Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with QuickType and other keyboard enhancements, part of iOS 8 New Features.
The virtual keyboard is seeing some really useful changes in iOS 8. With the new QuickType feature and support for installing third-party keyboards, there's a lot to work with. Let's start with QuickType. The great thing about having a virtual touchscreen keyboard is that it can change and adapt depending on your needs. I'm going to open up Email and I'm going to create a new message. You may already know that when you're in a field to write in an email address for your recipient, there's a certain keyboard layout. In this case, there's an at symbol and a period button down here at the bottom of the keyboard because you're definitely going to use those keys when you type in an email address.
But when you tap on the body of the email, the keyboard changes. The at symbol and the period are no longer there. They're replaced by a much bigger space bar, which is what you're going to need when you're typing out your message. But you probably noticed something else. This bar up here at the top of the keyboard is called the QuickType bar and this is a new feature in iOS 8. This is a predictive system. As you type your message, it's going to suggest words to you that you can simply drop in with a single tap. Let's see how it works.
I'm going to start typing my message. And I'm going to stop right here because I was typing the word schedule and you can see that the QuickType keyboard is already suggesting some options based on what it thinks I'm about to type. I've got an option here for schedule. I've also got an option here for schedule a. It's actually predicted the word I'm about to type and the next word that I was going to type. If I want to keep exactly what I typed as I typed it, I could hit this option over here on the left. But in this case, I was going to type schedule a, so I'm going to tap on that, and it fills in the suggestion.
Now it's trying to predict the next word that I'm going to type and it actually did guess correctly. I was about to type in the word meeting. So I can choose that here and it fills it in. And it continues to do that. It continues to offer more suggestions as you go. Now, I don't have to take those suggestions. I could just go ahead and continue typing normally. But when there is a suggestion, particularly on a long word, it's a lot faster to choose a suggestion than continue typing. I'm going to start a new line here, and I'm going to type something else. Now I've typed the word meeting, but I intentionally spelled it wrong.
If you've used the iPhone keyboard before, then you know that it has an autocorrect feature built in. It's a little bit different when you're using the QuickType feature. Here in the middle, it's showing me the word that it thinks I meant to type and it's highlighted in white. That's the word that it's going to replace if I use autocorrect. If I don't want to use autocorrect, I could simply tap here on the left and it'll keep the word exactly as I typed it. Now, to take the autocorrect suggestion, there's two ways to do it. Usually, I would just hit the space bar, which would continue typing, and since I'm finished with the word, it'll automatically replace it.
The other way to do it here with QuickType is to just tap on the suggestion and it swaps in the word that I meant to type. So let's do that again with another word. So again, I've typed in important, but I intentionally spelled it wrong. As we saw before, I could tap the suggestion or if I just hit space bar to continue typing, it'll swap in the suggested autocorrect word. Now, if you don't want to use QuickType, you can get rid of the QuickType bar just by swiping down on it to hide it. If I want to bring it back, I just swipe up.
I'm going to hide it for now because I'm going to go ahead and type in meeting again, and I'm going to spell it wrong again, because I want to show you that if you don't have the QuickType bar open, then autocorrect will work just as it did in iOS 7. If I tap the space bar now, it'll swap in the word that it's suggesting. If I want to keep the word exactly as I typed it, I can just tap on it here. But I want to keep the autocorrect suggestion, so I'll hit the space bar. So you'll notice that the QuickType bar isn't there all the time.
It's not there when you're in the recipient field, as we saw before, but it is there when we're in the body of the message. Now, of course, I don't see it here until I swipe up to bring it back. The QuickType bar will be there pretty much anywhere where you're typing in large chunks of text. If you're writing an email, or a note, or a text message, it'll be there. But it won't be there in smaller spaces like when you're typing in an email address or when you're typing in the address to a website in Safari. Another great thing about QuickType is that it learns the words that you tend to use and suggests those more often.
It also gives you different suggestions when you're sending text message from when you're sending an email because you tend to use different words for different types of messages. Another new feature of the keyboard that you might notice is the Emoji button. That's this little smiley face button down here. If you want to drop in smiley faces or other icons in your message, you can just tap that button and it brings you to the Emoji keyboard. You can swipe through to get different ones. If you want just a regular smiley face, you can tap that and it drops it into your message. Now, the Emoji keyboard is really just an alternate keyboard.
The primary use for alternate keyboards is so that people can set up their phones to type in different languages. In iOS 8, they decided to turn on the Emoji option by default, but you can still enable other keyboards or disable the Emoji keyboard if you want. Now, before we see how to add or remove alternate keyboards, notice that all I have to do to switch back to the standard English keyboard is hit this little globe button right here. So, to go to Emojis, I hit the Emoji button, and to go back to the normal keyboard, I hit the globe.
We'll talk more about this in a moment. But let's see how we can add and remove alternate keyboards. I'm going to go into Settings, to General, and I'm looking for the section on Keyboard. I'll choose that. Here inside of the keyboards settings, there's this option that says Keyboards 2. I'm going to tap that. The number 2 is there because I have two keyboards set up. If I wanted to remove the Emoji keyboard, I could just hit Edit, and I could hit the little minus button to remove it, but I don't want to remove it now.
I'm just going to hit Done. To add a new keyboard, I just hit Add New Keyboard here. And let's add something that looks pretty different. I'm going to add the Russian keyboard. There we go. Now I have three keyboards. I'm going to jump back to my email message, and now I don't see the Emoji button. Instead, I see the globe button. The globe button traditionally just swaps between different international keyboards. And now that I have three keyboards set up, it's reverted back to that original look.
So, if I hit the globe button, I switch to my first alternate keyboard, which is Emoji. I hit the globe button again, I switch to my next alternate keyboard, which is Russian. Hit the globe again and I'm back to the English keyboard. So, the globe button is typically what swaps you through these keyboards. So that's how you can add alternate keyboards. Another new feature in iOS 8 is that you can install third-party keyboards. These are keyboards that have been designed by other app developers.
Let's see how that works. going to go home here, and I want to show you that I've installed these two apps, Fleksy and Minuum. And if I go to the App Store, all you need to do is search for these apps in the App Store and install them like any other app. So you can see here in the App Store that I searched for Minuum and I installed that app. Once an app has been installed on your phone that supports alternate keyboards, all you need to do is go into Settings. Back here in the keyboard settings and hit Add New Keyboard.
And I can see that the Fleksy keyboard and the Minuum keyboard have been added to the alternate keyboard list. So I'm going to choose Fleksy to add that. I'm going to add new keyboard again and I'm going to add Minuim. Now, of course, if I ever want to get rid of these, I can hit the Edit button and hit the minus button to remove them. And if I want to change the order, I can just drag them up and down by grabbing that handle on the side. So now I'm going to hit Done. And one more time, I'll flip back to that email message. And now, here I am on my standard English keyboard.
I hit the globe and I'm on the Emoji keyboard. Hit the globe again, I'm on the Russian keyboard. Hit the globe again and now I'm on the Fleksy keyboard. Now, the Fleksy keyboard is just a different layout to the keyboard and it's got more predictive typing options. So I can type a little bit in here. So, as I'm typing, I can see I've got some options up here at the top for alternate words that I might drop in there. Another cool thing about Fleksy is if I want to delete word, I can just swipe to the left and it'll delete an entire word.
To get out of Fleksy, I'm going to hold the globe button. And now it swaps to my fourth keyboard. This is Minuum. The cool thing about the Minuum keyboard is that you can change its size. So if you want your keyboard to be much smaller, you just place your finger on it and drag down, and the keyboard is much smaller. going to drag up again to get it to back to normal size. So you can actually adjust the Minuum keyboard to make it exactly the size that you want. That's a pretty cool third-party keyboard. And one more time, if I hit the little globe, I'm back to the regular keyboard.
So, whether you're typing in a few different foreign languages or if you need a tool for faster typing, you might want to take the time to set up your keyboard options using some of these cool new functions.