iKeywi

As you’ve probably heard, I’ve been less than impressed with the initial round of third-party keyboards to hit iOS 8. I understand a lot of the problem has to do with Apple, and iOS 8’s overall bugginess, but not all of the blame is squarely on its shoulders.

Many of the third-party keyboards have an average implementation, and some of them are just plain bad. With that said, there are a few keyboards that have stood above the rest, as we outlined in our best iOS 8 keyboards post a couple of days ago.

But today, I encountered a familiar name when looking for new third-party keyboards to try. iKeywi, a name that will no doubt ring a bell if you’ve ever been into jailbreaking, is now available as an iOS 8 keyboard.

Needless to say, I immediately paid $0.99 for the privilege to download iKeywi, and I was mighty impressed by what I found. Folks, if you’re at all familiar with some of the more popular jailbreak tweaks, then iKeywi should immediately jump to the top of your must-buy list.

Don’t believe me? Think a tempered version of SwipeSelection (you can’t select text, but you can move the cursor using swipes). And that’s not where it stops. iKeywi adds a fifth row of keys to the keyboard interface, customized key text, customized output, the ability to show letter case, and more. Watch the video inside to see what I mean.

After you install iKeywi, you’ll need to venture to Settings → General → Keyboard → Keyboards → Add New Keyboard, and enable the iKeywi keyboard.

Once the keyboard is enabled, launch the iKeywi app, and begin customizing it to your liking. One of the first things that I recommend that you do is to lower the move speed for the swipe to move cursor function, which is better known as a portion of the SwipeSelection tweak amongst jailbreak circles. Lowering the move speeds allows for better control of the cursor.

iKeywi is the first third-party keyboard app that has me excited again about the possibility of third-party offerings. Hopefully Apple can clean up the bugs related to keyboard crashes.

I also hope that Apple doesn’t bring down the hammer on iKeywi for its use of cursor movement. Perhaps I’m still unclear about Apple’s rules, but it was my understanding that they didn’t plan on allowing this sort of interaction with the cursor from the keyboard. If that turns out to be true, then iKeywi’s days may be numbered on the App Store, at least in its current form. With that in mind, you may want to head to the App Store now and download iKeywi for $0.99 if you want to take it for a spin.

Have you tried iKeywi yet? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts and opinions.

Update: As @Freerunnering points out, the swipe for cursor insertion point methods that iKeywi is using are public, and sanctioned by Apple (added in iOS 8 beta 3). So there’s no need to be knee-jerk and download this if you want to try it. It should remain on the App Store.

  • John

    Download it now before Apple pulls it off the Apple Store!

  • iBanks

    Now…. A third party keyboard I just finally may use.

  • Mr.Coolfreak

    The JB dev who developed swipe selection tweak is still developing his official keyboard for ios 8

    • iBanks

      Sweet

    • And it sounds like it just might be incredible.

    • GadgetQueenn

      I am so excited for this!

  • iBanks

    Sluggish at typing and very sensitive at swipjng, but I likey.

  • Maxim∑

    I always go back to the stock keyboard

    • jaysoncopes

      You clearly have some infatuation with iOS if you’re even here…

    • Umut Bilgiç

      What happened to Windows phone? :0

    • Keith S.

      #PalmOSforever !

      • Lemerio P.

        Lol good laugh. IOS multitasking now is very similar if not the same concept as PalmOS’s to me.

    • Cristian Bustillo

      Then why are you here lol

  • Platy

    The swipe to move cursor is not against Apples rules. They added the code to allow cursor movement in the ios 8 betas. The swipeselection dev said that was the easy part.

    That said, I feel your missing what swipeSELECTION is Jeff, swipe to move is only half the benefit to swipeselection, the other is the selection part. Selecting text is not part of Apples code and therefore would either be banned/denied or just isn’t possible on a non-jailbroken device. (Seems like you have edited your article :P, so ignore this now).

    I’ll still be jailbreaking once ios 8 comes out and using swipeselection tweak, be nice to have both the keyboard and tweak so I can still move the cursor in root apps, but we’ll see.

    • Platy: You’re right. This is a public API, (since iOS 8 beta 3). So I highly doubt iKeywi will get pulled for using it. I’ve updated the post. It’s the first of such keyboard apps to implement this, and I was a bit unclear about what Apple’s restrictions are.

      As far as SwipeSelection goes, I understand that this won’t let you select text, but I think that’s the lesser part of SwipeSelection’s appeal. The swipe to insertion point is the more appealing aspect of SwipeSelection, I feel, for most people, including myself.

      • Umut Bilgiç

        Same here I can live without the selection. What buys me is the cursor swipe

      • mickey

        Selection would be nice but moving the cursor is much more of a pain to me now. What I really want is just the cursor function on the stock keyboard. I’m guessing that won’t happen until a jailbreak.

      • Keith S.

        I’m slightly confused — are we saying you can’t double click and drag to select text if you have the SwipeSelection feature enabled in iKeywi? I have a JB 7.1.2 today with iKeywi and SwipeSelection, and I can do that today. I must be misunderstanding, as this would be an odd regression, and I can’t imagine not being able to copy text. (I mean…again.)

      • Ishootsideways

        We’re talking about iOS 8. NOT jailbroken. Of course that works if you’re on iOS 7. Learn to read man.

        On another note. This may be the first app/tweak that I actually buy

      • Keith S.

        Right, I understand — I was just comparing the functionality before and after. So are we saying that you can’t tap-to-select on the App Store version, and that being able to both swipe the cursor OR hold-and-drag to select requires jailbreaking? That seems hard to believe.

    • deepdvd

      exactly.

    • GadgetQueenn

      Darn, the selection part is just as important as the cursor swiping part. Oh well, can’t have it all 🙁

  • Fevostone

    These keyboards are all good but they all take away the dictation feature (the little mic).

  • Micky Ganon

    Why I can not use it to type the password.?
    God I miss my jailbreak

  • Umut Bilgiç

    Now I can move to iOS 8 lol

    • Micky Ganon

      Do not make this mistake

  • Mike

    As stated in review its a little buggy. I don’t jee the predictive text, in fact I halve it turned off but I cant get it off in iKeywi. I think its the prediction that makes it sluggish. Autocorrects isn’t working nearly as well, the dictation mic is gone, auto fill doesn’t work and personally I would like the option to turn off the 5th dow or kets. If makes then keyboard tiny. Swiping us then inly useful part

    Edit: as you can see I had a difficult time typing with iKeywi.

  • diggitydang

    Anyone else always hitting that globe icon that switches the keyboard around??? So frustrating… and some keyboards have the same icon in slightly different spots, so you can’t just keep tapping until you get the keyboard you want back…

    And dictation is only available on the stock iOS keyboard… ARGH!

    • arthurdutra

      just tap and hold it 😀

  • Rick Aranson

    Great keyboard and (almost) makes me feel jailbroken again. That said, the dictionary/autocorrect is terrible. The dev advises he is working to improve it, but for now it is really subpar. Wish Apple would open up access top its autocorrect/dictionary as well as its voice dictation for 3rd party keyboards.

    • Robin de Groot

      Since iOS8.1 there is a new “Enable Dictation toggle” in Settings > General > Keyboards. This allows you to toggle dictation for the Apple keyboards that you have enabled in the Settings.
      Third-party keyboards gain a dictation option to use a third-party service (e.g. Google Voice Dictation, Dragon Dictation from Swype (which already has a separate iOS app) as opposed to Siri (unfortunately).

      We now have to wait for apps like Swype, Swiftkey, Touchpal, Path Input or iKeywi to support voice dictation within their apps.

      On Android Swype has their own Dragon Dictation build in their app.
      Touchpal has their own voice dictation software. Swiftkey uses the Google Voice dictation.

  • paynis

    I wish there was a way to have BOTH Swype, AND the selection :(. They are both such amazing features that i cant live without.

  • Gary T

    My issue with 3rd party keyboards and it’s actually an issue with Apple not allowing them access, but I use emojis and dictation fairly often and both seem to be locked out for any 3rd party keyboard. Was hoping 8.1 would address this but I guess Apple has their reasons. 🙁

  • Richard

    Keyboard looks awsome. I would really like to get this keyboard but it makes me nervous with all the talk about 3rd party keyboards may not be safe in terms of passwords. Do you guys think this developer/keyboard is safe to download and use? Thanks for your opinions

    • TotallySerious

      In my use, whenever I type in a password, it always switches back to the stock iOS keyboard, so there should be no worry about 3rd party developers stealing your passwords (you can still enter user name/email with other keyboards though)

  • Shawn

    Just got it. The best 3d Party keyboard yet. If only it’d stop crashing every 5 seconds.

  • Jon20

    It looks like the JB Devs are going to do well financially since it looks like they will be double dipping between the App Store and Cydia with these Apps/Tweaks. Good for them.

  • rain111

    Its broke in spotlight, just wouldn’t work if you don’t allow full access, I don’t want to send the dev whatever I type, like my pass and address.

    It needs to function without the full access part, without enabling the full access a lot of the type doesn’t work in many places.

  • evilmonkey07

    now, how do we get rid of the fifth row? keys are way too tiny for my huge fingers. Also, it doesn’t have the same predictive text as the default Apple keyboard. It’s not very intelligent. I wish it worked better. Hopefully an update will come out so that I can actually use it.

  • OrangeCone

    Hello im having problems using this keyboard on the lockscreen when trying to quick reply a text message. Those’s someone else have this issue?

  • Andrew Breyen

    Jeff: How does your phone say T-Mobile WiFi? Is that one of those cell service extenders via wifi things?

  • Brendan

    how do I make this new keyboard stay dark?

    I see no such options

    thanks again

  • Paul

    Wait for nintype. Jormy says its in the last stages. That keyboard will change the third party keyboard panorama.

    • GuyWithTheThings

      Still using nintype on my jailbreak. 🙂 I’ll upgrade to iOS 8 when that keyboard and the JB is out.

  • Deco

    How do you lower the move speed for the swipe like was said in the article?

  • Marco Bartolomeu

    the best keyboard so far

  • Been looking on the internet for a hr to replace my upgrade to a non JB phone. And this is def worth $1 Thank you for the info…

  • regbs

    I thought Apple just worked and Android customization was stupid. Then again, nobody’d ever need a screen bigger than 1″.

  • Marco

    Fantastic keyboard, but it is only for Englisch language 🙁

  • Pretty sure SwipeSelection can select text… You have to do it from the shift key iirc