I think we have seen some really cool stuff for the new iOS 8 already, but one of the biggest changes in the phones history was the release of QuickType – Apple’s way of showing you how advanced prediction technology can be. I couldn’t help but to think of Google when reading the overview of QuickType.

Swipe rather than type, or go old school with the classic keyboard layout. For the first time, iOS 8 opens up the keyboard to developers. And once new keyboards are available, you’ll be able to choose your favourite input method or layout systemwide.

Dozens of companies, businesses and individuals have already built unique and one of a kind keyboards for iOS 8 enabled devices. It only has been a few weeks since the release now, but early adopters have worked hard to release some exciting keyboards. You can stick with Apple, but I don’t see any harm in opting for 3rd party keyboards. In the end, what matters is the look of your device.

Tasty Imitation Keyboard

Alexei Baboulevitch is an iOS game developer from the sunny California, his website – Abstract Rose – is a collection of his thoughts, ideas, stories, experiences, and code examples that have led to both big and small apps being built. Though, I’m interested in his last venture – Tasty Imitation Keyboard.

Now, at first you might be thinking – what is the point of building a 3rd party keyboard that’s going to look exactly the same as the original one you got on your first iPhone? Here are some reasons:

  • Gain more programming experience.
  • Learn more about Swift & iOS in general.
  • Explore how graphics work on mobile devices.
  • Play with 3rd party frameworks, extensions, and services.
  • To have fun!

you can’t tell me that those are not good enough reasons to explore the new operating system? Either way, Alexei has done a really good job, and while he does caution that the project is open-source and might break at any time due to live development, Alexei is determined to finish the project soon, and have it published on the App Store in the near future.

Learning to Program in Swift

I mentioned that this keyboard was built using Swift, the new programming language from Apple. If you’re like me, and love to explore and learn about new things, perhaps it’s time to pick-up a new skill, such as mobile application development? Just a few weeks back, I posted about a great mobile development course that will show you everything there is to know about developing apps in Swift, and the new iOS 8.

In this course, you’re going to be learning how to build real-world applications, how to combine many different elements of iOS, and even some advice on making your apps more store friendly, which eventually should lead to more sales and downloads. Have you thought about developing mobile games before? Perhaps it’s time to give it a go.

How to Get the Original Apple Keyboard for iOS 8

I hope that this small GitHub repository is going to inspire you to try out some new 3rd-party keyboards for your iOS 8 device, perhaps it’s even going to inspire you to build your own keyboard! Are you proficient enough to be building your own keyboards? Feel free to submit your tutorials and guides in the comment section.