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It looks like iPhone users really were desperate to dump the default iOS keyboard

Published Sep 18th, 2014 4:08PM EDT
SwiftKey Swype iOS Download

Free at last, iPhone users, your keyboards are free at last. Just a day after the release of iOS 8, which for the first time allowed support for third-party keyboards on iOS, it looks like iPhone users have been installing popular keyboard apps such as Swype and SwiftKey in droves.

LEARN MORE: These are the best third-party keyboards for iOS 8 on the App Store

Right now, Swype occupies the No. 1 spot on the iOS paid apps download chart while SwiftKey is slotted at the No. 1 position in the free apps download chart. In fact, SwiftKey announced on Thursday that it’s been downloaded by iPhone users more than 1 million times in just 24 hours, a remarkable number for an app that’s only available for users who have downloaded iOS 8. What’s more, third-party keyboard app Fleksy, which has staked its claim as the fastest smartphone keyboard in the world, has rocketed up to become the No. 2 paid app in the App Store.

What does this tell us? Mainly that opening up the iOS keyboard to third-party apps was a very good and very long overdue move on Apple’s part. While iOS 8 added a ton of great new features, the fact that iPhone users are flocking first to the keyboard apps seems to show there was significant pent-up demand for the kinds of keyboards Android users have been using for years now.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.