[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.