While it didn’t pack the huge visual overhaul iOS 7 had, Apple’s recent iOS 8 update was easily the biggest update to the iOS platform in years. The new software, which was initially released in September, included tons of new features and thousands of new APIs for developers. Among them was third-party keyboard support, which iPhone and iPad users had been clamoring for.

Keyboards are a popular category and we see new additions pop up almost every week at this point, but there are two in particular — one that was just updated and one that will be updated soon — that we recommend checking out. And the best part is that they’re both free.

DON’T MISS: This incredible iPhone 8 concept is the most beautiful smartphone you’ve ever seen

ginger

The first iOS 8 keyboard you should definitely check out is Ginger, which recently received a major update.

Start writing better and faster with Ginger’s revolutionary keyboard and Page writing app!

Ginger Keyboard and Page app offer you a better way to write in English. Get everything you need to quickly compose high-quality text that amplifies your message, everywhere you write. Use Ginger Keyboard’s intuitive features to speed up your typing. Tap into the Ginger Page writing app to quickly review your text for any grammar, spelling and punctuation issues with the world’s leading proofreader.

WRITE FASTER
Use advanced word prediction and see how you instantly type twice or even three times faster.

DESIGN YOUR OWN THEME
Choose from a wide selection of ready-made themes or design a unique theme from scratch. Share the themes that you’ve designed with the world!

GINGER KEYBOARD + GINGER PAGE = AMPLIFIED WRITING!
Quickly tap into Ginger Page from Ginger Keyboard to access comprehensive writing tools that harness the power of Ginger’s unique writing app.

*Keyboard is currently available for iOS 8 enabled iPhones and iPod Touches and is coming soon to iPad.
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GINGER PAGE WRITING APP
A one-stop shop for all of your writing needs. Enjoy instant access to complementary tools that amplify the quality of your written text. Confidently compose text knowing that it has been reviewed for any grammar, spelling and punctuation issues by the world’s leading contextually-aware proofreader.

GINGER PAGE FEATURES
• World’s #1 proofreader – Contextually detects and corrects 6 times more grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes.
• Advanced rephrasing – Discover alternative ways to write your text.
• Translations – Translate your text between more than 40 different languages.
• Contextual Synonyms and Definitions
• Text Reader – Human voice text to speech.
• Favorites – Save your texts as templates to reuse later.
• Share your text – Easily export your text to any writing or social app.
• Quick share – Quickly share your text to your favorite apps.
• Personal Dictionary – Add slang, names, locations and other words for a personalized Ginger writing experience.
• Phrase of the Day – Get fun tips to spice up your English, share them with your friends!

Download Ginger

brightkey

Next up is Brightkey, which has been around for a while but is about to receive a big new update that was created in partnership with Pantone. Read more about it on Co.Design.

With a familiar and easy to use keyboard layout, Brightkey Keyboard works across every app in iOS 8.

Brightkey Keyboard now includes 13 gorgeous themes including 3 metal styles that match Space Gray, Silver, and Gold iPhone and iPad models, 5 vibrant Color themes, and 5 NEW Wood themes, all included for FREE.

Brightkey is not just about color or designer themes – we’ve got AMAZING FEATURES too! Take quick control of your cursor by swiping left or right on the spacebar, or swipe up for Quick-Fire™ messages that now include our most requested feature: user customization of Quick-Fire™ messages. Save time and reply with messages that live underneath your keyboard!

We’ve got auto-correction, a cool backspace to un-autocorrect function, auto-period, auto-capitalization and predictive suggestions too. You’ll never want to use a standard gray or featureless keyboard again! Brightkey looks forward to brightening your day with every text, email, tweet, post, comment, and note you type!

For additional information, including our launch video with real user feedback, visit http://getbrightkey.com For more personal contact, good or bad, we’re at support@brightkeysoftware.com by email or you can start a conversation with our team on Twitter @Brightkeyapp.

Finally, Brightkey wants our users to understand why most third-party keyboards on iOS 8, including Brightkey Keyboard, require “Full Access” to be enabled. The short answer is we need it to change the keyboard color and play “click” sounds when you type. We are NOT logging what you type or capturing your data. To help you understand Brightkey’s Privacy and Trust commitments, we strongly encourage you to read our Privacy Policy (and those of other keyboard vendors you may be considering). Ours is written in plain English and isn’t 8 point type or 10 pages long. Please visit http://brightkeyapp.com/privacy/ to learn more and contact us anytime if you have questions or concerns.

Download Brightkey

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