Finally, to the delight of many iPhone and iPad fans, Apple has opened the door to third-party keyboards with the release of iOS 8. It's a freedom Android owners have enjoyed forever. But now, in a few simple steps, iOS 8 users can get in on the fun.
Sure, Apple improved its own keyboard in iOS 8; it now lets you tap word suggestions. Plus, iOS 8 predicts what you're likely to want to say next, based on your previous conversations and writing style when writing to specific people.
However, you still can't trace-type to spell a word, as you can with SwiftKey or Swype. And Apple's standard keyboard is not smart enough to switch between uppercase and lowercase based on the context.
The installation process is a bit different from that of your average app or game. Start by downloading the app. Then, open Settings. Tap General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard. Then, pick your new option from the list.
You will be asked to provide the app with full access, and some apps' privacy settings are more dubious than others. (So read the fine print.) Look for keyboards that don't store and share your data. You can refuse full access, but then you won't get all the keyboard's bells and whistles.
To find out which iOS keyboard is the best alternative to the standard one, we put six of the options to the test. Here's what we found.