Apple announced that iOS 8, its latest operating system for iPhones and iPads, will support third-party keyboards including Swype and SwiftKey, virtual keyboards popular with Android users. The news came at Apple’s WWDC keynote today. Swype was featured in the keynote as one third-party keyboard available as an app download that doesn’t come standard with the phone which that would be supported in iOS 8, though it wasn’t demonstrated.
Swype has been available on Android since 2010, but due to Apple’s desire to control the user experience on its devices, it wasn’t available to iOS users until the announcement of iOS 8 today.
Swype has 250 million users on Android devices alone, according to Google Play. Using predictive type, an intuitive technology that looks at the way a user types to predict the words they will type next, Swype allows you swipe from the first letter of a word to the last, instead of tapping each letter individually. As a result, Swype lets you type much faster than, well, typing.
In a statement to Business Insider, Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock, founders of SwiftKey said, “We’re delighted Apple has decided to embrace the importance of opening its platform to third party keyboards. For more than four years, SwiftKey has pioneered faster, easier typing on touchscreens, leading the industry with next-word prediction and smarter autocorrection.”