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iOS 8 Keyboards Top App Store Charts

Third Party Keyboards for iOS 8

One of the cool things about the recently launched iOS 8 is that devices running the latest version of the operating system can now install third party keyboards. And it looks like keyboard makers were not exactly sitting idly by -- it turns out they have been busy introducing iOS 8 versions of their keyboards on the App Store. And it has definitely paid off -- three of them, namely Swype, SwiftKey and Fleksy, are now topping both the iOS paid and free charts in the United States and other markets.

Less than a day after debuting, Swype and Fleksy, both paid keyboards, rose to the top two spots in the US paid iOS app chart, knocking off other popular chart-toppers like Five Nights at Freddy's and Minecraft Pocket Edition in the process.

Meanwhile on the free app charts, Swiftkey took the number one spot, performing better than the 1Password password manager and the Amazing Thief game. The free keyboard has even managed to replace previous topper Facebook Messenger on the charts.

It is not clear yet how long these keyboards can remain at the top of the rankings, and it is obvious they have benefited greatly from the iOS 8 launch. But all things considered, their performance in the charts may be an indication of the increasing appreciation of using third party keyboards for iOS devices.

Usability-wise, these alternative keyboards are not bad. Priced at $0.99, Swype is a gesture-based keyboard that can be used for iPhones and iPads. It uses a unique feature that lets users form words by dragging their fingers through the letters instead of individually tapping on each character. Swype also allows users to dictate messages and emails instead of typing. It is available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German.

As for Fleksy ($0.99), it utilizes predictive-typing features that anticipates what users will type. One of its advantages is its speed -- it was even recognized by the Guinness World Records as the fastest keyboard in the world. Its other features include emojis, colored themes, and multiple keyboard layouts (QWERTY, DVORAK).

Like Fleksy, the free SwiftKey also uses predictive typing. It offers skins of various colors, emoji capabilities, and different layouts.

For those interested in other third party keyboards, they can also check out Ginger Keyboard (free), Minuum ($1.99), TouchPal X, and PopKey.

Of course, users can always stick with Apple's default keyboard. The latest version has been improved -- it now features a fresh new layout and also boasts predictive typing. But ultimately, having other keyboard choices at your disposal is definitely better than just having one. With the new iOS 8, users will get to experience exactly that.