One of the biggest moves by Apple at its iOS 8 announcement is to open up its platform for third-party keyboard apps. It’s not so much that the default iOS keyboard was bad, but the fact that its autocorrect engine has spawned countless blogs dedicated to “autocorrect fails” says a lot about the need of an alternative. With iOS 8 set to be available for download today, third-party keyboard apps will now be available, in addition to the new QuickType virtual keyboard for iOS 8.
Two of the most popular third-party keyboard apps on Android are SwiftKey and Swype. These apps not only have superior word prediction engines compared to both iOS and Android’s stock keyboards, and support gesture input; swipe away at each letter to magically form a word. Some say this is a more efficient method of text input, but others would prefer a better word prediction engine.
Regardless, these two apps will be available on the Apple App Store once iOS 8 is available for download later today. Swype will be available for $0.99, while SwiftKey will be available for free. Both apps’s prediction engine get better with use, but SwiftKey’s cloud-syncing capability lets you take your entire prediction history and saved words from the Android app to iOS; you won’t have to teach SwiftKey your colloquial swear words another time.
SwiftKey has already announced that its app will be available today, but at the time of writing both apps are still not available at the App Store. That should change once users receive their notification to update to iOS 8.