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Apple Copies Every Android Keyboard on Earth, Introduces QuickType Predictive Text

Hey, WWDC is happening (our live blog is here) and we are beginning our list of things that Apple has invented in the new version of their mobile operating system, iOS 8. If you didn’t catch the sarcasm in that line, what I really mean is, a list of features that have been on Android for years that Apple is just now getting to.

First up, QuickType, a feature added to Apple’s keyboard. What does QuickType do? It predicts what you want to type by showing you suggestions. Think Swiftkey, Google Keyboard, Swype, and every other keyboard introduced on Android since, I don’t know, 2011?

More reinventions on the way. 

apple quicktype

  • Leave this up

    Why do all of you that don’t own apple products care so much? You don’t see iphone owners all getting together and wasting their own time by bitching about samsung’s products… You’re just lame. Shut up.

  • GetaLife

    Why do all of you that don’t own apple products care so much? You don’t see iphone owners all getting together and wasting their own time by bitching about samsung’s products… You’re just lame. Shut up.

  • CalebG

    Why does everybody get so up tight about this??? Google rips off Apple just as much as Apple rips off Google… It’s preference guys.

  • This article and the comments serve as an interesting study of how common Android rallyers see their opposition, and how they handle competition. It’s as if there’s something deep in the heart of the Androidist — borne out of the mindset that loves Android’s strengths and isn’t bothered by its weaknesses — that causes these impulsive reactions to fight! spit! bite! kick! in the junk! never give up!

    For the record: Craig and gang never claimed to have invented anything new with QuickType— no allusions to its predecessors were mentioned, nor claims of originality; only that’s it’s new in iOS 8 (in comparison to iOS 7).  Second, the portion of the 2-hour presentation dedicated to QuickType was miniscule; less than a minute by my account— Apple is clearly presenting this as a nicety, not a bullet-point feature.  Third, Apple has for decades been releasing features in their OSes that have become de facto standard offerings in the field from a number of 3rd parties, but in a baseline form— Apple wishes its developers continue to innovate while they pack-in the basics that everyone should have trivial access to.  It’s no coincidence that QuickType was announced in tandem with support for 3rd-party keyboards (finally!)  TouchType Ltd. & Nuance Communications, get ready for a boon in revenue.

    If you’d like to get in a pissing fight, Apple generally isn’t interested (does that robotic jackass Tim Cook count as Apple?) However, as a developer deeply invested in the UX community I will— Don’t forget that alternate keyboards on Android began out of need for something to replace the nearly-unusable Android-stock soft keyboard— while iOS has had a highly responsive, learning (positional-correction) keyboard from day one.

    • alex

      Your thoughtful response is appreciated in this thread, I really wish there could be more rational discussion on this site. It has become all too common to ascribe language to Apple that they never actually use. You make a great point that not once did Apple ever say they invented this feature, yet almost every comment here is taking them to task for something they didn’t say. Hilarious.

      • Ha, thanks. I was expecting a bunch of backlash by now too— but I think this comment thread system is designed around prioritizing popular opinions and hiding unpopular ones. 😉

    • Colin

      You are partly right, but when the common Apple Rallyers are worse than the Android ones and Apple is suing others for minor features, they did not even invent and are so generic its hard to believe, you can see why they criticize Apple and their extreme fanboys. Just read any pro Apple site and you will see the crazy comments that are made.

      It goes beyond the keyboard features, nearly the whole update of IOS 8 which is being touted as a major one is made up of features copied from other OS’s. This is great for IOS users who will be getting a much better OS, but smacks of extreme double standards.

      • Solid points. Most of us will admit post-Jobs Apple is much different that with-Jobs Apple— Jobs wasn’t into picking lawsuit fights unless completely necessary.

        Did you catch the Vista-esque sidebar widgets in Mavericks?

  • Frettfreak

    You know i really hate all the legal stuff… HOWEVER, a taste of their own medicine would be nice. SOMEONE has to have a patent on this feature right? Swiftkey, swype, google, SOMEONE?? PLease sue apple, they deserve it!

    • Aooga

      Didn’t apple sue samsung for this exact thing? Or was it auto correct?

  • Tommy

    “Apple just perfected it” right? What a joke

  • WickedToby741

    Cupertino, start your photocopiers.

  • eilegz

    to be honest all of those predictive keyboard its inferior compared to ios keyboard which feel really like a keyboard and i find it more precise and easy to use, they are keep improving and adding features at least.

    • WickedToby741

      Are you on crack?

  • Nick

    The conference was absolutely sickening to watch.. I’m disgusted by apple, how can you start off bashing a company then steal all of its ideas and call it apple innovation!! Challenge:Name something in iOS 8 that was talked about today that wasn’t on android already. – f#$k apple

    • Kevin

      Most of the features that people say were “stolen” from android they never claimed to invent. They never said third party keyboards or iCloud Drive were revolutionary or “innovative”, they merely said they were new additions in ios 8. Please leave your initial judgments outside the door when leaving comments here.
      Oh and your challenge: Continuity, Family Sharing etc…

      • Guest

        They didn’t have to say they invented it, they already have the huuuge hypocritical double standard of suing Samsung for things like swipe to unlock, pinch to zoom, bounce back at the end of a list, contours on the back of a phone, home screen GUI, and more trivially basic “features.” Then they turn around and add things like a copy of android’s intent system, support for 3rd party keyboards, predictive typing, widgets, and much more. Now think about it… which list has more solid concrete innovative original features/ideas? The list of super basic features that Apple sued Samusng for, or the list of things Apple is now hypocritically copying (with no one caring enough to sue back and give them a piece of their own medicine)?

  • Brandon Nicholson

    This all makes sense as to why Apple and Google “amicably” ended their patent wars.

  • LiiIiikEaBau5

    It’s called innovation!

    • Guest

      the conference was sickening to watch this is absolutely disgusting how they start off bashing android then stealing all their ideas and calling it innovation. F-#k apple….. challenge: name one thing from that conference that isnt on android already .

  • bored_guest

    I wish someone can just scream out, “This is a RIPOFF of Android!!!!” Just to see what the presenters will say.

    • Aooga

      Go next year and do it. If only it wasn’t $1500 I would go and yell that out. I would also wear a shirt with a huge android on it and take a big android plushy with me.

  • Inquizitor

    To be honest, it doesn’t matter who did it first, it just matters who’s doing it better now. And from the looks of it, the predictive keyboard here looks smarter just because it remembers the writing style you use based on context, as well as reads the message thread and predicts relevant responses (like the dinner or movie example). A lot of what they showed today was dumb glitter, but the keyboard and messaging features really did seem to outclass Android. All the cross-compatibility with messaging, texting, and calling made me feel extra bad at how bad Hangouts is, and how agonizingly slow the death of Google Voice has been. It’s pretty bad…

    • mendy817

      If google did that (read the message thread and predict relevant responses) people would be screaming from the rooftops about privacy and how google is just trying to steal all of your info.

      • Inquizitor

        Unfortunately, true. Though Tim Cook did stress that the personalization data would remain siloed on the device. It seems like it won’t even be shared between iOS devices, which isn’t such a bad thing considering how people may have different writing styles depending on their device.

  • Robert

    pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering. – I think so brain but if Apple had to innovate they’d be out of business

  • Haskell Gray

    You type “Look what I b” and it predicts you actually wanted to type do, want, or was? That makes it look very accurate in it’s predictions….

    • John McAvoy

      I would have predicted “bought”.

  • RealPetChicken

    @regkilla is a troll, don’t give in to his trolling.

  • Nick Gomez

    Funny thing is none of the suggestions start with B

  • regkilla

    Pack your bags Fandroids. Apple is smashing Android once again!

    • nope

      gtfo back to your tardrumours.com page troll.

  • Brian_2112

    Apple’s finally improving its keyboard…they’re getting closer to Android’s keyboard capabilities by copying them. Of course, Apple acts like they came up with the idea, and the fanboys will act the same way.

    It’s happened for the last few years, and whatever else Apple “innovates” with iOS 8 will just be second nature for Android users. We already have much more than they have, and I don’t see that changing with the iPhone 6 or whatever phones they make next.

  • BoKnowz

    #applehaditfirst #trololol

  • Jason Kahn

    Feels Right posting this

    • Frettfreak

      i am not defending apple in the slightest, but you are out of your mind if you think android oems are any different

      • Jason Kahn

        I know that’s why think different works. Think about it you’ll get it

  • WestFiasco

    I just don’t get these deluded Apple bastards. Why can’t they either acknowledge the strengths of the android platform or shut up about it and push their products. I’m mostly pissed about how cook said android users left for ios to seek a better experience yet here there are pushing this feature that’s been on android and other platforms for what seems like forever like it’s new. So they’re going to claim they’ve done it better than everyone else now?

    • Anonymous

      He didn’t mention people that went from iPhone to Android. That’s what I did. I was tired of the limited and boring experience. Everyone I know uses iDevices because they don’t think it is limited. “What do you mean it’s limited? Look, I can download apps!” That is when I blast them with my One M8’s BoomSound speakers.

      • WestFiasco

        Lol, it really is limited. I wonder how long it’s going to take before they finish playing catch up.

  • Wow that design. Is this a real screen shot or did they just photoshop Swiftkey in?

  • bolski

    The sincerest form of flattery is imitation. Isn’t that what Steve Job’s did as well as Bill Gates? 😀

  • EP_2012

    This really is a win for consumers. The more that iOS becomes like Android, the more useful it becomes. My iPad becomes more useful as these “android-like” features are announced and implemented.

    • regkilla

      iOS just beat Android even more.

      • EP_2012

        They “beat” Android by implementing features that Android has had for years and stick lack other features that won’t be seen in iOS for several more years? I don’t see where you’re going with this logic…

        • geedee82

          I don’t think he does either..

        • RealPetChicken

          @regkilla is a troll, don’t respond to that loser.

      • chocolate8175

        You’re a tool, go away. We get it, you’re gonna comment on everything to stir it up with your apple fan boy stuff. Nobody cares, go away

      • rawr

        Check the scoreboard. Not the Tim Cook one, but the real distribution numbers.

        And for those who say “yea well free phones”, Google doesn’t care how much the phone sells for, they care about the amount of people they can push adwords to.

  • hfoster52

    I think Kellen hit the nail on the head. Its “Reinvention”.

    Lets take everything everyone else loves about every other phone and drop it into iOS so no one can comment well my android phone can do this and an iPhone can’t. Issue is its doesn’t always work better and people that are used to something on an Android phone won’t necessarily switch over just because they copied a feature.

    If I had a nickle for everytime I show and apple user a widget(including Google Now) they about freak out and wish they had it.

    Apple is trying to stop the bleed. Taking feedback at why people switch and copying the good features and dismissing the bad.

    Apple devs do drink lots of Kool-Aid and eat their own dog food after all.

    But hey my 65+ year old in-laws lover their apple products.

  • ChristianPasquariello

    IOS 8 will have widgets! How amazing.

    • hfoster52

      Yup way to catch up to 2011 iOS. Time to get those training wheels off.

  • indiana85

    Boy that “new” Apple keyboard sure looks similar to an Android keyboard smh

  • akhnaten

    I am super disappointed that the best improvement Apple could make to the keyboard is only predictive typing! Couldn’t they have taken 1 of the $2 billion they overpaid for Beats and bought Swiftkey?

    • hfoster52

      Hardware and patents make more money than software.

    • bolski

      Heck no. Leave Swiftkey alone. If Apple got a hold of that, we’d never see it improve for Android ever.

      • akhnaten

        Exactly, it would be the perfect anti-competitive move. Since I posted my first comment, Apple announced iOS 8 would support 3rd party keyboards, aka Swiftkey. YEAH! So until Apple does buy them, it will mean the best of both worlds on both platforms. You can bet now that this is happening, someone (Google or Apple) will buy them.

  • Brian

    Can Apple just get rid of ios and just have iphones run Android? This is just embarrassing. There is no reason this shouldn’t have been on ios years ago.

  • Taurussho14

    Apple is stupid.

  • old news

    My Moto Star flip phone had predictive ‘T9’ typing back in 2005.

  • Droid Ronin

    All these guys in the audience are idiots for thinking that these are “revolutionary” ideas when they existed on other platforms YEARS ago.

    • Daistaar

      The guys in the audience are developers that are happy that they finally get to incorporate these things into their apps. Very far from idiots.

    • gfere96

      All thee people who are in the audience are journalists who are aware of the competition and developers who can code apps and are excited about how these features will improve their apps. They’re far from idiots.

  • 213ninja

    yet another reason the broadcast was locked down………..

    • Taurussho14

      Locked down? They are streaming it

      • Detonation

        Only to iOS and OSX devices unfortunately

      • 213ninja

        “Live streaming video requires Safari 4 or later on OS X v10.6 or later; Safari on iOS 4.2 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 5.0.2 or later.”

  • J Davis

    Whats sad about this is that Apple executives actually get up on stage and talk about the NEW features as if they have never been seen before. I really don’t understand people who fall for this crap

    • JSo

      And the crowd claps and cheers like it’s revolutionary.

      • hfoster52

        There are iOS fan boys and never look out what’s going on.

        • regkilla

          Please type in clear english.

          • hfoster52

            Its corrected. Used my iPhone Swype ripoff app to type it.

      • Blue Sun

        I think it’s more of a cheer because it’s finally available.

      • regkilla

        Because it’s done much better this time.

      • gfere96

        I’m pretty sure they are aware of the competition as they’re all developers and journalists. I’m sure they know what Android is and what it’s capable of, and i’m pretty sure that they’re happy because these new features will positively impact them, not because these features are revolutuionnary.

  • litobirdy

    wait, seriously, isnt this already on iphones. my wife types and i see the word suggestion. or is it just 1 word auto correct that im thinking?

    • Taurussho14

      No this is diferent.

      • cristian donose

        It was not invented yet ….

    • akhnaten

      You are thinking of auto-correct, where you pretty much have to type the entire word out before that kicks in.

  • Nicolas Palomo

    its so pathetic how they are so proud of new features that are just basic for us android users and even more pathetic how they always have to compare numbers with android.

    • regkilla

      The numbers hurt don’t it?

      • hfoster52

        Not really. Because if you compare features in the OS iOS would hurt.

      • michael arazan

        With ios having 17% of the global market share and dropping, yes it hurts……them

  • Steve

    So when are they going to sue google, samsung and the rest for stealing it from them?

    • regkilla

      Maybe when you stop using that old, tired joke.

  • NexusMan

    Wait….that has not ALREADY been on iOS?

    • rawr

      I was surprised too. Guess what else they don’t have, APP DRAWERS.

      Like who doesn’t have app drawers?

      • cristian donose

        They will maybe invent them in IOS 10 :))

        • regkilla

          Like Android 4.1 is a lot like 4.4.2

          • 213ninja

            a sphincter says what?

          • KOBALT


      • K

        I think they do. Their screen layout looks like a typical horizontal app drawer. So I guess what they don’t have is an actual homescreen.

      • tomn1ce

        they’ll get the app drawer next year…..lol

        • regkilla

          While 4.5 will look just like 4.4.2

          • grumpyfuzz

            And you know this how? Also, iOS 8 doesn’t have any design improvements as far as I can tell.

    • Colts5609

      Wondered this myself, but since iOS doesn’t support custom keyboards, so it is not very surprising. Totally forgot I had this as an arguing point when I talk with iSheep. The iOS keyboard sucks and is a pain in the ass to use compared to any android keyboard.

  • This keynote is extremely painful to watch. I wish I was there so I could stand up and say “You know this has been on Android for years, right?”

    • nate

      You would be everyone’s hero.

    • Bryan Mills

      Then you’d get sued because they invented Free Speech.

      • regkilla

        Old joke.

        • Grizzly Atoms

          I think you mean premise.

        • Nick V

          Still funny

    • 213ninja

      that’s why they locked it down…to limit that potential……

      • Taurussho14

        They didn’t lock anything down. You can watch it right now

    • 213ninja

      you’d think the presenters would be embarrassed to get up there and pretend these features were new…

    • Amen..

    • regkilla

      Apple is doing it better.

      • Justin Strickland

        And you know this how? Have you used iOS8 yourself?

        • Alex James Simon

          I don’t think you understand… Its Apple… Lol

        • regkilla

          I can tell already.

        • Caleb

          yes, downloaded beta version its amazing

      • 213ninja


      • kingkilla

        I am betting this user doesn’t even own an Apple device.

        …he’s just posting to see how many people he can get riled up.

        (He’s doing a pretty good job of it!)

        Just ignore him, guys. He’s obviously on the wrong site…

      • masamang.oso

        Oh YES, just like the Apple Maps, it’s a killer app, a must have if you’re suicidal ….

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  • Bryan Mills

    “We invented everything. ” – Apple

    “F*÷* off”. – Google

    • regkilla

      Who’s doing it better though? Apple.

      • Bryan Mills


      • 213ninja

        right, everyone likes their widgets in the notification pull down……that’s the only place they’re useful.

      • Frettfreak

        yeah.. sales in every country would beg to differ.