How To: Add, Reorder, & Switch Keyboards on Your iPhone

Add, Reorder, & Switch Keyboards on Your iPhone

One of the biggest features in iOS 8 is the ability to use third-party keyboards, which is actually a godsend for me because I find the stock QuickType keyboard on an iPhone aggravating on so many different levels.

If you don't know what keyboard to test out, take a look at our quick guide on the best third-party keyboards available right now. After installing a few, you'll want to switch between them to figure out what your go-to will be, and here's how to do that on-the-fly.

Adding Keyboards to Your iPad, iPhone, & iPod Touch

Once you have a few third-party keyboards that you want to test out, add them to your device by going to Settings -> General -> Keyboards -> Keyboards -> Add New Keyboard. Once you choose one, you'll have to "Allow Full Access" to use it.

All of the third-party keyboards that you installed from the iOS App Store, but have not enabled yet, will show up on this page in the Third-Party Keyboards section. Tap to add them to your keyboard list and you are ready to go.

Using "Global" Access to Switch Keyboards

The fastest way to switch between your keyboards is to press-and-hold on the globe icon. The first time you do this, you'll receive a message explaining the other ways to access keyboards as well.

This option works exactly like it did in iOS 7 for switching between keyboard languages and the emoji keyboard, only you now have third-party keyboards added to the quick select menu. There's only one problem...

At this moment, you can ONLY use the press-and-hold option when you're currently on one of the stock Apple keyboards, whether it's a different language or the emoji one.

You cannot press-and-hold in a third-party keyboard (at least, none that I've tried) to bring up all of your enabled keyboards. The only way to switch from a third-party keyboard to another is by tapping the globe key and continue tapping until you find the one you want.

Reordering Your Quick Select Menu

There is no way to add a "default" keyboard in iOS 8, as it simply remembers the last one you used for each particular instance. For example, if you use Swype in one message thread, it'll show you that keyboard each time by default in that one thread. If you use the stock keyboard in another message thread, it'll show you that one by default next time for that thread only.

You can, however, reorder how they appear in your enabled keyboards list. From your Keyboards list in the settings, tap on Edit in the top-right and drag your enabled keyboards in the order you want, then hit Done to finalize it.

Why did it take so long for Apple to implement third-party keyboards? Who knows, but I am happy it's here. Let us know what you think in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter.

More iOS 8 Tips...

To see what else you can do in Apple's latest mobile operating system, check out the Coolest Hidden Features of iOS 8, as well as the Best Hidden Safari Features, Top Hidden Features in Messages, Biggest Privacy-Related Settings You Need to Know, and our other iOS 8 tips.

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