The iPhone’s auto-correct function is a source of endless entertainment and frustration for iOS users. Although most users probably don’t stop and think about it, Apple’s keyboard is, in part, to blame for this comedy of errors. If you’re an Android user, or you know someone who is, you know the keyboard that comes preinstalled on your device isn’t the only option out there.
For years, Swype, SwiftKey, Fleksy, and more took over millions of Android smartphones as the default keyboards, while iOS users looked on enviously. But ever since June 2014, iOS users have been downloading alternative keyboards like crazy. Here are all our favorites.
Gboard is a new keyboard from Google for your iPhone. The keyboard is simple in that it includes everything you’d ever want within a single app. Whether you are sending GIFs, emojis, searching through Google for information, sending directions, or something else, Gboard has you covered. No more app switching; just search and send, directly from your keyboard. With Gboard, you can search and send anything from Google, including information on nearby restaurants, videos, images, weather forecasts, news, sports scores, and more. The app also adds Glide Typing, which allows you to type messages faster and more accurately.
SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS is a smart keyboard that learns from you, replacing the iPhone’s built-in keyboard with one that adapts to the way you type. SwiftKey Keyboard is loaded with tons of features that make typing even easier, including multilingual typing, support for over 800 emoji, and speedy swipe typing with SwiftKey Flow. With the app users can type less, type more accurately, type your way and in your language. SwiftKey offers support for over 20 languages including four versions of English, two kinds of Portuguese, Italian, German, two kinds of French, and three kinds of Spanish. The app also allows users to customize their message apps with colorful themes.
Fleksy offers users a fun and interactive way to type in your own way and your own style. Flesky lets you customize your keyboard with powerful extensions and more than 35 colorful themes. Some of the themes cost $1, but many are free. More than 800 emoji come with the app, and it also has its own GIF search engine built in. The keyboard supports 40 languages including English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, Hebrew, Dutch, and more. It learns your typing habits as you go to give you accurate predictions, which helps cut down on typos.
Swype has finally come to iOS. The third-party keyboard is incredibly intuitive that can accurately predict what users wish to type or swipe. The keyboard has an extensive emoji collection, seamless regional dialect support, and offers users five free themes with more that can be purchased. Swype gestures allow you to quickly enter symbols, punctuation and capital letters, making texting quick and effortless. You can also add or remove words from your personal dictionary to avoid auto-correction. Users will also find customizable keyboard layouts and much more.
With Minuum users can type faster, see more screen and take control of autocorrect. Minuum is a smart keyboard that learns more with every word you write. You can rely on the powerful autocorrect tool, choose from multiple word predictions, or turn autocorrect off completely. Minuum is the best keyboard for typing comfortably on smaller devices. The app makes it easier than ever to type one-handed or in landscape mode. Some of the features included in the keyboard are smart emoji, international language support with over 13 languages, beautiful themes, keyboard shortcuts, dictionary control, and much more.
Taphive’s Themeboard keyboard for iOS lets users choose from themes created by leading designers. Many of the themes are free, but some of the fancier ones will cost you a $1, and theme packs are typically priced at $2. In addition to looking pretty, Themeboard’s keyboard can predict what you’ll type, auto capitalize, correct errors, show suggestions, and so on. There’s also a handy emoji bar on top that you can customize with your favorite emoji in settings. It also supports a few languages, including English, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese.
The Kwiltkeys app brings all your photos together in one place, so you don’t have to go hunting for them on all the various social networks and cloud platforms you use. No matter which messaging app you use, whether it be Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage, or something else, KwiltKeys gives you access to all your photos right from the keyboard. You never have to leave the app to share a picture that’s not in your camera roll. To share a photo, you simply tap it and long press in the text entry field to paste it into the message. When you’re done, you just tap back into your other keyboard.
Remember playing hangman with your best friend during boring classes at school? Well, now you can do it on your phone, instead of in your spiral notebook. A new keyboard app called HangKeys lets you play hangman with your friends in any messaging app. You simply create the puzzle, and send it to your friend. If they guess wrong, they’ll earn a body part in the message thread, just like they would on paper. If they get it right, they’ll continue on without penalty. Theoretically, you could play hangman in group chats with your friends. Imagine the possibilities!
Bitmoji is the perfect keyboard app for iOS users who prefer to send depictions of themselves instead mere texts. With Bitmoji, users are able to create and send their very own emoji directly from their keyboard. You can easily create an expressive avatar and then choose from a growing library of moods and stickers, all of which utilize your avatar. Moreover, if you’re one of the millions of people with a Bitstrips avatar, you can simply download the app, sign in using your Facebook account, and have instant access to your personal avatar and collection.
For those moments when only hand-drawn messages will do, there’s DrawType, a new keyboard app for iOS that lets you draw anything you want and send it as a picture in your favorite messaging app. It also has its own keyboard for normal typing. You can choose between a few different colors; there’s a back button for when you make mistakes. Once you’re satisfied with your picture, tap the button with an arrow pointing up, and you can either copy it and paste it into the message field, or save it to your Camera Roll. Your creations may look like the sort of thing you used to make in Microsoft paint back in your childhood, but it’s decidedly fun to use.
Ever wish you could talk to someone in their native language even if you don’t speak it? Well, now there’s a keyboard app for that. Slated is an alternative keyboard that automatically translates whatever you type into another language. The app currently supports over 80 languages. The app works with iMessage, WhatsApp and many other messaging apps. You can also use it to translate passages of text from one language to another. Like any translation app, it has difficulties with colloquialisms and complex sentences, but even it’s still possible to understand the translation. Slated is expensive at $10, but it’s bundled with the voice translator Alo.
Not sure how to express yourself in any other way? Say it with a GIF. Riffsy’s GIF Keyboard lets you search through millions of animated GIFs, some with music, and some without. The GIFs are separated into categories for those of you who don’t have a particular one in mind. Customize your keyboard with the GIFs you love the most and create collections of your favorite GIFs. The app works with your favorite messengers and social networks including iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Email. Just long-press on a GIF to pull up options to share the GIF, Video, link or save to camera roll.