Fleksy keyboard (teaser 001)

For the past two-and-a-half weeks, I’ve been checking out the top third-party keyboard apps for iOS 8. Hopefully, my first-look reviews have helped some of our readers to figure out which one is the perfect match for them. Maybe you’ve already tried them all yourself and don’t need my opinion.

Today, we’ve got a round up of the best third-party keyboard apps that I’ve tried out so far. I’m sure there will be more to come, but this preliminary list should help you narrow down which keyboard suits your needs. Feel free to let us know which is your favorite in the comments section.

Brightkey

Brightkey 1

If you prefer your layout to be as similar to Apple’s stock keyboard as possible while still having a different look then this is your best bet. The keys are in all the right places, but you can choose from eight different colors. Plus, the nifty quick response feature makes it possible for you to send common phrases with one tap. My favorite feature is the spacebar cursor. Swipe your finger across the spacebar to the left or right to scroll through letters. This keyboard is available for free.

TouchPal

TouchPal 1

TouchPal is mainly a swiping keyboard, but also allows for tap typing. It includes predictive word suggestions and auto-correct, but does not display the word in a document until you hit the spacebar. The keyboard layout is familiar, but offers one nice advantage. Numbers are accessible right from the letter keypad and they are displayed on the face of each key. The best feature of this app is its extensive and very easy access to emoticons. It also includes eight brightly colored skins so you can have a different one every day. This keyboard is available for free.

Swype

Swype Keyboard 3

After testing more than half-a-dozen different types of keyboards, my favorite has to be Swype. It has a smooth swipe-to-type option, but also allows for tap typing. The five different skins are more than just colors. They are images. The predictive word suggestion is incredible and the keyboard will remember new words in the future. The auto-correct works nearly perfectly every time. One especially nice feature is that you don’t have to allow full access for the keyboard to work on your device. Everything you do is stored locally. This keyboard is available for $0.99.

MyScript Stack

MyScript Stack 1

If handwriting is your game, then this app is where it is at. With it, you can literally handwrite all of your words. All you have to do is start scribbling on the blank board and this app will identify the letter and transfer it to the document. The auto-correct and predictive word suggestion will help you if your handwriting is terrible. You can also change the color of the “ink.” It definitely isn’t good for those looking to write quickly. Typing is just faster. However, it sure is fun to show off to your friends. This keyboard is available for free.

KuaiBoard

KuaiBoard 1

This keyboard companion app makes it possible for you to prewrite what you want to say and then use the template to respond with one tap. In the app, fill out your TextBoards with standard text like, “Dear Mom, I need to borrow money again this month.” Then, open up a document you wish to type into, like email, and tap the template card. Everything in the TextBoard will appear in the document with one tap. You can also enter your personal information to use as quick fills for website forms. This keyboard is available for $1.99.

Minuum

Minuum

If you prefer screen space to keyboard space, you will love this layout. The entire keyboard can be squished down to two rows, no joke. In order to offer such an amazing feature and still make it possible for people to actually type words, the developers worked painstakingly hard to deliver the absolute best auto-correct engine. It has, by far; the best auto-correct I’ve tested. When reduced to two rows, the app will figure out what word you are probably trying to type and even offer it up ahead of time with predictive suggestions. This keyboard is on sale for $1.99.

SwiftKey

SwiftKey 1

SwiftKey’s focus is on coming up with the most personalized predictive word suggestions possible. When you sign into the cloud feature and log into Facebook, the app will automatically recognize words you use regularly. So, if you tend to use the phrase, “Let’s get drunk tonight,” a lot, the app will offer you that phrase as predictive word suggestions as soon as you type the letter “L.” Because it stores your typing habits in the cloud, you can use the app on multiple devices and it will work seamlessly across them all. This app is available for free.

Fleksy

Fleksy 1

Take the tap out of typing and replace it with gestures and you’ll get Flesky. Thanks to the gesture-based features, the app has been recognized by Guinness as the world record holder for fastest touch-screen text messaging. You can swipe to space and swipe to delete words. You can also swipe up or down to switch between different predictive word options. Swipe with two fingers to minimize the screen. Switch between letters and numbers by holding down a key to get additional options. It comes with six bright colors and you can add six more with an in-app purchase. This app is available for $0.99.

Check out these other iOS 8 keyboard apps

  • basilis

    unless ios 8 improves how keyboards are being handled, no mattter how hard they try, result will be the same. i absolutely love fleksy, but countnt stand with it more than 3 days…

    • Ali Nadeem

      What’s wrong with how iOS 8 handles third party keyboards out of curiosity?

      • There’s a really annoying lag when the 3rd party keyboard shows up, for example at spotlight. It gives me the feel i’m not on iOS :c

      • Sleaka J

        There’s also the fact that you can only use the stock keyboard when replying to a text message from the lock screen. You can’t even switch to a 3rd party keyboard, there’s no globe. I used Swype for a while, but it’s this reason alone I went back to using the stock keyboard.

      • basilis

        daily crashes, keyboards disappearing,spotlight failing every now and then to launch with keyboard

    • Leonard Wong

      Strongly Agree!

    • I agree. I always go back to the stock keyboard.

  • Manhal Baghdadi

    cant wait until someone makes a swipeselection like keyboard !!

    • Ahmed Karoui

      You might want to have a look at “Swipe Cursor” on the App Store!

      • Manhal Baghdadi

        I dont want to risk and buy it…until i hear a review..

        Anyway thanks 🙂

      • Manhal Baghdadi

        Brightkey does it..just swipe on the space bar

      • Ahmed Karoui

        I’m currently using minuum! i really like it! the small layout needs some getting used to, though, but the keyboard does a very good job predicting what you type, as mentioned in the article.

      • Manhal Baghdadi

        that the problem tha I have…I don’t always type in english while using th English keyboard..

    • My only reason to stay on jailbroken iOS 7 probably. Cant live without my swiping and selecting with the shift buttons.

  • Osama Muhammed

    ikeywi

    • rain111

      Too buggy and I would not recommend it just yet, I had to turn mine off.

  • jack

    why can’t we still move the cursor by swiping the keyboard

    • BrightKey does this, but it’s only in english :c

  • Keabsy

    When I’m finally able to quick reply from the lockscreen with a third party keyboard, that’s when I’m actually going to use them.

    • GuyBey0ndC00L

      The picture has your answer

      • Keabsy

        Yeah I know that, but that’s a real bummer. Why can’t we use the keyboard when someone can already reply to our texts? It makes no sense.

      • Leo

        Because you are essentially using the app as the keyboard.. If they allowed keyboards through the solid wall Apple has built then think of all the hacks that would occur

  • SkyFall

    For those who say “they wish there was a keyboard that allowed to move the cursor by swiping” Apple opened up the API in July and the development of swipe-selection is working on an Swipe-selection iOS 8 keyboard.

  • I need a voice dictation option on my keyboard on my 6 Plus

    • jaysoncopes

      That is definitely what the Siri Dictation integration that came out in iOS 6 is for.

      • I’m talking about the mic button on the stock iOS keyboard that enables speech to text

      • jaysoncopes

        Also known as “Siri Dictation.”

      • Terry Rosenlund

        That is not an option on IOs8 keyboards, no 3rd party keyboards can use the voice dictation as in the mic on the keyboard at this point.

  • Micky Ganon

    ios 8 did not give us freedom. Apple left it like that, we will have no choice and we will continue to use the default keyboard, the rest of the other keyboards just do not work as good as Android.

    • Kr00

      Then use Android and stop coming here to tell people what they should be using.

      • Micky Ganon

        You’re a fool, and you know why?
        I have the right to criticize Apple, that Im Apple customer , and as much as I can tell you not to jailbreak your iPhone ever and you should be using Android instead

      • Kr00

        Angry man syndrome? Take a chill pill buddy. This IS an Apple forum. You trolls can’t let people enjoy their world without making nasty, angry, juvenile, hateful comments all over the place. What is your problem anyway?

      • Micky Ganon

        Get a life LOSER

      • Kr00

        Intelligence isn’t your strong suit I’m guessing neanderthal man?

      • Hitesh Chandani

        Micky is right.. I too am an Apple User. and we HAVE the right to criticize apple IN THEIR DAMN FORUMS…
        We would love to switch to android because of these shitty flaws apple has it in their phones…
        Because of reasons like these, Apple will LOSE MARKET undoubtedly… It already has started facing so..

  • M L

    Anyone else notice that Swype, being as good as it is….is physically smaller then even the default keyboard. Therefore it makes it harder to use, for me at least.
    If you load both swiftkey and swype and swtich between both and meassure, you will see that swiftkey is about 1/4 taller then swype.

  • Kanwarpal Singh

    TouchPal keyboard is best suited for me. I like its colorful themes and prediction is much improved with the new update. Unlike Lory has told, a new update has solved the problem with text showing only with space bar problem. They have added a lots of new themes too. The reason I like this keyboard is very quick access to numbers and punctuation symbols. The quick delete feature with just a swipe left from the delete key.

  • klouud

    Sorry, nothing beats talk to text with standard keyboard. Also, keyboards seem to be a bit buggy – switching is a hastle and emoji is cumbersome with the extra keyboards. I like stock.

    • Jamessmooth

      Completely agree with you. After juggling thru all my keyboards for a few days, it started to get annoying. Emoji, stock, swift key, minuum… It’s a pain in the ass. As much as I like the swiping idea, the stock keyboard is good enough.

      • Sleaka J

        Totally agree. There’s just areas in iOS where the 3rd party keyboards don’t work and I want to use them there. I like swiping too, but not enough to put up with the disadvantages of 3rd party keyboards on iOS.

  • the best keyboard i use it is Adaptxt and support more than 40 languages and its free

  • stulaw01

    The problem is they opened up to new keyboards, but not really. Why can’t we use voice dictation on 3rd party keyboards like Android? Why can’t you use a 3rd party keyboard from the lockscreen?

    It just seems half baked still

  • Rares

    Swiftkey is the best keyboard ever. My grammar is perfect even when I am drunk.

  • Andy Gostavo

    am on latest ios7 🙁 anything i can do to change keys ??
    colorkeyboard is not working

    • Kr00

      Third party keyboards are only available on iOS 8 and up.

  • Fase Booc

    I don’t use predictive option but I’d like to use an keyboard with themes only..If I disable that predictive option, and use an App Store keyboard, the space where the text ( predictive place) is empty and looks quite ugly.
    Maybe we’ll have an FREE option soon for themes only keyboards.

  • Fevostone

    The best keyboard is the stock keyboard FACT..!

  • Briggamortis

    Fleksy is my favorite by far….. Having used each for a couple days and trying new themes and ways to type.. Not a huge fan of swipe but that’s my opinion..

  • ElzoRillo

    Path Input works perfectly and it does not “collect or use any of personal information”.

  • Swype and Fleksy are my favorite keyboards

  • larry

    why is it all the 3rd party keyboards don’t use the microphone for voice?

    • Tony Trenkle Jr.

      Apple wont allow it.

  • Manuel Molina

    I don’t see why we can’t get a keyboard that has color keys
    , you can swipe left or right on the space bar to avoid using the magnifier, and one that swipes.

  • Evan

    FYI: Touchpal was updated and now shows the letters as you type. Much better keyboard now.

    • Mike Colacone Saal

      Thanks for letting me know that was the only reason I wasn’t using that one because I thought it was the best keyboard but couldn’t deal with that…. Well the best until nin releases

  • Dani Hayes

    Swipe selection needs to put on the AppStore. Only keyboard worth having.

  • thomas

    Anybody know where I can get this keyboard? It’s the native keyboard in the official YouTube app

  • LN

    Does anyone notice that the stocked keyboard always shows up when you’re in the password field? It looks like Apple doesn’t allow us to input our passwords using third party keyboards

    • Mike Colacone Saal

      Yeah because they can save your keystrokes and apple doesn’t want your password being saved by a third party keyboard

    • Sleaka J

      It’s intentional.

  • Mike Colacone Saal

    Nin coming soon!

  • andrewgoldsmith

    I love the idea of Brightkey, especially the spacebar swipe, but after using it for a few days I’m very disappointed with it’s performance. It feels clumsy and laggy, with animations and reactions delayed to the point that its frustrating and unusable.

  • Matt Dowdy

    for me swiftkey is a bit of a let down so far compared to how it is on android, i put it on an ipod to try it out when i was making my decision whether to switch from android back to iphone and it’s pretty awful by comparison, i am going to try out swype though as it seems to be popular among ios users even though i wasn’t a fan of it on my android phone. for the record swiftkey wasn’t a deal breaker for me and i am awaiting delivery of a 6 plus, i hope that they can quickly bring the standard of the ios apps up to par with their android counterparts

  • Byron C Mayes

    They all have their places. I like SwiftKey because I go back and forth between languages and don’t have to switch keyboards to get accurate German AND English prediction. The learning feature is great, too. This is how it should be on a high-powered computer (which is, after all, what a smartphone is).

    It’d be nice to have that with talk to text, but alas not today. Still the ability to talk to text is easily the best reason to use the stock keyboard. And Apple has greatly improved both recognition and speed with iOS 8.

    MyScript Stack is great for when I’m using a stylus to draw or paint and need to enter some text. No it’s not fast, but neither is putting down the stylus (in a safe place so it doesn’t roll away), calling up the keyboard, positioning my hands, typing, finding the stylus (because it rolled away anyway), and so on. If I’m mainly focused on stylus-based work, MyScript Stack is a real timesaver.

  • totallymichael

    I’m still waiting for SwipeSelection. Anybody know if there’s an update on that one? Not having it is seriously one of the most frustrating parts of losing my jailbreak to get the iPhone 6. The magnifying glass has always been and will always be painfully inefficient.

  • apples4apples

    Is anyone else having trouble with some of the keyboards crashing or slowing down your phone?