The iPhone’s built-in keyboard may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Sure, it delivers the utilitarian basics, but overall, its limited features may compel some users to crave more variety and flexibility for larger phones like the iPhone 14 Pro Max or smaller iPhone models like the iPhone 13 Mini or iPhone SE 2022. We’ve checked out the vast universe of keyboards now available for the iPhone that provide features like adjusting the key size, swipe typing, themes, and easier emoji, and we’ve put together our picks for the best third-party keyboards. Most are available for free, though many offer premium subscription options.
While you’re at it, have a look at our lists of the best Android and iOS emoji keyboards.
Note: In past listings, we’ve included the popular and highly regarded Microsoft SwiftKey. As of October 2022, Microsoft discontinued the iOS version of the app and removed it from the App Store. Customers who already own it can continue using the app until they remove it or buy a new iPhone.
Typewise has a unique take on key shapes. The app keeps the QWERTY design but switches the traditional rectangle-shaped keys for hexagonal ones — which Typewise says creates more surface area so you can type more accurately. While there is a slight learning curve, Typewise includes a built-in game to practice typing. With swipe gestures, dark mode support, and autocorrect modification, this is a great alternative for those who are tired of the conventional iOS keyboard. Newer versions include automatic language detection, which switches the app between selected languages, an undo button, and text replacement for often-used phrases.
The Grammarly iOS keyboard app offers sophisticated grammar review that goes beyond the usual spell check to provide advice on punctuation, spelling context, and misused words. It also helps you build your vocabulary and offers synonyms, which makes it an ideal app for students or business people. Grammarly also has emoji, a smart autocorrect feature, and allows you to build your own dictionary. The newest updates include swipe typing, home screen widgets, and focus filters that mute vibrations and sound effects.
Phraseboard aims to take the pain out of the tedious job of typing the same responses and phrases over and over by allowing you to save them, so you can just select one of your prewritten answers to reply rapidly. You can create your own customized phrases and sort them by category. You can even quickly access the Phraseboard widget to create new phrases no matter what you’re doing with your iPhone. All your phrases sync with iCloud. The basic app costs $2, and subscriptions are available for some premium language and functionality features.
Gboard is a keyboard from Google and includes everything you’d ever want within a single app. Whether you’re sending GIFs or emoji, searching Google for information, sending directions, or anything else, Gboard has you covered. With Gboard, you can search and send anything from Google, including information on nearby restaurants, videos, images, weather forecasts, news, sports scores — you name it. The app also offers Glide Typing, which allows you to type messages faster and more accurately.
Fleksy offers users a fun and interactive way to type in your own style. You can customize your Fleksy keyboard with powerful extensions and more than 50 colorful themes. Some of the themes cost $1, but many are free. More than 800 emoji come with the app, and it also has its own built-in GIF search engine. The keyboard supports dozens of languages, including English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, Hebrew, and Dutch. It learns your typing habits as you go, enabling it to give you accurate predictions, which helps cut down on typos.
The king of keyboard customization is Color Keyboard. Sure, it gives you emoji and autocorrection and even allows you to tap and hold the space bar to move the cursor, but what really sets this keyboard apart is the option to change anything you want about the look of the keyboard. You can change the background using solid colors, gradients, textures, and even your own pictures. You can also customize the buttons by changing the colors and borders, adding shadows, customizing the fonts, and changing the sounds. If your aim is customization, Color Keyboard takes things to the next level, but you have to subscribe to access everything, starting at $3 per week and rising for longer intervals and premium features.
Bitmoji, a popular keyboard app, is ideal if you want to send an emoji that resembles you rather than using standard emoji or text. Bitmoji allows you to customize and send a personalized emoji, all from your keyboard. Use Bitmoji with any of your favorite chat apps, like iMessage or Snapchat. It’s never been easier to make a dynamic avatar and adapt it with an ever-changing collection of stickers and moods. You’ll need your Facebook login information to sign into Bitmoji and initiate the avatar creation process.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a GIF can truly help get your point across. Get access to the massive library of animated and musical GIFs for free. From there, you can search for specific GIFs or use keywords to find animations that suit your mood. The GIF keyboard app is compatible with WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Messenger, iMessage, and just about any other messaging app or social media site. To send a GIF, press your finger on your chosen GIF and hold it down to browse options. Once you’ve found one, share its link, the GIF itself, or a video, or save the media to your photo library. You can also customize the tool to match your specifications and save your favorite GIFs using the keyboard.
For the visual among us, the All Symbol Keyboard is an exciting alternative to humdrum alphanumerics with all the custom fonts, symbols, fancy letters, special characters, and emoticons you could ever want — compatible with any app on your iPhone. It works with Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and many others. Whether you’re looking for high-impact symbols to enhance your keyboard, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter posts, or even your username, just launch the app and start typing. Premium versions provide unlimited access to features like the All Symbol Keyboard (every single symbol) and Facemoji library, but there’s tons of free stuff to get you started.
- The best voice-changing apps for Android and iOS
- Best Cyber Monday Smartwatch Deals: Apple Watch, Fitbit, Galaxy Watch
- Best Cyber Monday Phone Deals: Pixel 7, Galaxy S22 and more
- The best Christmas apps for everyone in 2022
- Best Cyber Monday iPad Deals: iPad Air, iPad Pro, iPad Mini