How To Install Third-Party Keyboard On iOS 8 Devices

We already love using third-party keyboards such as SwiftKey and Swype on Android devices. But, Apple never had the option of installing third-party keyboards on iOS devices. The recently launched iOS 8 comes with a number of interesting features, however the one that caught our attention is the ability to install and use third-party keyboards.

Third-party keyboards such as SwiftKey, Swype and Fleksy are already available on the App Store. You will just need to download these apps and follow the instructions given below to use it systemwide. These apps will create an icon on your homescreen just like the regular apps. After installing the app, follow these instructions:

  1. Launch the “Settings” application.
  2. Then select General.
  3. Scroll down to keyboards.
  4. Select Keyboards.
  5. Select Add new keyboard
  6. Then choose your favorite keyboard from the list

You can easily switch between keyboards just by tapping the globe icon on the keyboard. To disable the default keyboard, just swipe to left on the current keyboard. To protect your privacy, Apple won’t allow you to use third-party keyboards while entering passwords.

iOS 8 comes pre-loaded on the recently launched iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. You can even install these keyboards on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Mini, iPad Mini 2 and the iPod Touch 5G after updating to iOS 8. If you have any queries, feel free to ask us in the comments section below.

SwiftKey’s Prediction Engine Powers The Galaxy S4 Keyboard

Earlier today when Samsung announced the Galaxy S4, it did not mention anything about the inbuilt SwiftKey like keyboard. Rumors had suggested that Samsung has got the SwiftKey keyboard inbuilt on its latest Galaxy S flagship, but the lack of any word from Samsung on this matter left a doubt on everyone’s mind.

SwiftKey has now gone ahead and made the news official with a press release. This is the first time that SwiftKey will come integrated in a smartphone. In the words of SwiftKey’s CTO, “Samsung has chosen SwiftKey’s innovative keyboard technology to be at the heart of its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4. This is fantastic progress for our vision of bringing the best touchscreen typing experience to as many people as possible.”

However, the company does state that while Samsung does use SwiftKey’s prediction engine, the keyboard has been customized by Samsung and is not exactly the same version of the keyboard that is available on the Play Store.

Via – Engadget

Tactus Touchscreen Can Morph into a Tactile Keyboard

The Consumer Electronic Show might not have the clout it used to possess a decade back, but the nearly fifty year old trade show is still capable of throwing up products and prototypes that offer a glimpse of the future. One such product on display in this year’s CES is the Tactus touchscreen.

Unlike most other touchscreen manufacturers of the day, Tactus isn’t attempting to compete on resolution, pixel density, vibrancy, etc. The distinguishing feature of the Tactus touchscreen is its ability to morph into a keyboard. Tactus’ Tactile Layer technology replaces the conventional cover glass of modern displays with a thin, flat, smooth and transparent cover layer varying in thickness from about 0.75mm to 1mm. This cover has multiple-layers. The top layer consists of an optically clear polymer, while the bottom layer consists of a number of channels filled with fluid. The fluid’s refractive index is same as the refractive index of its surrounding components, which makes it fully and evenly transparent when light from the display passes through. There are a number of micro-holes between the top layer and the bottom layer. Increasing the pressure of the fluid layer causes the fluid to push up through the holes and against the top polymer layer, making it expand in pre-defined locations. The state and shape of the buttons can be controlled by the software.

Tactus-Keyboard

Right now Tactus’ chief value proposition is being able to offer true tactile feedback on touchscreen keyboards. However, the technology can be possibly used for more demanding requirements including gaming. I don’t mind my touchscreen keyboard, since I love Swyping on my phone. However, I would love to have a tactile game controller built right into my touchscreen handset.

Belkin India Launches Bluetooth Keyboard for Tablets

Belkin India has launched YourType Bluetooth keyboard, a sleek and stylish keyboard available for Android tablets and Apple iPads.

The keyboard is designed with comfortable well-spaced keys and facilitates a convenient typing experience. A spring mechanism underneath each key ensures a tactile response with every stroke, ensuring faster and error free typing. Belkin claims that the keyboard allows 6o hours of active usage and comes with a 2,000 hour standby battery life. The device comes with an integrated stand to place the tablet at your preferred viewing angle. It also offers function-specific keys for copying and pasting text, volume and music control. Belkin’s YourType™ Bluetooth keyboard is priced at Rs. 3699 and comes with one year limited warranty.

“It gives us immense joy to innovate products that are inspired by the needs of our consumers. Belkin strongly believes in creating technology solutions that add great value without altering the technology lifestyle of its users.”

Mohit Anand, Managing Director, Belkin India Sub-Continent

Belkin has taken rapid strides establishing itself as a leading tech and digital lifestyle brand since 2009, and has become one of the fastest-growing tech brands in the Indian subcontinent.

Intrestingly, several companies have released Bluetooth keyboards in the recent past (I wrote about Microsoft’s Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 couple of months ago). While a lot of users have given up on desktops and laptops for tablets, typing long documents on a touchscreen isn’t very convenient as yet. A lot of my blogger friends use tablets mainly as a consumption device but use keyboards or alternate devices to research and author articles. Taking a cue, Microsoft’s upcoming tablet device – Surface – includes a physical keyboard as part of the cover panel.

Microsoft launches Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 for Tablets and PCs in India

Microsoft has introduced the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 for the Indian market making it one of the first multi-platform Bluetooth keyboards to be launched in India.

Bluetooth Keyboard 5000 pic 1

At less than three-quarters of an inch thick and 400 grams in weight, the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 is a slim and sleek alternative helping you get rid of pesky wires, docks, or trans-receivers. I’ve been using the Microsoft Arc keyboard for several months and have been looking for an alternative that takes away the need for a trans-receiver. The small unit can easily be lost and also occupies a USB port all the time. The Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 is very easy on the hands and has an ergonomic Microsoft Comfort Curve design. The design promotes a more natural wrist position whether you are working on a desk or in a casual posture.

“Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile keyboard 5000 is especially designed for people on the move and as the market for mobile products such as the Tablets and Laptops increases; this is poised to become an accessory consumers would definitely want”.

Mr Satish Parreddi, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Retail Sales & Marketing, Microsoft India

The compact keyboard offers full functionality of a keyboard and is compatible with both tablets and PCs, although it is small enough to slip into a bag. Priced at an attractive price of INR 3350 in India, the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 works equally well with Microsoft Windows (Windows Vista and Windows 7), iPad, iPad2, and many Android devices. Available only in black color, the keyboard requires the standard AAA batteries.

Review: Das Keyboard Model S Professional for Mac

Currently, I’m using an Apple Wireless Keyboard to type on a daily basis, but recently the folks at Das Keyboard sent me their brand new “Model S Professional for Mac”. So, I used that one for a few weeks instead. Here’s my review:

Setup:

Within seconds after unboxing the keyboard, it was ready to use! There was no installation required. My MacBook Air, running OS X Lion, detected everything instantly. The keyboard has two USB cables, one enables the keyboard component and the other for the USB hub. Das Keyboard has two USB ports on the side, which is neat. The two ports on the right side are easy to access and great for connecting your USB devices.

Das Keyboard for MacDesign and Look:

This particular model has a minimalistic look. In addition, it doesn’t have any extra text, icons, or stickers other than the company’s name. I really like this because it provides the user with a distraction free typing experience. Unlike my Apple Bluetooth Wireless keyboard, this keyboard weighs a lot so it won’t move around on your desk at all. Also, the keys have a glossy look to it, which makes the keyboard look extremely nice. Das Keyboard claims that each key can handle about 50 million strokes before it wears out. Another thing I really like about the keyboard is the noise it makes while typing, but it should be mentioned that it is extremely loud.

I found the keyboard easy to type on, but it did take awhile to get used to it. Also, it should be noted that they keyboard is extremely loud.

Media keys:

A particular addition that I really like in the keyboard are the media keys. They are easily accessible by pressing the “Fn” key in combination with the corresponding Function key.  On the keyboard, there are keys for lowering the volume, increasing the volume, mute, play/pause, stop, previous track, and next track. They worked great with iTunes and Rdio (a music streaming service). It should also be mentioned that no additional software was required to use these buttons, which was great.

Bottom Line:

If you can justify $130 for a keyboard, then I’d highly suggest checking this keyboard out.  You can purchase one here.

Swype For Symbian Snags A Slight Update

If you’re a Nokia touch screen user, you should be thrilled to know that Swype for Symbian 5th Edition has received an update that brings along better language support and finally gives the ability to copy and paste in the Settings and Edit Layer menu.

Swype allow the user to input text by simply “tracing” over the letters on the keyboard, without lifting a finger. Swype uses large dictionaries for the auto-correct algorithm, so ensuring you have an up to date language pack is essential. The Ovi Store has over 20 different packs that can be downloaded. For a complete list of supported languages, visit the Nokia BetaLabs Blog.

Install Android 2.3 Gingerbread Keyboard On Any Android Device

Last week, Google introduced the latest version of Android Gingerbread. The new updated version of Android brings with it many changes including a new spiced up UI and a new multi-touch keyboard. The new keyboard not only looks sexy but is a pretty good improvement over the older default Android keyboard.

Now, the awesome modding community of Android has already ripped apart the keyboard from the Android 2.3 Gingerbread SDK.

snap20101213_225927

To get the new Android 2.3 keyboard on your device, users can simply install this (Alt. link) APK file on their Android handset. However, users must make sure that their handset is running on Android 2.2 (Froyo). If for some reason, the APK refuses to install on your phone then users can flash this (Alt. link) file on their phone using CWM (ClockWorkMod) Recovery.

For people, who don’t know what CWM is, I would recommend them to simply try and install the APK file on their handset. The keyboard works perfectly on my Samsung Galaxy S running a custom ROM based on Android 2.2.1. However, the only thing which does not work is the Vibrate On Keypress’ option.

Nevertheless, I will recommend all Android owners to give this new Android 2.3 keyboard a shot.

Source: XDA (Sadly, I lost the link to the thread so if anyone manages to find it, please do link me to it.)

WebOS Gets A Virtual Keyboard Thanks To 2.0

The fine folks at PreCentral have shown a Palm Pre 2, with WebOS 2.0 of course, and the infamous virtual keyboard that is going to be more than a recommendation if Palm plans on delving into the tablet market. Without a patch, displaying the keyboard is actually done by keying in a specific combination on the physical keyboard the irony is awesome.

Of course, the community has come to the aid and now with the regular half swipeto bring up the normal shortcuts, the virtual keyboard is shown. Still not ideal, but an ingenious solution nevertheless. Hopefully Palm implements this properly, and it is displayed automatically when a text field is available and the hardware keyboard is hidden. WebOS is getting polished all over on the software side, now consumers are just waiting for new and improved hardware with a different form factor.

Source: PreCentral.net

Apple Gets Patents for “Slide to Unlock” and “Keyboard Letter Pop”

In the world of technology, getting patents is the best way to protect your intellectual property. Apple filed for two design patents around 3 years back, for features that every iPhone user is now familiar with: “Slide to Unlock” which allows you to unlock your iPhone by sliding your finger on the display, and “Keyboard Letter Pop” which enlarges the letters that you select on the virtual keyboard when typing.

Today, the USPTO has awarded those two patents to Apple.

Apple Patents

Both these features have been very popular with the users and have seen similar implementations in many other touch interfaces for the Android OS and Windows Mobile.

You can check out the details of the two patents here:

D621848
D621849

via TUAW