You've got your iPad or iPhone all set up and ready to do great things...but your onscreen keyboard is a complex system that you probably haven't given much thought to. We all pay attention to the games and apps we download for our kids, but take a second look at your device's current keyboard. Does it look a little different than the one above? How is your keyboard working for you or your kids?
When we look at keyboard options, it's important to consider features like: word prediction, visual presentation of commonly used keys, split keys, QWERTY or ABC format, microphone access for speech-to-text, and so much more! If you want to look at how you can customize your existing onscreen keyboard, check out this Lifewire article for a step-by-step guide.
If you're wanting to explore other third-party keyboarding extensions, we've made your research much easier by giving you our Top 5 Custom On-Screen Keyboards:
1. Keedogo & Keedogo Plus: ($.99/$2.99) Keedogo (photo above) is designed for children and young students who just started to read, write and type. The simplified layout helps beginning typers to focus on learning rather than being distracted by unnecessary functions. Keedogo Plus adds word prediction and cursor keys to speed up typing and build confidence.
2. Keeble: ($24.99) Keeble was developed by the same AssistiveWare company as Keedogo, but is geared more for users with fine motor or vision impairments. This app also supports alternative access (switch users) and can be customized for a wide array of users.
3. SuperKeys: ($12.99) SuperKeys is good for users with mild to moderate physical disabilities or low vision. This keyboard gives you just seven large keys to target instead of more than 30 small ones! Just tap the cluster containing the letter you want, and then tap the letter in the enlarged cluster. There’s no double-tapping, no essential swiping, and no learning required. The new version allows for color contrast between clusters and is compatible with Crick Software programs (Clicker).
4. Swype: ($.99) Swype is a wonderful option for users with motor control issues (or one-handed typists) because it allows them to swype across the keyboard to the letters they select instead of controlled key selection. Swype allows users to generate custom gestures, dictionaries, word prediction, and auto correction.
5. SwiftKey: (FREE) SwiftKey in an intuitive keyboard that learns from you to generate word prediction, Emoji predictions, and auto-corrections based on your usage. The SwiftKey Flow option combines all of the powerful keyboard options with the Swype feature also! You can customize the color of your keyboard display, but other than that the ability to adjust the presentation of the keyboard is limited.