iOS 8 – How To Add a Third-Party Keyboard

For the first time ever, iOS will support third-party keyboards.   There are several conventional and emoji keyboards out there but my favorite third-party keyboard is ‘GIF Keyboard’ by Riffsy.   Here is how to install ‘GIF Keyboard’ or any other third-party keyboard on your iOS 8 device.

STEP 1:  Download a keyboard app to your device. You can find keyboards by searching for ‘keyboard’ in the App Store.

STEP 2:  In Settings, go to General > Keyboard > Keyboards and tap ‘Add New Keyboard…’.


STEP 3:  Select the keyboard that you want to add.

add riffsy

STEP 4:  For Riffsy (and maybe some other keyboards), you need to grant full access to your photos.  To do so, tap on the keyboard that you just added (in this case, Riffsy) and slide the slider to the right to allow full access.


STEP 5:  To use your keyboard in an email or text message, touch and hold your finger on the globe.

keyboard globe

 STEP 6:  A list of available keyboards will appear.  Tap on the keyboard that you want to use.

keyboard list 1

With most keyboards, you just tap on the image to add it to your message.  Since Riffsy uses GIFs, it’s a ‘copy and paste’ effort.  No big deal.  Just a little different.

STEP 7:  The selected keyboard appears.  This is Riffsy’s keyboard.  Riffsy is free in the App Store.


As you can see, third-party keyboards are pretty simple to use and can spice up your messages.

About the Author

Judy Novotny

Judy is a computer veteran with 30 years of experience. She has owned everything from a TRS-80, Apple IIe and various Windows-based PCs. She is currently living in her Apple ecosystem at home consisting of an iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, Apple TV, iPod nano and two Time Capsules. She is a fan of all things mobile since she got her first Palm Pilot in 1999. Check out her iPad app, Number Wizard, in the App Store. Follow her on Twitter @junovotech or at