in Spanish -.-

  • Didn’t switch from ‘intoxicated’ to ‘sober’. 🙁

  • nedisonn

    I’m brazilian and I love to talk in other languages like german english french with my friends … then I have 6 keyboards 😛

  • no work