I’m a fan of the iPad keyboard. For me, it does everything I need it to, and it does it very well. It’s intuitive, predictable and got a whole lot better with iOS 8. However, I am an adult, and a proficient user of technology. Younger students may not find it as easy to use, and they may not be able to remember the hidden secrets and power-tips for using the iPad keyboard. Enter Keedogo.
Keedogo is a third-party keyboard app that simplifies the keyboard interface and makes it more colorful and appealing for students who are learning how to type. It is optimized for ease of use. For instance, there are only two keyboard screens, as opposed to the three layers you get on the standard iOS keyboard. The exclamation point and the question mark get their own keys that don’t require the use of the shift key to activate them. It uses lower case letters, has the vowels highlighted in a different color and can be used in a QWERTY or ABC layout.
Currently there are two variations of the app – Keedogo, ($1.99) and Keedogo Plus, ($2.99). The Plus version includes automatic capitalization, auto spacing, and word prediction. A switch accessible version called Keeble ($9.99) is coming soon. Because they are third-party keyboards, they will only work on iPads running iOS 8, but once installed, the Keedogo keyboards can be used in any app on your iPad. The Keedogo apps are also eligible for discounts in the VPP Store.
In my testing they worked exactly as you would expect them to. However, there is a known issue with iOS 8 and the correct operation of third-party keyboards when Guided Access is enabled. More information here.
If you install Keedogo on shared iPads, or a teacher’s iPads, you can quickly revert to the standard iPad keyboard with the press of a button. The Keedogo apps are made by AsstiveWare, a developed who has already made their name in education with popular apps for special education like Proloquo2Go, Pictello and News-2-You. So, if you are interested in a more child-friendly keyboard for your iPads, the Keedogo keyboards are well worth a look.