That Darn iOS 8 QuickType Keyboard Has Completely Spoiled Me

QuickType for ipad

[I forgot to keep a QuickType screenshot, so I used this QuickType image from Macworld UK]

I tried the iOS 8 beta earlier this summer — right around beta 3 — and loved the experience. Texting from the iPad was great, the new full-screen Safari was great, but the absolute best feature to me was the new QuickType keyboard. I loved being able to blast through words with two or three taps, and glancing just above the keys to see what auto-correct was going to recommend. These modifications to the software keyboard made such a huge difference to how I approached text entry on the iPad. QuickType made typing feel more efficient, and it made auto-correct feel like it was there to actually help, instead of acting like a passive-aggressive jerk (“I know you didn’t mean to type duck, Thomas, but I don’t care”).

I’ve since downgraded to iOS 7 because there are some crucial apps (cough *Evernote* cough) that just don’t work on iOS 8 yet. However, the damage has already been done. I’ve noticed that I type a lot less on the iPad, unless I have a Bluetooth keyboard paired. The experience just isn’t the same. I’ll game, surf, and read on my iPad, but I leave most of the messaging and emailing to my iPhone or Mac. My taste of the beta has totally spoiled me.

This just makes me even more excited for the pending release of iOS 8. The new QuickType keyboard, alongside the slew of other third-party keyboards, are going to be game changers for productivity and messaging on my tablet. I’ve always wanted to be able to carry around just my iPad and Smart Cover, and I truly believe the new software keyboards we’ll see this Fall will allow me to do just that.

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TouchPal: First to Demo a Swipe Typing Keyboard Working on iOS 8

TouchPal is the first keyboard that supports swipe (or slide) typing to offer a video demo working on iOS 8. The demo shows swipe typing in action on an iPhone running an early iOS 8 beta.

It’s hard to gauge how well this TouchPal keyboard will work compared to other leading swipe keyboards just from a demo, but it’s great to see another company pushing ahead with support for this feature. TouchPal joins Swype, SwiftKey, and Fleksy on the list of 3rd party keyboards already in the works for iOS 8.

TouchPal have told Apple Insider that they’ll be making their keyboard available to test for some iOS 8 beta users ‘in coming weeks’. I’m going to need to jump in on one of the iOS 8 betas soon.

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3 Swipe Typing Leaders Already Working on Keyboards for iOS 8

Swype Typing

Image Via: How-To Geek

Last week Apple announced that iOS 8 will allow for 3rd party keyboards – and we’re already seeing some very good news in terms of keyboard offerings we’ll see for the next version of iOS.  3 leading makers of Android keyboards have all made clear that they are working on keyboards for iOS 8.

As MacStories reports, Swype, SwiftKey, and Fleksy have all announced plans for iOS 8 keyboards. They’ve even got a nice quite on the subject from a SwiftKey marketing exec:

“I think it’s obviously a wonderful day for anyone who wants to be productive and use iOS devices,” said Joe Braidwood, chief marketing officer for SwiftKey. “We believe we’ve built a great product that’s made it easier to type on touchscreens, and we’ve got a great community of Android users to prove it. We can’t wait to extend that to iOS. Ultimately, it means people have more choice, and we’re very excited about that.”

I couldn’t agree more and can’t wait to see the range of keyboard options and swipe typing options we end up with in iOS 8.

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Hurrah! iOS 8 Brings Keyboard Choices

IOS8 Keyboards

Apple’s WWDC keynote event yesterday was full of good news for iPad users and iOS and Mac fans too. Thomas did a great job of running down lots of the most exciting and powerful new iOS 8 features last night.

One of those that I am the most pumped up about is support for 3rd party keyboards. Swipe typing capability has been at or near the top of my iOS and iPad wish list for a long while now.  With my new day job I now use a Nexus 7 heavily and my last 5 phones have all been Androids too. So I’ve become a huge fan of swipe typing. It is a pure joy to use and makes me far faster and more effective at taking notes at client sites, managing email and texts, and in so many ways when using my mobile devices.

Typing on the iPad has become a slow, frustrating experience ever since I discovered the joy of swipe typing.

In amongst all the impressive new features of iOS 8 I will definitely be getting some big-time satisfaction the first time I’m able to choose a great swipe typing capable keyboard as my system default on the iPad.

Which iOS 8 features are you most looking forward to on the iPad?

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iOS 8 Forecast: Cloudy With A Chance of Everything I Wanted


icloud driveToday I found out that Apple has been snooping through my diary and reading iPad Insight. That’s really the only way they could have put out such a magical keynote for iOS 8 (and OS X) today that felt like it was plucked straight from a dream. Patrick already offered his quick impressions of the iOS 8 announcement, but because there is simply so much to talk about, I wanted to offer up some of the choicest bits gleaned from today’s presentation. Today was a veritable software feast, and I hadn’t realized how hungry I was.

Calls and SMS from iPhone, Handoffs

This is exactly the kind of experiential continuity I’ve been looking for from Apple. The iPhone on iOS 8 will now act as a sort of telephony hub for the iPad and Mac, allowing them to receive texts and calls, and respond to them. Handoffs seems like it could have some very interesting uses, almost like an anticipatory AirDrop functionality. There are so many times where I walk back to my Mac and want to view the webpage on my iPhone on a big screen. Handoffs will make that step even easier, and I’m looking forward to seeing third-party apps integrate this as well. I’m also really glad that Apple included third-party support for Handoffs right from the start, instead of making us wait another year.

[click to continue reading…]

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