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QuickKey review: Custom text snippet keyboard lacks actual typing skills

J.R. Bookwalter | Nov. 5, 2015
Developers have come up with all kinds of clever tricks for third-party keyboards since the debut of iOS 8 last year. Some make it easy to find and use animated GIFs, others overdose on cute Emoji, and a few actually try to improve on Apple’s stock keyboard with gestures, predictive typing, and more.

Somewhat ironically, one thing QuickKey lacks is an actual keyboard for entering text. Instead, users must switch to their favorite keyboard, type, then jump back again. Curiously, the app does include a tab for adding numbers, spaces, and other special characters, which is accessed by tapping three horizontal dots; there are also delete and return buttons in the lower right corner.

QuickKey’s app settings also includes an option for displaying the custom labels you’ve assigned to snippets while using the keyboard. Last but not least, the settings screen includes a blank field for giving snippets a quick test drive.

Aside from missing an actual keyboard, the only real limitation with QuickKey is its rigid adherence to built-in categories. There’s no designated area for text snippets that don’t fit one of the predefined areas—in a pinch, Phrases can be used for just about anything, but the developer should consider allowing users to set up custom categories and fields as well.

As it stands now, QuickKey is off to a good, if not great, start. I found it to be more convenient than either TextExpander or Clips in actual use. Although the app does run on iPad, it’s not yet a universal build; this doesn’t really detract from using it on a tablet, but the lack of iCloud sync means you’ll need to start from scratch on each and every device.

Bottom line

QuickKey isn’t snippet perfection quite yet, but it’s easy to set up and makes filling out online forms a snap, provided you don’t need an actual keyboard, that is.


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