Get Creative with This iOS 8 Keyboard

Why type your texts or use the same tired emoji icons in your emails when you could send a hand-drawn creation instead? The DrawType keyboard lets you do just that on your iPhone. New to iOS 8, custom keyboards let you choose how you input information into your mobile apps. With DrawType, you create a sketch instead of typing what you want to convey.

Make no mistake, I’m not recommending this as a productivity tool. It’s a frivolous timewaster, to be sure. I can imagine a parent having fun showing their kids that broccoli is on the dinner menu through the use of whimsical pictographs in a text. I can also see unlucky souls stuck in a boring meeting, messaging each other their interpretation of their boss as he complains about the lack of team productivity.

This non-productivity can be achieved with the ten colors and three pen widths DrawType provides for your sketching pleasure. The little window is a bit difficult to use on the iPhone 5, but the tapered lines and multiple undos makes it a fun little diversion. Once you’re ready to send your hand-drawn reply to any question just hit the copy button and perform a tap and hold to paste the drawing into the text field. There are a few caveats with using with third-party keyboards in regards to the information they’re privy to, so I’d suggest reading up on the topic before purchasing ANY of them. If you want to have a little fun with your communication, I found DrawType to be worth the $1 entry fee.

Posted on: December 30, 2014

Erica Gamet

Erica Gamet has been involved in the graphics industry for over 25 years. She is a speaker, writer, and trainer, focusing on Adobe InDesign and Illustrator, Apple Keynote and iBooks Author, and other print- and production-related topics. She is a regular contributor to InDesign Magazine, tech edited How To Do Everything with Adobe InDesign CS4, and served as leader of the Denver InDesign User Group. After living as a nomad for almost a year, she recently put down roots in El Paso, Texas, where she hikes and bikes every chance she gets. Check out to see all of Erica's upcoming events, tips and tricks, and workbooks.

2 Comments on Get Creative with This iOS 8 Keyboard

  1. Major thankies for the article. Much obliged.

  2. the requirement of granting all access to your messages makes this a no-go.

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