Though Apple doesn’t let developers create alternatives to the stock keyboard on iOS, of late, we’ve seen developers working around this by creating standalone apps like Fleksy, just for a different keyboard. TouchPal is one such keyboard, which is available for free on the App Store, and, as a bonus for jailbreakers, is also available on Cydia as a system-wide keyboard replacement.
TouchPal brings Swype-like gesture input to the iPhone, letting you type words by swiping over the keys instead of tapping on them individually.
The standalone app on the App Store gives you the Swype keyboard, but restricts the text entry to within the app. It does, however, let you email, message, or copy this text, or even export it to Evernote. The jailbreak version of TouchPal, available on Cydia, appears in the Keyboard section of the Settings app (General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard) like any other stock keyboard, and needs to be enabled from there after installation. From then on, you can use TouchPal’s Swype-entry anywhere on iOS.
You can also use the standard tap based text entry with TouchPal, and the jailbreak tweak even gives you an option to disable Swype entry altogether by tapping the “A” key right next to the Space Bar. The tweak also has a handy prediction bar that pops up words that you’re likely to type, saving you further keystrokes.
Check out TouchPal keyboard in action in iA Writer in the video below:
TouchPal supports English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. You can download the App free from the App Store, or if you’re jailbroken, install the tweak, again free, by searching for “TouchPal” on Cydia. (If you have SwipeSelection installed, TouchPal won’t work)