After years of ignoring third-party keyboards, Apple has finally added support for them with the iOS 8 update. Development, SwiftKey, Gboard, Fleksy etc. witnessed the arrival of popular keyboards such as the App Store. At the same time, Apple continued to add more functions to the default iOS keyboard. Still, it misses a key function called Haptic feedback.
iPhone loyalists won’t notice it, but those from Android will definitely roll their eyes when typing on the default keyboard. The exclusion is surprising, as Apple uses one of the best vibration engines in the business.
Fortunately, some third-party keyboards in the App Store support haptic feedback.
In this post, we’ll talk about which keyboard apps support haptic feedback and how to enable it from the settings menu. We will also discuss other features, themes and price.
We will point out some limitations of using a third-party keyboard on iOS compared to the default keyboard. So, stick to the end and let’s get started.
1. Gboard by Google
With Gboard, Android users will feel right at home on iOS. Settings, layout and theme selection are the same as for its Android counterpart.
Google has added support for haptic feedback in Gboard. You can turn the toggle on by going to Settings > Enable haptic feedback on keypress and toggling the option on. It supports more than fifty languages.
Gboard is full of fun stuff. It integrates emojis, stickers, GIFs, and even handwriting recognition with a built-in drawing board.
With Gboard, Google is trying to build an ecosystem around its software and services. You can do a Google search and submit the results without leaving the app.
It also comes with a built-in GIF creator, YouTube, Maps, and a Google translate plugin. You can create a custom theme with a preferred image background and customized transparency. The most important part is that the app is free to use.
2. SwiftKey by Microsoft
As part of its ‘Mobile first, cloud first’ strategy, Microsoft has acquired the popular SwiftKey keyboard. Right after the takeover, the company made all paid themes available for free. Speaking of haptic feedback, the company recently added support for it in the latest update.
It is disabled by default; You need to go to Settings and enable the important haptic feedback option.
The feature list consists of all the bells and whistles, including emoji, GIF support, and my favorite clipboard plugin. You can add some of your most used sentences or words to the clipboard section for easy access.
One of the reasons why the majority prefer SwiftKey over its competitors is its superior automatic suggestions and next word prediction. Apps like Gboard provide the next word suggestion based on what the majority have typed. SwiftKey uses a more personalized approach for better results.
I love how the app shows some great stats like productivity improvements, keystrokes recorded, flow typed distance, corrected typos, and more.
I prefer SwiftKey’s theme store to Gboard’s store. The choice is better and more versatile. You can also make custom themes.
3. Grammar Keyboard
The popular grammar checker web tool has finally released its keyboard app on iOS and Android. As the name suggests, Grammarly’s main selling point is its best-in-class grammar and spelling.
It is an essential tool for those who want to avoid embarrassing grammatical mistakes. The company has added support for haptic feedback on keypress. Go to settings and enable the toggle to feel the keys while typing. Language support is strictly limited to English. You can choose between American, Australian, British and Canadian English only.
As expected, the Grammarly keyboard isn’t fancy with GIFs, stickers or a theme store. But it works extremely well at correcting typos.
Basic grammar and spell checking are free. Advanced functions such as expanded word selection, clear sentences and word pinning will cost you $15 per month.
Limitations of Third-Party Keyboard
These third-party keyboards have some disadvantages with iOS. For example, you cannot use them when replying from the lock screen. Similarly, the system will revert to the default iOS keyboard when typing a password.
These aren’t exactly deal-breakers, but they do break the overall typing experience on the iPhone.
Also, for those using older iPhone models with 1GB or 2GB of RAM, I would advise you to stay away from any third-party keyboards as the system sometimes kills them in the background and turns on the default.
There are several advantages to using the Apple keyboard. It integrates nicely with iCloud and other third-party password managers. The app also offers a built-in trackpad for moving the cursor. Holding down the spacebar turns the entire keyboard into a giant trackpad and lets you edit files on the go.
Fun Fact: Do you know which app holds the world record for the fastest (software) keyboard? No, not Gboard or SwiftKey. This is Fleksy keyboard.
Type like a pro
Haptic feedback is something I appreciate when typing. Hopefully Apple adds the functionality in the iOS 14 update. Until then, I will continue to use the options in the App Store. I’ve settled on SwiftKey right now. What about you? Mute the sound in the comments section below.
Next: We compared the default Apple keyboard to Gboard and SwiftKey. Read the article below to learn more.