I consider pre-iOS 7 keyboard design to be the best looking and affordably designed on-screen keyboard ever. The colors (subtle gradients) and animations when a key is activated were just perfect. When iOS 7 came, I was pretty annoyed how much uglier it looked like and consequently how it “felt” during use.
Which is why I casually followed the hubbub over the many changes during the 7.1 beta and the final result we were all given. Lots of people discussed it, mostly lamenting the result but I didn’t find any actual proposal for the better apart from Stefan Laketa’s colored button approach. Granted, I did not look much as I already said, but if there was something it would’ve blip on my twitter timeline (I follow over a hundred iOS devs and designers).
Here’s my proposal for the visual change but also a discussion about a larger issue with the keyboard behavior I did not notice before.