A look at iOS 8's new QuickType feature

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Yoni Heisler
September 17th, 2014
In this article: ios 8, QuickType
A look at iOS 8's new QuickType feature

iOS 8 brings a number of huge and highly anticipated changes to the keyboard. In addition to support for third-party keyboards (finally!), iOS 8 includes a new keyboard feature Apple calls QuickType. QuickType aims to speed up the typing process by providing context-aware word suggestions as a user types.

As you can tell in the simple example below, the QuickType interface itself is nestled between the keyboard and the text entry field. To get started, simply start typing and, just like that, a list of suggested word options will appear based on what you've already written. Note that suggested words will just appear after a completed word, but will auto-update as you type on the fly.

What's particularly cool about Apple's implementation of QuickType is that it's "smart." The software picks up on words you tend to use in conversations with different people and adjusts accordingly. If you use a lot of slang when talking to your college buddies, for example, you won't have to worry about irreverent words showing up as suggestions when messaging your mom. If you use more formal language when emailing your boss, more formal word suggestions will appear on the screen.

As an illustrative example, Apple's Craig Federighi put up the following slide at this year's WWDC demonstrating how the same sentence will yield different word suggestions depending on the recipient and previous linguistic patterns.

Also worth pointing out is that QuickType on iOS 8 can also analyze incoming texts and prompt you with appropriate suggestions for super quick one-tap responses. If this functionality looks at all familiar, it's because Apple just last week showcased how messaging on the Apple Watch does the exact same thing..

Language wise, QuickType in iOS 8 is English optimized for the U.S., the UK, Canada and Australia. Other supported languages include German, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. Apple also notes that Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Japanese Kanji input "continue to feature predictive input."

With respect to privacy, rest assured that all conversation data is stored locally and is always kept private.

How to temporarily get QuickType out of the way

To temporarily minimize the QuickType suggestions, simply tap and hold on one of the word suggestions and slide your finger downwards. When done right, the lineup of suggested words will be replaced with a small white horizontal line indicating that QuickType is still there, lurking beneath the surface.

To call it back into action, simply tap and hold the horizontal line and drag your finger upwards. Simple.

Turning off QuickType for good

Now if you're not blown away with QuickType and prefer the typing environment of iOS 7, turning the feature off completely is extremely easy. To do so, simply tap and hold on the globe/emoji icon and you'll be presented with a toggle to turn it off.

And toggling it back on is accomplished the same way.

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