I hear a lot of mixed emotions from our readers about third-party keyboards. While only a handful simply don’t like anything but the stock app, many of our readers complain about apps not working correctly. More specifically, about how the stock keyboard keeps showing up instead of the selected third-party keyboard, especially in Messages.
There is a solution to that particular problem, and we’ve got a quick tutorial to help you set your favorite app so that it shows up every time the keyboard appears (except on the Lock screen and when typing your password in iTunes, because that’s Apple’s rule).
Making a keyboard the default on iPhone or iPad
This first part will be familiar to most of you, but I’m going to include it anyway for our readers that didn’t already know how to add third-party keyboards.
Step 1: Open the third-party keyboard app and then exit it.
Step 2: Go To Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard…
Step 3: Select the keyboard you wish to add.
Step 4: If you need to allow full access, tap the keyboard again and toggle the switch to the On position.
O.K., so that’s the part everyone knows. Now, onto the trick that makes third-party keyboards show up every time.
What some people don’t realize is that the order your keyboards are in on the list in the Settings app plays a big role in why your favorite keyboard keeps disappearing.
Step 1: Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards.
Step 2: Tap “Edit” in the upper right corner of the screen.
Step 3: Hold the keyboard you wish to appear every time until it hovers over the others. Then, drag it to the top of the list.
Step 4: Tap Done.
Now, you are ready to go. The third-party keyboard should appear every time from now on. I’ve tested this in a number of different ways to make sure it works every time. I’ve used it in Messages, Facebook Messenger, iTunes search, Spotlight, Gmail Inbox, the stock email app, Safari, and many other apps. I’ve restarted my iPhone. I’ve typed into the Lock screen (this forces it to revert to the stock keyboard as part of Apple’s rules) and it goes back to the third party app when I use Messages or another app again. I’ve switched to the stock keyboard and back again. Every time, the third-party keyboard I have at the top of my list appears first unless I manually change it.
This should help alleviate some of the annoyances that you may have regarding third-party keyboards.
Now that you know about this little trick, check out our previous posts about third-party keyboard apps to see if one of them looks interesting to you.