Hands-On Installation and Usage of TouchPal's Gesture Keyboard for iOS 8

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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
  2. Lapidus macrumors regular


    May 14, 2012
    Don't know why, but I never seemed interested in this feature.
  3. hirtaza macrumors member


    Apr 20, 2014
    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
  4. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    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?
  5. imicca macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2013
    Yerevan, London
    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
  6. Goldex macrumors member

    May 15, 2009
    You can probably delete those apps after installing the keyboard, as was the case with Emoji.
  7. WBRacing macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2012
    Then honestly, you have no idea what you are missing. Once you get used to it, old school single key typing seems prehistoric.
  8. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    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.
  9. Jalopybox macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2012
    Had this on Android. Worked well, used it twice. Never used it again. Feels unnatural.
  10. GreyOS macrumors 68030


    Apr 12, 2012
    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? :)
  11. jarred125 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 8, 2011
  12. phuocsandiego macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2012
    Agreed. Swype is probably one of the coolest features of Android.
  13. Daalseth macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    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.

    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.
  14. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    This is the one and only thing i like about my nexus>my ipad-air
  15. DerekRod macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2012
    Im just annoyed that it needs an app to be installed on springboard.maybe apple will change it
  16. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
  17. usersince86 macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2002
    Columbus, Ohio
    Looking forward to the 3rd party keyboards, for lots of reasons. Good for Apple for opening the OS just a bit.
  18. Kaspersky Suspended


    Jan 31, 2013
    "Swype, allowing users to drag a finger in one continuous motion as they spell out the word"
    Just hate that!
  19. w00master macrumors 65816

    Jul 18, 2002
    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."

  20. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    it just takes some getting used to, now i "swype" faster than i type on my mac

    damn that sucks!
  21. coolfactor macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2002
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    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?
  22. bpcookson macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2012
    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.
  23. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    It's still an early alpha, but right now, the app itself literally just gives you the option to view an About screen.
  24. 0siris macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2007
    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
  25. Trius, Jun 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014

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