Mystery: The missing iOS7 keyboard

Apple released iOS7 as an upgrade for qualifying iPhones and iPads yesterday. The crisp redesigned interface includes a clean new keyboard. Problem is it's not in many apps yet, including Apple's.

Mystery missing iOS7 keyboard
Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

While upgrading my iPads to iOS7 I was thrilled to see a clean new onscreen keyboard appear in the setup process. I have long hated the ugly gray keyboard that's been part of iOS forever. The new one is a crisp white keyboard that looks much nicer than the previous model.

Calendar new keyboard

After the iOS7 upgrade finished on my iPad I tested most of the apps that are part of the OS. The nice new keyboard is in those apps, Calendar, Notes, and Reminders among them. 

Third party apps are a different story as the ugly old keyboard is front and center in almost all of them. I tested quite a few and the new keyboard is not to be found in most of them. Apparently, it's up to the individual app to use the new keyboard and few apps have been updated to do so. That's a bit surprising as iOS7 has been available to developers for some time.

Surprisingly, one of the only third party apps using the new keyboard is Google's Chrome browser. Google jumped on getting Chrome updated for the launch of iOS7 and that's pretty cool. Unfortunately Google's Gmail app is still using the ugly old keyboard.

Pages old keyboard
Pages app with old keyboard/ interface

While it's annoying that few third party apps have been updated to use the nice new keyboard, you'd expect Apple to get its own ducks in a row. That hasn't happened as the Pages and Keynote apps are still using the old keyboard. In fact, nothing in those apps has been updated for the iOS7 redesign. That's not cool and so unike Apple.

At least those two iWorks apps use the old keyboard. The Numbers app doesn't display a keyboard at all and is unusable without an external keyboard connected. Apple better get this updated pretty darn quickly.

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