How to change the keyboard on iPhone

The keyboard that you use on your iPhone is very important. After all, this is what you will use to communicate with people, so you need a keyboard that is easy, convenient and comfortable to use. It should also be customized to your exact specifications, so you have literally all the features you need at your fingertips. Here’s how to change the keyboard on your iPhone to your liking, plus customizations, tweaks, and third-party options to consider.

Read more: Buyer’s Guide for Apple iPhone 13 – Everything You Need to Know

quick answer

To change the keyboard on your iPhone, go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Keyboards. Here, you can add a new keyboard, modify the ones you already have installed, and enable or disable keyboard features.

Go to the main sections

Keyboard options on iPhone

Let’s first take a look at some of your options when it comes to the iPhone keyboard.

Native keyboard options

The first two will be looked at in more detail later, but here’s a quick summary of the others.

  • Auto capitalization – Typing a sentence will capitalize the first letter automatically.
  • automatic correction – No explanation needed. If the phone thinks you misspelled a word, it will correct it for you. This can be risky for obvious reasons, so you may want to disable it if your spelling is good enough.
  • Enable Caps Lock – No explanation needed. Caps Lock is enabled.
  • Smart Punctuation – A fairly new feature, arriving in iOS 11. It automatically converts straight quotes into curved quotes, as well as converts two hyphens (-) into an em dash (-).
  • Character preview – When this option is enabled, tapping on the letter will make it pop up on the screen, so you know which letter you just hit. This is invaluable when writing passwords hidden behind asterisks. Reduces typos.
  • “.” abbreviation – Really cool feature where clicking on the space bar will enter a full dot followed by a space. This makes typing a little faster.

Third party keyboards

Although the original iOS keyboard is very good, some people may find that the basic keyboard is not enough for their needs. If so, here are three third-party keyboards that are highly appreciated by users.


gboard keyboard

Gboard has to be the best third-party keyboard ever and a must-have if you are a big fan of Google. Its predictive text is great, and it has many Google services built right into it, including my all-time favorite, Translate. If you are messaging in a foreign language, Gboard will translate quickly, which is absolutely invaluable. You can also install several different languages ​​and themes.

We will be writing a comprehensive guide for Gboard very soon that will go deeper into the features.


Swiftkey keyboard

Microsoft acquired SwiftKey, and unlike other products that usually deteriorate quickly when Microsoft buys them (cough, Skype), SwiftKey seems to be an outlier. It has received good reviews and a loyal user base.

It has some of the same things as Gboard – customizable themes, auto-correction, GIFs, Microsoft Translator, swipe typing, and more.


Grammar keyboard

If you need something to check your spelling and grammar, but would rather have more control over it, Grammarly is your best bet. As you type, it will highlight errors and suggest improvements, but it won’t change them automatically as standard autocorrect does.

You’ll have to agree or reject every suggestion, which gives you added peace of mind that you won’t accidentally text your boss with any rude words being automatically corrected.

How to change the keyboard on iPhone

ios change keyboard

If you choose to install a third-party keyboard, open the keyboard app and follow the instructions to install it. Then after installing it, go to the application that will open the keyboard. Tap the globe in the lower left corner of the screen, and a menu will pop up showing your installed keyboards. Tap on the one you want, and the iPhone will jump to it.

How to customize your iPhone keyboard

Now that you have your keyboard installed, let’s take a look at the different ways you can customize it to make it uniquely yours.

Text Shortcuts (General -> Keyboards -> Text Replacement)

Text shortcuts has to be one of the best features of an iOS keyboard. You can set up abbreviations that, when written, will expand into longer sentences and messages.

In the screenshot below, you can see a little I’ve set up. The first is an automatic SOS message that I can send to my wife if she needs medical help. I also have those set up to make it easier and faster to type my email address and mobile number.

ios text replace

Change the keyboard language (General -> Keyboards -> Keyboards)

If you want to add a new iPhone keyboard baked in another language, this is the place to go. Faucet Add a new keyboard.

iOS Add New Keyboard

Now choose your language, and the language pack will be downloaded and installed.

Other ios keyboards

If you want to change the keyboard language on a third party keyboard, go to the app for that keyboard. There will be a section to add a new language.

Change the keyboard layout (General -> Keyboards -> Keyboards)

ios keyboard layout

Not all keyboards are the same. In the UK and US, for example, keyboards are QWERTY, but in parts of Europe they are QWERTZ. So you may need to select your keyboard layout here to make sure you don’t hit the wrong characters.

Turn off lowercase (Accessibility->Keyboards)

ios displays lowercase keys

If you have difficulty seeing, it may be difficult for you to write or read lowercase letters. In this case, it would be wise to disable lowercase keys and use only uppercase letters. However, keep in mind that only capitalization is likely to annoy a lot of the people you communicate with, as typing is the equivalent of yelling at someone.

If you still want to do this, go to Settings->Accessibility->Keyboardsswitch Show small keys.

Enlarge keyboard size (Control Center)

Bigger iOS keyboard

If you have large fingers, which is causing you to make a lot of typos, it’s time to consider turning your keyboard to landscape mode to make it larger.

Doing so is simple. Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to open Control Center. Tap the icon with the lock on it with an arrow counterclockwise around it. This opens the screen orientation. Now turn your phone, and the screen will move with it.

Back screen to ios

Connect iPhone to an external keyboard (Accessibility -> Keyboards -> Full keyboard access)

You might not know that if you have difficulty using the touch screen due to a physical or mental disability, you can control your iPhone using shortcuts on the Magic Keyboard instead.

Full access to the iOS keyboard

Mark O’Neill / Android Authority

Control your iPhone with keyboard shortcuts by clicking orders. You will then get the full list of available options.

ios keyboard commands

Mark O’Neill / Android Authority

Make one-handed keyboard (General -> Keyboards -> One-handed keyboard)

ios keyboard with one hand

If you prefer to type with one hand, you can shift the keyboard keys to one side of the screen. Decide which side of the screen you want the keys to (based on your hand typed, obviously), and they’ll move.

How to turn predictive text on and off on iPhone

predictive text for ios

Predictive text is when the keyboard tries to predict what you want to say next and suggests appropriate and appropriate words. You can then just click on the word you want, and the keyboard will add it to your message.

It saves a lot of time, but some people may find it disturbing that their phone is learning their writing techniques and telling them how to type. If it really bothers you, you can disable it by going to the keyboard settings and turning off predictive. If you are using a third party keyboard, you will need to disable predictive text through the keyboard app.

Read more: Top 10 Android keyboards for all types of printing machines

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