One of the most significant new features of iOS8 is the option to download and use third party keyboards. Essentially, it allows for what many of us have been eagerly awaiting, the ability to use an app within an app. You can now replace the standard built-in keyboard with other custom and specialized keyboards available through the App Store. The addition of such keyboards may make typing much easier and accessible for children with NF1 who struggle with fine motor skills.
If you are interested in utilizing other third party keyboards, you are able to switch over to any of your downloaded options whenever your keyboard comes up. These keyboards may be custom, use the ABCDE layout rather than the traditional QWERTY layout, allow swipe capability, provide color or contrast and so many more options.
To download a third party keyboard:
- Go to the App Store, locate the third party keyboard you want and download it to your device.
- Go to SETTINGS, then GENERAL, then KEYBOARD.
- Select KEYBOARDS.
- Select ADD NEW KEYBOARD.
- Select the third party keyboard you downloaded from the App Store.
- You can add multiple third party keyboards to choose from – simply follow these steps to add each keyboard.
- To access one of your downloaded keyboards, simply select the globe icon within your keyboard until that third party keyboard comes up.
Please note that there are some limitations when using third party keyboards. One of which is that the microphone icon no longer appears, thereby forfeiting the option of dictation or Siri. You are also unable to enter a password or phone number utilizing third party keyboards, and any iOS shortcuts you’ve created will not be available with a third party keyboard.
Some third party keyboards to check out are:
- Keedogo Plus
- Lowercase Keyboard
Go find that perfect keyboard and get those fingers moving!
Nicole Weckherlin, OTR/L