Not happy with Apple's iPhone keyboard? It suffices for sending simple texts, emoji, photos, videos, and voice recordings. But if you want to swipe, send GIFs, search the Web, or customize your keyboard's looks, you need a third-party app. Find out why Gboard is our favorite, why Wrio's finger-friendly keyboard and TouchPal's custom themes are worth a look, and how to find your third-party iOS keyboard once you've installed it.
Best iPhone keyboard: Gboard (iOS)
Gboard is the texting app you've always dreamed of. Its clean interface enables you to glide-type (Google's version of swiping), and it predicts your most commonly typed words. But don't worry about text prediction invading your privacy: Google promises that keystroke data is never stored on its servers, only on your device. Best of all, Gboard integrates Google search, so you don't have to leave your text screen to search for maps, articles, restaurants, weather, GIFs, and other info to add to your messages.
Tip: To insert a period in Gboard, just double-tap the spacebar.
Best for typing: Wrio Keyboard
Wrio Keyboard (also available on Android) lets you customize your keyboard: Choose from 7 themes and 30 languages (you can use 5 at once). Like Gboard, the app does not keep your keystroke data. But where Wrio Keyboard truly shines is in its finger-fitting hexagonal design, which makes typing faster and more error free. It's also a roomier keyboard, since certain keys have been taken out, including shift, delete, and the spacebar. Instead, swipe up to capitalize, left to delete, and right to restore. To make a space, tap one of the dark keys in the middle.
Best for expressing yourself: TouchPal
TouchPal Keyboard (also available for Android) offers swipe input, great predictive word suggestions, and dozens of languages. But it'll be best loved by visual types for whom emoji and photos don't paint the entire picture. TouchPal features dozens of cool themes and font styles to dress up your keyboard, as well as over 800 emoji and more than 100 pieces of text art.
Other popular iOS keyboards
- Fleksy Keyboard (also available on Android)
- Swype (also available on Android)
- SwiftKey (also available on Android)
- Slash Keyboard (also available on Android)
- Word Flow Keyboard
Tip: Finding your third-party keyboard
If you've never used a third-party keyboard, finding it on your iPhone can be confusing. But all you have to do is long-press the globe icon on iOS. Tap Current Keyboard, then Choose Keyboards, and select your preferred app from the list.