5 Things that would improve Keyboards for iOS

Regy Perlera
Jun 9, 2016 · 3 min read

Ever since Kim Kardashian dropped KIMOJI and Google introduced Gboard, keyboards have become the hottest thing since Myspace pages. Everyone wants one. Justin Bieber and Steph Curry literally just dropped their own keyboards this week. The problem is, Apple never designed for 3rd Party Keyboards. They just kinda… threw them in there. Here are 5 changes that could improve the keyboard experience for iOS.

Disclaimer: I’m currently working on Often

1. Installing a Keyboard Without Leaving the App

Installing a keyboard could be exactly like allowing Location Services

Instead of going through 7 different steps, imagine if you could install a keyboard from the app as soon as it opens. Maybe developers would start using the app for something other than just an install tutorial. #shade

2. Full Access vs Limited Access

This Full Access message feels like you’re about to give up your first born child 👶🏽

Not all keyboards need the same permissions. For example, Bitmoji doesn’t need to transmit keystrokes. Their focus is on stickers, not auto-correct. However, because they update stickers based on time of day, their keyboard needs internet access. So, they’re stuck asking for Full Access. Instead of having one toggle for every permission, why not break it down? It would be a hell of a lot less intimidating and increase install rates.

3. A New Keyboard Menu

The current keyboard menu is broken — and yes, I made that emoji icon. It’s fun

If you have more than 4 or 5 keyboards installed, the menu breaks. How about a keyboard menu that scrolls horizontally and lets you see the app icon, name and current keyboard. Two things could happen here: Faster cognitive recognition (🔥) and a “Settings” button that takes you to keyboard settings to add or edit on the fly. Huge game changer.

4. A Keyboard Section in Settings

Keyboards currently live under Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards…

Keyboards live under themselves in Settings. It takes 4 steps to get to and 7 steps to install. Instead, why not give them their own section under Settings? Preferably right above your list of apps. This would make them feel a lot more like actual app extensions.

5. Assigning a Primary Keyboard

Most people don’t know about drag & drop to rearrange. Who can blame them? It’s pretty shady

There’s a thing that iMessage does where it remembers the last Keyboard you were on in a conversation. When this happens, you’re stuck pressing the globe key, switching through keyboards one by one , until you’re back on your main keyboard — this is actually one of the biggest reasons people uninstall keyboards. Being able to assign a primary keyboard would fix this.

Just a few thoughts. Thanks for reading ✌🏽

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