Shift Keyboard GraphicSource: Adam Foot

What you need to know

  • Shift Keyboard 5 is available for download from the App Store now.
  • This update includes new smart autocorrect and suggestions algorithms for easier text entry.
  • An improved swipe keyboard is part of the new update.

Launching a big update to your Apple Watch keyboard in the days of Apple Watch Series 7 might not seem like the best thing to do, but that's the situation developer Adam Foot finds himself in with Shift Keyboard 5. And while Apple has added its own keyboard to Apple Watch Series 7, that's the only place it will be. Shift Keyboard, by contrast, works everywhere. And you should give it a try right now.

Designed to make it easier and faster to type on your Apple Watch, Shift Keyboard now supports the latest watchOS 8 features while also building on functionality that was already there. This new update includes new smart autocorrect and suggestions algorithms for easier text entry, for example. An improved layout means those with smaller watches will be able to type more easily, and more accurately, too.

Going back to those watchOS 8 features for a moment, Foot says that Shift Keyboard now dims itself instead of just showing the time when you move your wrist.

watchOS 8 added the ability for developers to hide content in their app when an Apple Watch is facing down and the app is still open, instead of just showing the time as per watchOS 7. Shift Keyboard takes advantage of this by hiding the current typed message when the Apple Watch is dimmed.

There are a bunch more changes, too.

  • Improved swipe keyboard that will more accurately accept swipes and predict what you were typing.
  • Added the ability to add your own custom words to the dictionary.
  • Devices running watchOS 8 or higher and have an Always-On display, will have their current message blurred out when their wrist is down.
  • Improved corrections picker when you turn the Digital Crown.
  • Improved access to numbers, symbols and global characters.
  • Improved accessibility for visually impaired users who rely on VoiceOver.
  • Shift Keyboard is now localised in additional languages including British English, Hebrew, Korean, Romanian & Vietnamese.

That isn't all of it, either. Newly updated complications fit existing watch faces better and even the app icon has changed. More importantly, Shift Keyboard works on any Apple Watch running watchOS 7 or newer, so you can use it on your old Apple Watch. The new watch might be the best Apple Watch ever, but you don't need it if you want a keyboard, that's for sure.

You can download Shift Keyboard and take it for a spin right now and it's priced at $2.99.

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