This article will explain how to install and use custom keyboards in iOS 8. Apple finally introduced custom keyboards with the release of iOS 8. A custom keyboard lets a third-party developer create a keyboard that appears in place of your standard keyboard. You can easily switch between available keyboards. Here is how to install a custom keyboard and then how to set it up and use it along with some troubleshooting tips in case there is a glitch.
1. How to install a Custom Keyboard in iOS 8
Installing a custom keyboard in iOS 8 is very simple. The first step is to go to the App Store and select the custom keyboard that you would like to install. Two of my favorites are SwiftKey and Swype. SwiftKey is available for free and Swype cost $.99. Once you have found the keyboard app you want, simply download it like you would any other app.
Once the app has downloaded, open up the Settings App and go to General –> Keyboard –> Keyboards –> Add New Keyboard…. Once you tap on Add New Keyboard, the list of installed 3rd party keyboards should be available. Tap on the one you want and it will be added to your list of installed keyboards.
2. How to Use Custom Keyboards in iOS 8
Now that you have installed a custom keyboard, you can access it by tapping on the little globe symbol that appears on the keyboard whenever the keyboard is visible. Tapping the globe once will toggle through the available keyboards. Tapping and holding the globe will bring up a list of all available keyboards for you to choose from. Select your new keyboard and enjoy.
Since custom keyboards are a new feature in iOS 8, there may be some glitches as developers figure out how to best implement the new feature. So, if you run into a glitch when running a custom keyboard and you can’t switch out of it (ie. blank keyboard, no keyboard pops up, etc.) then simply navigate to the keyboards section of the Settings App. Find the custom keyboard that has a glitch and swipe left to reveal a Delete option. Once you have deleted the custom keyboard, your normal keyboard will reappear.
Here are links to two of my favorite iOS 8 custom keyboards that will take you directly to the App Store:
Now that custom keyboards are available in iOS 8, it will be interesting to see what developers create over time. Custom keyboards should allow for shortcuts and rapid entry of text that has not been otherwise available on an iOS device.