TouchPal 1

I’ve gone through a handful of the most popular third-party keyboards for iOS 8 and each one has a little special something that makes it stand out from the rest. We’re not talking about simple color changes (although I do like those), but real functions that push them beyond the norm.

TouchPal Keyboard is another such app that promises unique functionality and delivers the goods. Whether you prefer tapping or swiping, this is a well-rounded keyboard with plenty of useful features.

The design of this keyboard layout is more akin to Apple’s in that the keys are Chiclet style instead of strung together. You can access the number pad by switching the key display, or you can select a number or symbol by swiping upward or downward from a specific key. Some numbers and symbols are displayed right on the letter keypad, making it very easy for you to be able to see what you want to use.

TouchPal 3

For example, swipe upward on the “U” key to type the number 7. If you wish to see more letter options (like û, ü, or ù), drag your finger downward slightly on the letter to call up the available options. You can also hold your finger on the key until they appear.

This is a swipe-based keyboard, so you can drag your finger across the screen to create words. The technology worked smoothly. However, I noticed that the auto-correct was only accurate about 70 percent of the time and the predictive typing didn’t really meet my expectations.

The app has a very strange way of adding text to the screen. When you swipe or tap a word, nothing appears on the document until you tap the space bar. Your typed word appears in the predictive text spot just above the keyboard, alongside the word the app thinks you meant and one other suggested word. However, it won’t show up in the document until you’ve hit the space bar.

Additionally, there appears to be a glitch that won’t allow you to switch keyboards. Once TouchPal is set as your default, you must manually change it by going back into your Settings app and remove it from your list of default keyboards.

TouchPal 2

What makes this app special is that it has direct access to hundreds of emoticons. You don’t have to switch default keyboards out or tap through a bunch of stuff. The emoji access is right on the tab key. Simply hold the key down until it switches to the emoji keypad.

Probably my favorite part of this app is that it has eight brightly colored keyboards. TouchPal has all the candy-coated keyboards, and I love how fun they look.

Comparatively, TouchPal and Swype are very similar when it comes to what they feature. However, from my experience, Swype was much better at auto-correct and predictive typing. Plus, I really didn’t like the way words don’t appear on the document until after hitting the space bar .

Basically, if you don’t want to fork over the $0.99 for Swype, this is the next best thing. Plus, if you use emoticons fairly often, this might be the better choice for you since it is easier to access them than any other third-party keyboard I’ve tested so far.

TouchPal Keyboard is available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch for free. Download it in the App Store today.

Check out these other iOS 8 keyboard apps

  • Hash

    How come there aren’t any video reviews of the apps like we have with jailbreak tweaks. iOS8 keyboard apps are one of the most intriguing parts of iOS8. I think a video review will be more informative and add to the article.

    • J. Rockwell

      completely agree. Personally if apps, extensions, tweaks, if there is no embedded video I don’t even read the article and go straight to YouTube. It does serve its purpose to bringing it to my attention though:)

    • mlee19841

      wwwdotyoutubedotcom/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OLisADopbeo

    • Antzboogie

      We needed swipe selection thats one of my favorite keyboard tweaks of all time!! Why do these third party keyboards require so many permissions??

  • El Matador

    I have tried several of these new third party keyboards burt always find myself going back! Didn’t realize how engrained the stock keyboard is to my daily usage.

    • sriram varadarajulu

      even swiftkey? i’ve been using it and it feels so hard to tap words now cause it’s so much faster and easier to swipe words

      • Decio Arruda

        I use swift key but not because I prefer it but because it’s better for people who speak multiple languages.
        When I’m writing anything lengthy I automatically switch to Fleksy

    • Rot Kelfer

      same here. Turns out I’m too old to start using swipe, and stock keyboard just works fine.

  • Rot Kelfer

    out of all keyboard tweak software TouchPal is my least favorite – it delivered the least friendly and enjoyable experience.

  • rain111

    Is it me, or there is yet to see a 3rd party keyboard with number row on top of the letters row? I wish the iKeyWi dev submit their keyboard layout with number row, it’s one of the main reasons I miss jailbreaking. (iPhone 6 Plus here).

    Anyway thanks for the review!

  • Lemerio P.

    Am I the only one that wants swipe selection to be a keyboard in the App Store? I use that everyday. On both iPhone and iPad.

    • Diance

      there’s a chinese keyboard that offers the same function as swipe selection does, but without the ability to highlight words and the cursor moves a tad slower. available in english as well. look it up by typing sogou keyboard

      • Lemerio P.

        I actually haven’t updated to iOS 8 but I will check that out when I do. But part of what makes swipe selection good is the selection part lol

      • looks nice but unfortunately is in Chinese. Can I change to English?

      • Diance

        if you mean typing then yep the toggle key is at the right side of the spacebar. i’m afraid the settings language can’t be changed

    • Straw hat

      I saw on twitter the dev is making it for iOS 8

      • Lemerio P.

        Great!

      • mlee19841

        sweet.

    • Matt

      Brightkey has this functionality in the spacebar. I kind of hate the keyboard but have been using it as my main keyboard because of this

  • Matheus Lisboa

    I’m using swift key and already passed through fleksy, but I really miss dictation… seriously considering going back to stock keyboard

  • InfinitePlusOne

    One thing I hate about TouchPal isit doesn’t show what you’re typing. Till you finish the word

  • CS

    I’m just waiting for swipeselection. All of these other keyboards honestly suck

  • Ahmad

    Didn’t people say that there is a major emoji update coming with iOS8 ? where’s it?

  • Linton Findlay

    i like the idea of touch pal, but i hate being forced to choose pre defined words, and not being able to see what im typing as i type it. gonna wait until altkeybord somes to the appstore ;P

  • Keabsy

    Am I the only one who can’t use a 3rd party keyboard while doing a quick reply on the lockscreen?

  • therealjjohnson

    I’m not using any of these 3rd party keyboards because of this “full access” business. I am not okay with the fact that “Full access allows the developer of this keyboard to transmit anything you type, including things you have previously typed with this keyboard. This could include sensitive information such as your credit card number or street address.”

    I am just uncomfortable with this.

    • Kamran Mackey

      That’s just the general warning, SwiftKey, Swype or any other keyboard doesn’t transmit anything you type.

      • therealjjohnson

        I have heard different. Also, let’s say you are correct…just because they don’t now, doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. “iCloud hack” 2.0 could be on our hands sooner than we anticipate.

      • Guest

        I don’t really care if that happens. I have a really secure password on all my accounts, including Apple.

      • therealjjohnson

        How can you password be really secure if they can see you type it?

      • Kamran Mackey

        They can’t. For password fields it switches back to the Stock Keyboard.

  • mlee19841

    should i just saw screw it and update and lose my jailbreak. The keyboards are pretty sweet.

    • Straw hat

      Lol don’t you’ll regret. I’m on 7.1.2 and really feel like doing it but i know that ill enjoy iOS 8 only for like 2 weeks. Wait till the iOS 8 jailbreak it wont take as long as it used to since pangu already says they working on it.

      • mlee19841

        lol. I can see myself getting bored. I’ll just wait.

      • Kamran Mackey

        Who cares. iOS isn’t meant to jailbreak. Like all phones, you are just supposed to use the damn thing for apps and games and calling, not stare at Cydia all day installing a billion stupid tweaks.

    • Dan

      I updated to iOS 8 and it took two days for me to regret it. Thankfully I was able to go back to 7.1.2. I’d say don’t upgrade, stock is very boring IMO.

  • mlee19841

    wwwdotyoutubedotcom/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OLisADopbeo
    top 8 keyboards and reviews

  • ElzoRillo

    Path Input is the one I like the best. Plus they have the best privacy policy, They “don’t collect or use any personal information. In fact, there is no any Internet function in current Path Input” unlike some other ones.

  • Decio Arruda

    I’m not shilling to read the article, you guys should start doing video reviews, it’s not fun to read so much when in 1 minute I can see it in action.
    Not trying to hate on you guys but I’d think most people agree

    • Kamran Mackey

      Nobody agrees with you…

  • G-HaB

    honestly what is the best keyboard app for ios 8 im still using the regular apple keyboard cause so far ive used swift key,fleksy,and touch pal but i like apples stock keyboard the most. I like swift key the most out of them but it doesnt make the clicking noise.

    • Kamran Mackey

      I like the no clicking noise on SwiftKey. The clicking noise is annoying as heck.

      • Fevostone

        Turn the clicking noise off in settings phone expert..??

  • Fevostone

    Let me just say sack the third party crap I just want the stock iOS 8 updating again so many bugs wot is goimg on..!!! Wifi,video play back in safari,apps not updated and what makes this more of a piss take is by the time I get my iPhone 6 running perfect the 6s an iOS 9 will be out. Don’t think I’ll be paying out all this money and getting left in the dark for months every year. Who feels the same…???

    • Fevostone

      And AirPlay missing in Safari..?

    • Kamran Mackey

      Nobody feels the same as you, as you are just making crap up.

      • Fevostone

        Go play with the buses pal you know nothing. wot you know about phones you could write on the back of a postage stamp…!!!

      • Kamran Mackey

        Also, work on your f****** English, pal.

      • Fevostone

        Ur boring me….! Your boring me is that better….!

      • Kamran Mackey

        not really.

      • Kamran Mackey

        Also, I know more about phones then you ever will.

      • Fevostone

        Sure you do I would like to congratulate you now growth up and stop sending me messages. I know there is bugs in iOS 8 google it phone expert…!!

      • Kamran Mackey

        There aren’t any bugs in iOS 8 now, because they were fixed in iOS 8.0.2.

      • Fevostone

        Is that right well you would know cause you are the phone expert lol
        I also are running iOS 8.0.2 still has bugs do you have a I device

      • Kamran Mackey

        Yes I do have an iDevice. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be reading iDownloadBlog.

      • Fevostone

        True..! And wot device is that maybe your device is not experiencing any bugs if its a older phone all I know is that my iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 with iOS 8 the WiFi drops sometimes and the air play doesnt work in safari and apps haven’t been updated yet witch I think is a joke iOS 8 beta 1 2 3 4 5 and gm as been out should of been updated by now.

      • Kamran Mackey

        Guess what? Apple didn’t start approving iOS 8 app updates until a day before iOS 8 was released to everybody. I have the 6 Plus and I’m not experiencing any of the issues you are. Maybe your internet just sucks, hehe. 😀

      • Fevostone

        Na I have 150meg speed super hub 2 and everyone in my street internet must be shit as well coz it doesn’t pick no WiFi up at all. I also have a nexus 5 witch works perfect on WiFi so I’ll end this convo because you don’t have a clue and for the apps on your 6+ are been blow up to fit the screen cloth eyes get ur head out ur arse.

      • Kamran Mackey

        Actually, all my apps are already optimized for the 6+.

      • Fevostone

        Go way you haven’t got a clue. Your brain isn’t optimised for this convocation.

  • jack

    no word correction (red underlining)

  • Bangali

    Actually, if you start typing the next word, the previous word is pushed into the document. Still find that annoying but its a bit better. Also, love the feature where you can swipe up and down on certain keys to get numbers/punctuations. But it doesn’t feel anywhere near as smooth as Swiftkey. Maybe those two should merge!

  • Alex Nathan Gerstein

    It seems like they fixed slot of the problems in the new update. Words appear as you are typing now.