Yes, Apple (AAPL) revealed their new iOS yesterday, just like they do every year. There are plenty of new features, apps, and innovations within the new iOS. Will most of them actually change how you use your iPhone? Maybe, but probably not. There is, however, one new feature that will greatly enhance the entire iPhone experience and it isn’t even made by Apple. iOS 8 will come with a new stock keyboard, dubbed “QuickType,” will have predictive typing suggestions which intelligently interpret responses and change suggestions based on who you are talking to. However, the more exciting keyboard announcement was that iOS will now support system wide third-party keyboards. Android users have been enjoying superior keyboard technology through the use of third-party keyboard apps for years now, and now finally iPhone users can too. More specifically, iOS users will now be able to install the Swype keyboard and use it system-wide. Swype is a keyboard app which uses a technology that allows users to “swype” their words, and it will revolutionize the iPhone experience far more than the new “QuickType” keyboard.
Swype Keyboard: the greatest innovation in touchscreen typing
Let’s start with the basic premise of Swype. Instead of tapping each individual letter and then the spacebar for each word, with Swype, you don’t lift your finger off the screen. Rather, you trace the letters in the word and then when you want to do a new word, you just move on and trace the letters of the new word while Swype does the rest. Over the past few years, Swype has continually updated their keyboard’s recognition abilities and today the experience is remarkable. After overcoming the initial learning curve, using Swype becomes second nature. The scribbles on the screen take some time to get used to, but it increases typing speed and convenience that most users find that they never want to use a normal touch keyboard again.
iOS 8 wil bring many new features to the iPhone, but none will revolutionize the experience like the ability to use third-party keyboards like Swype. Swype has already started developing their iPhone app for a timely release this fall when the new iOS hits iPhones. While most analysts are focused on the new Health app or family sharing capabilities, the ability to use third-party keyboards will have the greatest impact on iPhone sales, and therefore on Apple stock. No longer will users be forced to choose Android to experience the ease of Swype.