Here’s How you’ll be able to install and use Custom Keyboards like TouchPal in iOS 8

touchpal 2
One of the most unexpected announcements out of WWDC was that iOS 8 will support custom, third-party keyboards. A number of popular keyboard makers like SwiftKey, Swype, Fleksy have all announced plans to launch their keyboards in the App Store.

TouchPal, another third-party Swype-like, gesture-based keyboard, already has an alpha release of its keyboard ready for iOS 8, just three weeks after WWDC, and let some media outlets play with the alpha. MacRumors posted a hands-on of the TouchPal keyboard, detailing how the installation process would work with these custom keyboards. Given that custom apps don’t really need a separate home screen icon, it was interested to know how Apple implemented the installation procedure.
touch pal installation
From MacRumors:
Installation is straightforward, leveraging a traditional App Store app to add TouchPal as an option when adding new keyboard in the Settings app. Once TouchPal is added, users can simply rearrange their installed keyboards in their preferred order, and rotate through each one while in use by tapping the globe key. Users who have activated the emoji keyboard on their devices will be familiar with that process.
We’ve already seen how TouchPal works post installation in a previous hands-on video:
TouchPal’s gesture-based input method works very similar to Swype, where you swipe to each letter you intend to type without lifting your finger. The keyboard automatically figures out which word you wanted to type based on this input.
Custom keyboards will be available in all iOS apps, but will run in the most restricted sandbox with no network access to protect user’s privacy. However, you will get an option to grant network access, which would be required for most of the third-party keyboards offer QuickType like predictive keyboard. You will get a prompt to give network when you install the third-party keyboard app, and you should be able to change in via the Settings.
MacRumors notes that there were some glitches while switching keyboards, and Apple as well as third-party developers will iron out these issues as we approach iOS 8′s public release.
[via MacRumors]


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