Ginger's spellchecking keyboard comes to iOS 8, but don't expect perfect prose

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Ginger's spellchecking keyboard comes to iOS 8, but don't expect perfect prose

Sometimes we all need a second pair of eyes on something we're writing, even if it's curt replies on WhatsApp or a lengthy email response that you had to compose from your phone. Ginger's custom keyboard, now out on iOS, offers a way to proofread your typing with a press. The Android version has been around for a while, but it's the new version of iOS (and the ability to add keyboards), that's allowed Ginger to offer the same thing for iPhones. Once you've installed the keyboard, pressing the G button will launch out of wherever you're typing and into the Ginger app, with the ability to spell (and grammar) check what you've written, rephrase, translate and even suggest synonyms if you need to spice up that invitation to go for a coffee.

Unfortunately, while it's pretty useful for lengthier small-screened essays, the lack of a back button (are we missing something?), means this editor had to double-press the home button to return to typing. Ginger says it corrects contextual spelling and grammar errors, but even our cursory testing showed up the occasional mistake it didn't catch. However, that's not to say it doesn't improve your writing: mileage will vary depending on your typing speed and grasp of spelling and grammatical rules. While using it for half a day, it's pretty capable of nixing those its/it's mishaps, although we couldn't really see the benefit of rephrasing, which seemed to add extra words at the cost of clarity.

Alongside the review function, the keyboard itself is designed along similar lines to this editor's particular keyboard favorite, Swiftkey. It has a decent adaptive word prediction, throwing up consecutive words after inputting only a few letters, but lacks Swiftkey's ability to absorb your own words, names and writing style from Gmail and Facebook accounts. (There's also swipeable input if that's your thing.) The translate function works like Google Translate, but the proximity to where you're typing, without having to jump into a web browser or translation app, is a good thing. We're hoping in future iterations Ginger might be able to speed up the interface between where you type and where you correct (it'd be great to have these options work inside the email or messaging app) -- it's another tool to help you mess up less, but your typing could well house a "misteak"f or two. It's at least worth trying for yourself: get it for free on both Android and iOS.

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