Friday is iPhone 6 delivery day, but today is iOS 8 upgrade day for current iPhone owners. At some point on Wednesday, Apple will open the floodgates and tens of millions of older iPhones will be refreshed with a significant software update. I pointed out six of the newest useful features in iOS earlier this week and wanted to focus on one of them: Did you know that the most used “app” on a smartphone is actually the keyboard?
According to Fleksy, its software keyboard is used 180 times per day, on average. And of course, now that iOS 8 supports third-party keyboards, Fleksy and others want you to download theirs from the [company]Apple[/company] App Store. Here are a few worthwhile keyboard options for iOS 8:
Fleksy is fast and accurate
How else can you describe a keyboard that was used for the world-record mobile typing speed-test? Fleksy brings custom themes, colors and sizes to your keyboard, along with 847 emoji. It includes fast word prediction and can even be made invisible if you’re a really good typist. I’ve always been impressed with how Fleksy can take what looks like mistyped gibberish and auto-correct with near-perfect accuracy.
SwiftKey is smart and swypes
Long a staple on [company]Google[/company] Android phones, SwiftKey excels at word prediction. If you allow access, the app can actually learn how you communicate through your social network and email interaction. While some may not opt to provide that insight, I can vouch for how well it works if you do: SwiftKey becomes more much personalized and works better for the way you type. The free app also supports swype-style input, called SwiftKey Flow, so you can type full words without lifting a finger after each letter. The word prediction is so good, though, you won’t need to type as many letters as you might think.
Minuum expands and contracts
Minuum shares features found on other iOS 8 keyboards but also has a style of its own. You can actually resize the keyboard from a traditional, full-sized view down to a very minimal set of keys. The latter choice lets you keep a keyboard on the screen while showing more of an app’s content since Minuum takes up far less space. You’ll have to depend heavily on the app’s auto-correct in minimal mode, though: Every key actually corresponds to multiple letters in order to save space. Auto-correct is optional when Minuum is in full-sized mode, so it’s helpful for teaching the app new words to later use in the space-saving mode.