I\u2019ve been around long enough to remember handwriting recognition\u2019s checkered past.\nBack in the mid 90s, for instance, Apple introduced its (now-long-defunct) Newton handheld device. It was a cool idea, but the handwriting recognition was an epic fail.\nAs part of a Newton review, I tried writing lots of goofy words on the device\u2019s screen with my finger, to see how it interpreted them. One example: the Newton translated \u201cPia Zadora,\u201d the name of an obscure singer-actress, into \u201cpig radar.\u201d\nTwenty years later, handwriting recognition has returned to Apple handheld devices, this time in the form of the free third-party keyboard MyScript Stack. Apple recently opened up iOS 8 devices to non-Apple keyboards, so you can scribble words, one character at a time, using an input panel in various apps across your iPhone or iPad. It\u2019s sort of like using a Palm Pilot again. If you don't remember Palm Pilots, they were a post-Newton device that actually had decent handwriting recognition technology.\nIn my tests, MyScript Stack worked well, after some trial and error. Will it replace SwiftKey or Apple\u2019s own keyboard as my go-to input method? I doubt it.\nAfter many years as an iOS device user, I\u2019ve grown accustomed to Apple\u2019s keyboard, imperfect as it may be. With iOS 8, the Apple keyboard (finally) caught up with Android keyboards when comes to predicting words you\u2019re typing.\nBut there\u2019s something else to consider: security and privacy.\nBoth SwiftKey and MyScript Stack want you to give them "Full Access" to whatever you type using their keyboards. The screenshot below shows the permissions this Full Access gives developers.\n\nHere\u2019s Apple\u2019s statement regarding third-party keyboards and privacy:\n\n\u201cIf you enable Full Access, developers are permitted to access, collect and transmit the data you type. In addition, if the third party application containing the keyboard has your permission to access location, photos, or other personal data, the keyboard can also collect and transmit that information to the keyboard developer\u2019s servers.\u201d\n\nDevelopers say they want full access to what you type so they can learn from your word-usage patterns and provide more customization options, which seems reasonable, to a degree. I probably wouldn't use a keyboard like MyScript Stack to input credit card numbers or other highly sensitive information anyway.\nStill, there\u2019s something about this \u201cfull access\u201d thing that feels a tad unsettling. Until (or unless) I get over those qualms, I won\u2019t be using any third-party iOS 8 keyboards on a regular basis, no matter how well they work.\nIf you\u2019re comfortable with the idea, MyScript Stack could save you time and aggravation. It even got "Pia Zadora" right.