Review: Apple’s iOS 8 Provides a Smarter Type

I never would have considered writing this review on my iPhone if I hadn't upgraded to Apple's new operating system, iOS 8. With the free upgrade, typing on the iPhone's touch keyboard doesn't seems as tedious, cumbersome or infuriating as it did before, when a rather dim-witted "auto-correct" system would slip in words that made people look illiterate or, even worse, inappropriate.

The new "QuickType" keyboard is smart enough to anticipate what you're typing, such as the next logical word in a phrase. You're constantly shown three word choices in a gray ribbon above the keyboard. When the right word appears, tapping on it automatically inserts it into the text to save keystrokes. I just avoided 15 by tapping on "automatically" and "keystrokes" when they popped up.

If that's not slick enough, iPhone and iPad users can choose one from an outside party, similar to what Google's Android operating system has allowed for years. A few are free, while others cost 99 cents to $4.99.

Switching to a different keyboard just requires pressing on a small globe near the space bar, a tool that allowed me to use each one as I wrote about them for this review. I am focusing on the keyboards that I liked best, though I also experimented with several others, including Flesky (99 cents) and Textexpander ($4.99).

Apple's QuickType (free)

This keyboard strives to predict what words are being typed so you don't have to spend as much time pecking on your device. For the most part, QuickType fulfills that mission. It does a good job anticipating common words like "the" and "you," but also understands when to list words like "immolation." It also had no problem automatically filling in email addresses when I was in my Gmail app or tagging people when I was on Facebook. These are common...

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