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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:33 PM   #1
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Hands-On Installation and Usage of TouchPal's Gesture Keyboard for iOS 8




Following Apple's announcement at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month that iOS 8 would include support for third-party keyboards on a systemwide basis, a number of companies working on the technology indicated that they would be moving forward with plans to support iOS. Among those companies was TouchPal, with quickly released a video showing an early version of its sliding gesture keyboard in action.

TouchPal has now released its first alpha version of its keyboard for iOS 8 to select media outlets, giving a good look at how third-party keyboard will work on iOS 8.

Installation is straightforward, leveraging a traditional App Store app to add TouchPal as an option when adding new keyboard in the Settings app. Once TouchPal is added, users can simply rearrange their installed keyboards in their preferred order, and rotate through each one while in use by tapping the globe key. Users who have activated the emoji keyboard on their devices will be familiar with that process.

Once activated, TouchPal is available anywhere a keyboard is traditionally used, such as in Mail, Messages, Safari, Notes, iWork apps, and third-party apps.

TouchPal's keyboard is similar to the perhaps more well-known one from Swype, allowing users to drag a finger in one continuous motion as they spell out the word. Based on the pattern drawn by the user, TouchPal suggests several options for the intended word, with highest-ranked option highlighted in the middle of the suggestions bar. Hitting the space bar or touching the word accepts the suggestion.

Numbers and common punctuation marks are input right from the main keyboard screen simply by flicking up or down on the proper key. Additional punctuation marks and emoticons are available by tapping the "12#" key at the lower left.

In our testing, there were definitely some glitches, particularly when switching between keyboards, but it is still early in the development process and Apple and third-party keyboard companies will continue to refine their implementations in the coming months leading up to the public release of iOS 8 this fall.

Article Link: Hands-On Installation and Usage of TouchPal's Gesture Keyboard for iOS 8
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:34 PM   #2
Lapidus
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Don't know why, but I never seemed interested in this feature.
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:35 PM   #3
hirtaza
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it will be VERY interesting to see what developers come up with in regards with everything (not just keyboards) can't wait...now just need to decide whether to get the 5.5 or 4.7
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:37 PM   #4
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about freaking time! but i hate that it requires to download an actual "app" (even if its an obvious choice by apple) i hate the thought of having all those "apps" on my springboard just to get a feature activated and no longer actually need the "icon". wonder if the keyboard would stick even if i delete the app "icon" from the springboard?
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:42 PM   #5
imicca
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this is cool but not for vast majority

Yeah, adding keyboards is cool, but I may ask about the security? what if viruses/exploits/spyware get through via this way? I want to have iPhone for it's security and do not want to lose it and get an Android like garbage system
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushido View Post
about freaking time! but i hate that it requires to download an actual "app" (even if its an obvious choice by apple) i hate the thought of having all those "apps" on my springboard just to get a feature activated and no longer actually need the "icon". wonder if the keyboard would stick even if i delete the app "icon" from the springboard?
You can probably delete those apps after installing the keyboard, as was the case with Emoji.
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:42 PM   #7
WBRacing
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Originally Posted by Lapidus View Post
Don't know why, but I never seemed interested in this feature.
Then honestly, you have no idea what you are missing. Once you get used to it, old school single key typing seems prehistoric.
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushido View Post
about freaking time! but i hate that it requires to download an actual "app" (even if its an obvious choice by apple) i hate the thought of having all those "apps" on my springboard just to get a feature activated and no longer actually need the "icon". wonder if the keyboard would stick even if i delete the app "icon" from the springboard?
If you delete the app, it stops working. An entry for it remains in the Settings section for keyboards, but it's blank and you can't use the keyboard.

At least that's how it currently works through beta.
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:46 PM   #9
Jalopybox
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Had this on Android. Worked well, used it twice. Never used it again. Feels unnatural.
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:47 PM   #10
snappyfool
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Originally Posted by Goldex View Post
You can probably delete those apps after installing the keyboard, as was the case with Emoji.
hmm? i'm not sure you needed to install an app to get the emoji keyboard: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4976

is this back in olden days?
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:48 PM   #11
jarred125
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Best move Apple has made yet with iOS.
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by WBRacing View Post
Then honestly, you have no idea what you are missing. Once you get used to it, old school single key typing seems prehistoric.
Agreed. Swype is probably one of the coolest features of Android.
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:50 PM   #13
Daalseth
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Originally Posted by Lapidus View Post
Don't know why, but I never seemed interested in this feature.
Agreed. I'm not a touch typeset so I look where each key is. Sliding around to hit it just seems strange. I'll probably try it but I doubt I'd use it for long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalopybox View Post
Had this on Android. Worked well, used it twice. Never used it again. Feels unnatural.
Exactly. I've watched people using it and it just seems weird. Maybe my fingers are so thick I'd never be sure id hit the right letter. I just have a feeling it'll end up being like another autocorrect. Something that sounds good but in practice gets it wrong often enough to be annoying.

Mind you I'm very excited about other keyboard options. The stock one leaves much to be desired, but things like this don't interest me.
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WBRacing View Post
Then honestly, you have no idea what you are missing. Once you get used to it, old school single key typing seems prehistoric.
This is the one and only thing i like about my nexus>my ipad-air
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:57 PM   #15
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Im just annoyed that it needs an app to be installed on springboard.maybe apple will change it
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:57 PM   #16
arn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lapidus View Post
Don't know why, but I never seemed interested in this feature.
always thought this was a great demo video of a swipe keyboard



it's probably coming to iOS 8 too.

http://www.macrumors.com/2014/01/11/...120wpm-speeds/
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:57 PM   #17
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Looking forward to the 3rd party keyboards, for lots of reasons. Good for Apple for opening the OS just a bit.
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:58 PM   #18
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"Swype, allowing users to drag a finger in one continuous motion as they spell out the word"
Just hate that!
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 02:58 PM   #19
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For those who "don't get it," Swype-like "typing" (which the this example shows) is brilliant for folks who like to type with one hand. It's far more efficient and faster.

For those (like me), who prefer to type the "traditional way" - i.e. typing with both hands - Swype doesn't really help.

Hope that clarifies things with folks "who don't get it."

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Old Jun 20, 2014, 03:00 PM   #20
bushido
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Originally Posted by Kaspersky View Post
"Swype, allowing users to drag a finger in one continuous motion as they spell out the word"
Just hate that!
it just takes some getting used to, now i "swype" faster than i type on my mac

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCowboy View Post
If you delete the app, it stops working. An entry for it remains in the Settings section for keyboards, but it's blank and you can't use the keyboard.

At least that's how it currently works through beta.
damn that sucks!
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 03:04 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by WildCowboy View Post
If you delete the app, it stops working. An entry for it remains in the Settings section for keyboards, but it's blank and you can't use the keyboard.

At least that's how it currently works through beta.
Okay, that's a bit lame, eh? Hopefully that gets fixed. We already suffer from app-clutter. Who wants entire apps just to install a keyboard?
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 03:05 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by bushido View Post
about freaking time! but i hate that it requires to download an actual "app" (even if its an obvious choice by apple) i hate the thought of having all those "apps" on my springboard just to get a feature activated and no longer actually need the "icon". wonder if the keyboard would stick even if i delete the app "icon" from the springboard?
I doubt it, but I've wondered similar things. If you have to have an app somewhere for the extension to work inside other apps, what happens when you open the actual app? I imagine it just pulls up a settings window.

It's not such a big deal really. In fact, it might be nice to be able to make a folder just for your extensions and then you can organize your extension settings however you like.
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 03:13 PM   #23
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I doubt it, but I've wondered similar things. If you have to have an app somewhere for the extension to work inside other apps, what happens when you open the actual app? I imagine it just pulls up a settings window.
It's still an early alpha, but right now, the app itself literally just gives you the option to view an About screen.
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 03:15 PM   #24
0siris
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I don't see the keyboard in the keyboard settings when attempting to add. I have the app installed.

Deleted it and reinstalled and rebooted but still doesn't show
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Old Jun 20, 2014, 03:18 PM   #25
Trius
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nevermind

Last edited by Trius; Jun 20, 2014 at 03:20 PM. Reason: reading comprehension fail
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