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I am a litte confused about iOS 7. Does iOS 7 support third-party software keyboards? There are a lot of rumors around, I watched the last WWDC and read Apple documents but I couldn't hear anything about this. Am I missing something?

Is this a feature in the new OS?

  • Unless you can beef this up with some research on how you want to solve this - it's likely off topic (Stack Overflow is the place to ask what iOS 7 API allow third party hardware) unless you are looking for examples of hardware that works with iOS 7 as opposed to looking to program one. – bmike Jul 31 '13 at 14:43
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As of now, no. However, like you've mentioned it has been highly rumoured to see support for third party keyboards in the near future.

  • What isn't highly rumored when it comes to Apple? – Brant Bobby Sep 18 '13 at 20:47
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Whether they were removed after an App Store rules update I don't know, but one of the first apps I ever downloaded was a 3rd party keyboard called Swype. The difference between it (& others that were or may still be around) is that it cannot be plugged in in the same way as on Android, and become the default keyboard for all text input system wide, and instead runs as a standalone app that you can use to type stuff, then copy, then paste into wherever you want it to go using the normal iOS keyboard.

In addition, many apps augment the standard keyboard with a customised top row, made to look like it's part of the keyboard when in fact it's just an extra bit within the app, rather than on the keyboard - these are typically used to allow for extra keyboard functions like word left/right, or to provide quick access to common symbols like # or @ etc.

No formal announcement has been made about an official replacement API, and I would not expect to see one any time soon, as it goes against the whole "tinker proof" direction that iOS has always walked.

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