XDA Basics: How to install and use a third-party keyboard on your iPhone
Apple’s built-in iPhone keyboard doesn’t get a lot of attention and love. Every once in a while, the company will tweak its design or add a major feature, such as typing by swiping. Otherwise, the set of keys millions of us depend on every day to communicate remains the same. iOS has supported third-party keyboards for years. However — as you’d expect –they don’t have the same privileges as the built-in one.
For example, when you want to input passwords, the stock keyboard still shows up, rather than the third-party one in use. This is a welcome protective measure to prevent third-party developers from collecting sensitive user information. But it does break the consistency of using one keyboard for everything on your iPhone. Additionally, third-party ones take a few split seconds longer to pop up when compared to Apple’s. Regardless of that, there are plenty of reasons to install and use a third-party keyboard on your iPhone, so below are the step you need to follow.
How to install and use a third-party keyboard on your iPhone
- Ensure your iPhone is running iOS 8 or later in the Settings app.
- Go to the App Store and click on the Search tab in the bottom right corner.
- Tap the Search bar on top and search for keyboard.
- View the list of results and choose the one that appeals to you the most.
- Download it and wait for it to install on your iPhone.
- Launch it from its App Store page or the Home Screen.
- Head to the Settings app > General > Keyboard > Keyboards and click on Add New Keyboard.
- Select the name of the keyboard you’ve just installed under the Third-Party Keyboards section.
- Once you add the keyboard, click on its name to choose whether you want to grant it full access or not. Apple will display a warning that allowing Full Access for a keyboard will enable it to transmit the data its collecting. So if you don’t trust the developer of the keyboard, don’t allow it. You can toggle it back off at any time if you change your mind.
- Launch the third-party keyboard app you’ve installed to adjust its settings. It may prompt you to switch the input method by holding on to the globe icon. Do so.
- Voila! Now you can use the new keyboard across your favorite apps.
- If you want to permanently switch back to Apple’s keyboard, you can always delete the third-party keyboard app.
Personally, I use Apple’s keyboard exclusively. My biggest feature request was a swipe to type option, and that was added a while ago. Gboard has a feature I could really use, which is instant translations built directly into the keyboard. Apple Translate doesn’t support Turkish, and — as a resident of Istanbul — communicating with the locals can be a challenge. However, Gboard for iPhone hasn’t been updated in months and sometimes crashes on the latest iOS version. So I really can’t tolerate using it. There are a lot more Android keyboard options, so check those out if you use an Android smartphone.
Which keyboard do you use on your iPhone? Let us know in the comments section below.