Apple announced third-party keyboard support for iOS 8 at the Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, and for the very first time, we now get an opportunity to see how a user will go about installing a keyboard downloaded from the iTunes Store.
We’re pretty familiar with the rigmarole of downloading an app or game from Apple’s famed App Store, but given how this the first time that the Cupertino giant has opened up sections of its ecosystem for third parties to manipulate, we’ve been itching to learn how the process will play out for keyboards.
TouchPal is one of a number of well-established keyboard makers to pledge the development of an iOS version, and has already gotten to work on building it in advance of iOS 8’s projected September release. By virtue of a video previewing TouchPal’s early alpha build of the new keyboard, we get a close-up look at how a user can interchange their keyboard at will, and rather unsurprisingly, the process is not dissimilar to how one might currently go about, say, adding the keyboard of another language.
In fact, it’s identical to this, and once you’ve selected your downloaded keyboard – in this case, TouchPal – from the Third-Party Keyboards list, all you need to do is hit Done and you’re good to go.
The video then goes on to showcase some of TouchPal’s great features and quirks, but as we already know, it won’t be alone it its quest to woo iOS device owners once the new software finally does hit the end user. In fact, the likes of Swype, SwiftKey and Fleksy have all announced that they too will be on board, and given how long iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users have had to tolerate the AutoCorrect-beset stock iOS keyboard, it’s likely that the aforementioned companies will be fighting over a sizeable target market.
Even though we know how well the likes of TouchPal perform on Android, though, it will be intriguing to see whether said prowess is carried over to iOS.
Rest assured that when iOS 8 is rolled out by Apple, we’ll have in-depth review and comparisons of all the best third-party keyboards on offer over at the App Store, and who knows – perhaps some new, lesser-known companies will join the fold and give TouchPal, SwiftKey et al something to think about.
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