exKey: add an extra row of keys to the iOS keyboard

By , Jan 29, 2014

exKey Featured

exKey is a jailbreak tweak that adds an additional fifth row of keys to the stock keyboard in iOS. The tweak, which works on iOS 5 through iOS 7, allows users to type more efficiently, because they should spend less time switching between the numeric and alpha keys.

When installed and in normal alpha mode, you’ll see a set of numeric keys, digits 0-9, grace the top of the keyboard as the new fifth row. When you switch to the numeric keypad, the numbers are replaced with special character symbols.

We’ve taken exKey for spin in our video walkthrough. Take a look inside for more details on how this productivity jailbreak tweak works.

Once installed, there are no options to configure. exKey can be used right after installation with nothing to setup. If you’re interested in giving it a try, you can find it for $0.99 on Cydia’s BigBoss repo.

What do you think about the idea of having an additional 5th row of keys on iOS’ stack keyboard? Do you think it’s handy, or do you think it takes up too much room on the screen? Sound off in the comments section down below.

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  • David Gitman

    Apple should take ideas from cydia for the next iOS

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      They are already doing this!

      Source: iOS 7

      • David Gitman

        What about taking tweaks like quick reply etc

      • Michael Edwards

        I hope apple use (or have used) the ideas found on Cydia as a template for 7.0.1 or iOS 8. I find Typestatus, swipeselection and Bitesms very useful

    • Ariel

      They already did, and will probably continue

  • SimonReidy

    Does this work in landscape?

    • Ishaan Malhotra

      Yup

  • charliez

    It just makes the keys smaller and therefore harder to press, so no thank you. If it really adds a new row without taking up space from the others, then it’s worth a look.

    • Stephan Chery

      Agreed

    • Syjic

      Agreed agreed. This tweak is misleading & wasted my time, and so I must respect you for conning me.

  • http://www.avault.com Saulo Benigno

    Isn’t the same as IKeywi?

  • Marc Feldtrauer

    Just bought ikeywi for 1.99 yesterday. It works on portrait and landscape, and you can configure it as you want.
    Finaly I can type and text like back in IOS3 Jailbreack with ikeyex :-)

  • jacobkwright

    How is this any different than iKeyWi? Been using that for about a year, works flawlessly.

    • Adam Bowman

      Yeah. IKeywi. You’re right.

      This is nothing new.

    • krill38

      iKeyWi doesn`t support all languages which makes it useless if you`re on a Swedish keyboard like i am, with exKey i can still get the fifth additional row and keep my swedish keyboard.

  • Michael Edwards

    Has anyone tried altkeyboard? I know it hasn’t been updated to iOS7 (yet) but I’m just wondering what your opinions are on it

    • Al

      Supposedly it’s to be updated to iOS 7 this month.. But I highly doubt it now.

      But I like it… Been anticipating its launch since I updated and jailbroke.

      • Michael Edwards

        I think I’ll try IKeywi, i’m using predictive keyboard on a temp licence (which is a nice touch) but I’m not keen on it.

      • Al

        I don’t know if I’ve tried Predictive Keyboard, I tried OctoKeyboard.. That was nice.

        Is Predictive Keyboard really worth it? I wonder does it play nice with other keyboard tweaks…

      • Michael Edwards

        It’s not worth it at all tbh. I wouldn’t have bought it, only tried it because it has a free temp licence. Swipeselection is extremely useful imho, this should be standard on iPhones. I’ll have a look at Octokeyboard thanks

      • Al

        If you are a SwipeSelection user, which I assume you are… There’s no support for OctoKeyboard, that’s why I gave up on it.. It was a hard thing to do.

        It’s been awhile since I used OctoKeyboard… Not sure if they had made changes to it, I know it’s not supported by iOS 7 as of yet.

        All I really want up to this point is AltKeyboard 2 & SwipeSelection, that will satisfy my keyboard perfectly.

      • Michael Edwards

        Ah, thanks for the heads up. Those two combined would be awesome

  • Jonathan

    Does anyone know how to add the Android sound of the keyboard to iOS?
    Please don’t say go to Android…
    There are only (I mean only…) 2 things I like about Android. Widgets, and the keyboard sound. That’s IT.

    • Martynet

      go to android :)

      • Jonathan

        I’d blow it up if I got one.

  • krill38

    Nice tweak! i use it on my iPhone 5 and it works great, i just hope the dev will update it with support for iPad as well.

    • Al

      I suggest you go with iKeyWi HD for the iPad if you want something similar to that of exKey… But it is better.

      • krill38

        I would if i could but iKeyWi doesn`t support Swedish keyboard which i`m using so i will wait for exKey update.

  • Joshfei

    I tried it and found it to be glitchy. The number key only worked the first time I used it.

    On a separate note, anybody know if attachements+ for email is being updated or if there is something similar?

  • Kevin Grayson

    does this work on the IPAD??! Numbers at the top should come stock.

    • krill38

      No iPad support atm, maybe later

  • niooong

    Hi Jeff I wanna you suck my pussy…

  • Kyle Johnson

    My favorite tweak thus far and one I have been waiting on for forever is TinyBar. Notifications are too big and I must enter them to read the normal way. With TinyBar I can just allow them to scroll across as I continue my activity in my current app.

  • Ted Forbes

    Ok I will try this, I removed iKeywi from my 4s to give this a try.

  • Xee

    If the buttons are smaller does the keyboard take up the same amount of screen estate?

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    Good tweak now tht it’s functioning properly and stable.

  • http://www.whited00r.com/ Lè Andy

    iKeyWi is so much better than this, to be honest.
    It offers custom keys as well as many more things.

    • dtsm

      Thanks to all for the recommendations. I just downloaded iKeyWi and also the 3 day demo of predictive keyboard, both work well together for someone still used to BB keyboard. So far so good.

  • deepdvd

    Does this work with SwipeSelection? I don’t see anywhere that it does or doesn’t. Which means most likely it does. Yes?

    • dtsm

      Is swipeselection working for iOS7.0.4 now?

      • deepdvd

        Oh yes. The free version is good enough for me.

  • al7oot

    Funny the tweak doesn’t work when you’re typing in Cydia !!

    • Ted Forbes

      I don’t think anything of the Cydia tweaks for iPhone works with Cydia unless the tweak was made to tweak Cydia.

  • Ted Forbes

    Ok, I gave this a (short) run, I think exKey nice and can turnout to be a nice tweak later. It appears that there is a bug that is in need some attention. I uninstalled iKeywi (which worked flawless) and I install exKey on my 4s. exKey installed quickly and worked fine for a while.

    A few hours later the top row of keys (numbers) does not work. When I attempted to press the number row of keys I got letters. On the ALT keys everything seemed to work fine.

    I have reinstalled iKeywi, I have use this for years and it works very well.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Meh, Alt-key offers 3 new rows.

  • John Doe

    This tweak killed my phone. Right after unpacking and installing, before I could tap ‘restart springboard’ it went by itself into the black screen with the spinning loader icon.

    I left it there for an hour or so. Eventually had to put it into DFU mode to revive it.

    I’ve jailbroken on previous devices and I haven’t messed around with system files. Just be careful – this happened to me

  • Skyshoot85

    Update! work in landscape.. :)

  • Palmer Paul

    I don’t mind it taking up extra space on the screen, however it doesn’t do this. Instead it just shrinks the existing keys so it can “squeeze in” that extra fifth row. I found if incredibly hard to type with these smaller keys and had to uninstall the tweak. If the keys just retained their normal sizes, I’d definitely use this tweak or iKeywi 2 (basically does the same thing, but with more customization; it too has the key shrinkage issue).

  • Gary Benedik

    Just came across Roxie’s Visual Keyboard. Spell check needs some work but the predictive emojis/stickers are crazy. Type anything, even provocative and it will suggest insane emojis.images.