iOS 8 to Include Support for System Wide Third-Party Keyboards

Monday June 2, 2014 11:45 AM PDT by Richard Padilla
Apple today announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference that iOS 8 will support system wide third-party keyboards.

ios8_third_party_keyboards
The company showed something that appeared to resemble the popular-gesture based keyboard Swype running on iOS 8, as software chief Craig Federighi noted that keyboards have the most restrictive sandbox to ensure user privacy and safety.

To this point, third-party keyboards such as SwiftKey Note and Flesky have launched for iOS, although their integration has been limited to note-taking in a separate app and allowing app developers to incorporate their keyboard, respectively. With this announcement, it is likely that both keyboards will launch for iOS with full integration at some point in the future.

Support for third-party keyboards will be included with iOS 8, with the new mobile operating system expected to launch this fall.

Related roundups: iOS 8, iOS 8 Features

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 21 weeks ago
The first third party keyboard I want, is one that actually changes the letter case on the keys depending on shift mode... just like every other software keyboard on the planet.

It's always been insane that, especially after mocking physical keyboards, Apple's own soft keyboard acts like a physical one by staying in uppercase.

(Plus I've lately had to explain to new iPad users why they're not typing what they think. Especially when iOS goes into auto-uppercase at the beginning of a sentence. That's can be very confusing to new iOS users, because while it's nice when you get used to it, it's unexpected, and they try to hit Shift which actually puts in back into lowercase mode.)
Rating: 9 Votes
Posted: 21 weeks ago
Come on! Extensions is MASSIVE - interaction between apps is here! This is SO much more than just third party keyboards!
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 21 weeks ago

wonder why they dont allow the same extension API to let dev put "widgets" in the notification center


Uh... They do...
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 21 weeks ago

The first third party keyboard I want, is one that actually changes the letter case on the keys depending on shift mode... just like every other software keyboard on the planet.

It's always been insane that, especially after mocking physical keyboards, Apple's own soft keyboard acts like a physical one by staying in uppercase.

(Plus I've lately had to explain to new iPad users why they're not typing what they think. Especially when iOS goes into auto-uppercase at the beginning of a sentence. That's can be very confusing to new iOS users, because while it's nice when you get used to it, it's unexpected, and they try to hit Shift which actually puts in back into lowercase mode.)


The worst is when you leave on autocapitalize and you intend to type a key which normally requires you press the shift key (?) but instead it presses the non-shifted variety (.)... so instead you have to press it twice...except not too quickly or it turns into caps lock and still doesn't type the character you wanted. :rolleyes:
Rating: 5 Votes
Posted: 21 weeks ago
Bye jailbreak
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 21 weeks ago

i wonder how that will work thought. devs can offer a keyboard in the appstore and it somehow gets deeper access into ios to make it work anywhere? or will apple pick some keyboard by devs and allow them as an option built into ios8


It uses the extension APIs to replace the default UI while remaining sandboxed without network connectivity (unless the user allows it). They will probably be offered in the App Store.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 21 weeks ago
Swype is coming! :)
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 21 weeks ago
Android freely years ahead
Thank you
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 21 weeks ago

Yes but the difference is google likely won't sure apple over swype.


That's because Swype isn't Google's to begin with. In fact, it was Google that created a Swype clone, which was silly because you could install Swype on Android to begin with. On an iOS device, you will be able to actually install Swype, not some Swype look-alike.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 21 weeks ago

Yes but the difference is google likely won't sure apple over swype.


Google didn't invent Swype typing.....that would be Nuance - at least their app, Swype, was around before Google added it to the default Android keyboard.

Actually, Google took a bunch of 3rd party keyboard ideas and mashed them into the stock keyboard. Don't think there's anything "original" there.

Yet again shows, there's nothing new - its all been done in one form or another. Its the implementation that counts. In this case, Apple opening up to 3rd party devs isn't copying - simply shifting direction. They're also being far more cautious about it it seems with a specific extensions api that allows this type of thing in a highly sandboxed environment.

Implementation =/= feature.

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I was just about to say this. Swype typing is so hard to give up. And if a bigger iphone comes out, they will have me as a customer for life (especially if they figure out the Reminders app bugs)


I'll be all over the Swype keyboard if they release it on iOS. Loved that about my Android phones. Looking forward to it on my iPhones and iPads!
Rating: 2 Votes

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