GIF Keyboard on the App Store on iTunes 2014-09-23 13-40-31

Although dozens of custom keyboards have been launching left and right just in time for iOS 8, most of them have stayed rather traditional. Yes, there’s new features here and there that are firsts for iOS like the ability to swipe to type using Swype and SwiftKey, but these are still just keyboards for typing letters. A new keyboard from Riffsy called GIF Keyboard, on the other hand, isn’t really a keyboard—it’s a great way to quickly and easily send GIFs to friends using your favorite apps.

After you install it and activate it from deep within the Settings app (which is a pain), you’ll find that it’s set up somewhat similar to the Emoji keyboard. Along the bottom you’ll find various GIF categories, within each there’s a set of GIFs with one to fit any possible situation you could dream of. Each image is under a hashtag like “#MINDBLOWN” or “#LOL”, so it’s pretty easy to find one that suits the conversation.

Much like the Emoji keyboard, the app also keeps track of all the GIFs you send in a “Recent” tab for quick access to your most utilized graphics. Most interestingly about this new keyboard is that it also takes advantage of another new iOS 8 feature: app extensions. If you’re in an app like Safari, you can actually use an app extension to add your own GIFs to the keyboard from sites like BuzzFeed or Reddit.

Riffsy’s GIF Keyboard is aptly named “GIF Keyboard” and can be picked up on the App Store right now for free. Of course, you’re going to need to be running iOS 8 for it to work. This first version I found the be a little buggy, but there’s nothing I noticed that makes the experience completely unbearable.

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Stephen Hall

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