I was lucky enough to be one of the first few beta testers to try out the TouchPal third-party keyboard for iOS 8. In order to download the beta version of this keyboard, you have to be invited and you also have to be running iOS 8 beta 1 or 2 (preferably beta 2). Note: I am using an iPhone 5s running iOS 8 beta 2.
In my first few days using the TouchPal keyboard, I am blown away. Keep in mind though, I’ve never owned an Android device with third-party keyboard capabilities; therefore, I’ve never used a keyboard apart from Apple’s own.
The TouchPal keyboard sports gesture-based input similar to that of Swype. TouchPal also supports auto-correct and predictive word suggestions, like Apple’s new QuickType keyboard.
I have found that TouchPal’s keyboard, for the most part runs fairly smoothly considering iOS 8 is still in beta as well as the keyboard itself. Of course there are going to be bugs, like anything in beta, but the only considerable bug I have found is when switching back to Apple’s stock keyboard. Switching to the TouchPal keyboard is a piece of cake; however, when you want to switch back to the stock keyboard, it doesn’t align properly. Closing the app your in by pressing the home button and reopening the app does the trick and fixes the issue.
As for the gesture-based swiping feature, it works well and is pretty accurate. It also does a good job at predicting what I’m going to say, when I’m going to say it.
Also just so you know, TouchPal will be releasing new beta versions bi-weekly, so if there are any major changes, I’ll be sure to let you know. The people at TouchPal are already aware of some bugs and are working on some changes and design tweaks.
Is there anything you guys want to know more of regarding TouchPal’s third-party keyboard for iOS 8? Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section down below and don’t forget to give me a shout on Twitter – @malloriedeaton.