If you frequently find yourself typing out the same pet phrases on your phone when texting or composing emails then point your fingers at this new keyboard app for iOS 8. Phraseboard, as its name suggests, lets you quickly cycle through a series of phrases and tap once to type an entire sentence of your choice, such as ‘On my way home’ or ‘Yo dawg, s’up?’.
Phrases sitting within Phraseboard’s keyboard wrapper are entirely customizable, although the app starts with a few pre-set offerings to get you going — like a ‘Friends’ section with oft typed stalwarts like ‘Hey, What’s Up?’, ‘See you later!’ and ‘LOL’.
Or a ‘Family’ section which has some rather amusing pre-sets — including ‘Can i borrow some money?’ and ‘It wasn’t me’.
There’s also a personal info section which you can customize with your email address, Twitter name, Skype ID and so on to save having to re-type fiddly mixtures of numbers, letters and symbols.
And a location section which, if you agreed to share your location with the app, allows it to grab info on where you are so you can quickly share your location in a text. Perhaps a useful feature for those waking up after a heavy night out and wondering where exactly they’ve ended up.
Location aside, pretty much everything is customizable here — you can change the order phrases appear and even create new categories and edit all the phrases in the pre-sets to make them your own, saving a few precious taps next time you’re texting your buddies. Assuming, that is, you tend to talk in recurring pet phrases when you text.
Tapping on the globe icon will bring the native iOS 8 keyboard’s Qwerty back for filling in any gaps between pet phrases. Phrases saved within Phraseboard can be short or lengthy epistles. So this could end up as a shortcut way to annoying your friends, depending on usage. Probably careful usage is advisable if you don’t want to come across as more than a little robotic.
Co-founder Ricardo Beracha says the team behind the app started working on it in late June — a few weeks after Apple announced third party system wide keyboards would be enabled in iOS 8, finally sanctioning disruption of the native iOS keyboard.
“The idea began when we noticed that there is not a single keyboard that fits all. So we developed a keyboard where the user can customize it to create his own most used phrases and sort them by categories. That way it is really easy to reply or comment very quickly,” says Beracha.
Phraseboard is currently free, as it makes a bid to grab users and stand out from the iOS alternative keyboard crowd. But the plan is to switch it to a paid app later, or add additional features as in-app purchases to monetize the software.
If you’re still hunting for the perfect iOS 8 keyboard check out our recent round-up of nine alternative keyboards — from predictive keyboards to swipe-style interfaces to emoji and GIF finder keyboards. On iOS 8, it’s a whole brave new keyboard world out there…
To add a new keyboard to iOS 8 you need to go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard… and then — with certain keyboards — you may also need to tap again to ‘Allow Full Access’ to enable their full feature-set.
Once you’ve done all this the newly enabled keyboard should appear as the default. Tapping on the keyboard’s globe icon will toggle you back to the native iOS keyboard (or through any other keyboards you have enabled). Tapping and holding on the globe brings up a menu where you can choose between multiple keyboards if you have several enabled.