Swype and SwiftKey, two wildly popular third-party keyboards that have long been available for Android, are making their way to iOS via Apple’s announcement that support for such software will be introduced with iOS 8. Although it wasn’t demonstrated on stage, Swpye was shown in a screenshot during Apple’s announcement of the feature.
SwiftKey’s co-founders had this to say:
We’re delighted Apple has decided to embrace the importance of opening its platform to third party keyboards. For more than four years, SwiftKey and our millions of users have pioneered faster, easier typing on touchscreens, leading the industry with next-word prediction and smarter autocorrection. Our technology features on more than 200 million devices to date and we can’t wait to reach more. We first brought a taste of our technology to iOS in January this year with the launch of the free note-taking app SwiftKey Note. Are we going to build SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS 8? Of course we are. We’ve already started.
Many keyboards have been available on Google’s more-open Android platform for quite some time, but Apple has been hesitant to allow developers of custom keyboards to submit their keyboards for use by iOS device owners. This changed with today’s announcement of iOS 8, along with many other announcements that promise to open Apple’s mobile operating system.
According to Google Play, Swype on Android has as many as 250 million users on Android devices, and the introduction of the keyboard on iOS will likely meet the software with similar or bigger numbers. Swype uses the popular swipe-to-type capability in combination with predictive typing to make entering text much easier.
Notably, Apple today announced its new QuickType keyboard, which brings many features that these third-party keyboards themselves boast. Apple’s keyboard claims to be smarter than most, learning the context of your situation to provide even better predictive typing selections.
For a full list of iOS features, head to our roundup.