Choosing an International or Third-Party Keyboard on the iPad - dummies

Choosing an International or Third-Party Keyboard on the iPad

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

Apple is expanding the iPad’s reach globally with international keyboard layouts on the iPad for dozens of languages. At the same time, iOS 8 introduced the capability to install third-party keyboards such as Swype, SwiftKey, and TextExpander 3, which feature specialized layouts and alternative features.

To access a keyboard that isn’t customized for Americanized English, tap Settings→General→Keyboard→Keyboards→Add New Keyboard. Then flick through the list to select any keyboard you want to use.

Up pops the list of custom keyboards for German, Japanese, Portuguese, and so on. Apple even supplies three versions of French (including keyboards geared to Canadian and Swiss customers) and several keyboards for Chinese. Heck, you can even find U.K. and Australian versions of English. In Settings, you can choose software and hardware keyboard layouts.

Have a multilingual household? You can select as many of these international keyboards as you might need by tapping the language in the list. Of course, you can call upon only one language at a time.

So when you’re in an application that summons a keyboard, press and hold down the international keyboard key, which is sandwiched between the .?123 key and the spacebar (or the microphone key if Dictation or Siri is turned on) and then select a keyboard.

Or you can tap the international keyboard key to switch to the next keyboard in the list of keyboards you’ve enabled in Settings. If you keep tapping, you cycle back to the original English keyboard.

To remove a keyboard that you’ve added to your list, tap Settings→General→Keyboard→Keyboards, and then tap the Edit button in the upper-right corner of the screen that displays your enabled keyboards. Tap the red circle with the white minus sign next to the language(s) to which you want to say adios, and then tap the red Delete button that appears on the right.

One more note about the Chinese keyboards: You can use handwriting character recognition for simplified and traditional Chinese. Just drag your finger in the box provided.