Talking tech since 2003

If we’re lucky, Fleksy’s new open source SDK could completely change the way developers look at developing for iOS.

One of the most oft-quoted upsides to Android as a platform over iOS and Windows Phone is its amazing flexibility and powerful customization options. There’s literally almost nothing the end user can’t change about the Android experience with a simple download from the Google Play store. One of the most common customization options has always been replacement keyboards, which allow users to replace the mediocre Android keyboard with excellent and feature rich alternatives, such as the ever popular Swiftkey. But things have always looked very different on the iOS side of things – Apple doesn’t allow developers access to modify the operating system itself, requiring that all applications stay sandboxed; this meant that if you don’t like iOS’s built in keyboard, then tough.

What Fleksy is hoping, however, that they can change that model, bringing choice to iOS users everywhere with their new Fleksy SDK. Fleksy offers developers access to a brand new, highly functional swipe based keyboard (not dissimilar from Android’s Swiftkey) that they can then chose to integrate into their application alongside the default iOS keyboard. Fleksy offers some key advantages over the default iOS keyboard, including amazingly accurate predictive typing and auto correct functionality, easy access to a dictionary, as well as a unique “invisibility mode” of sorts that hides the keyboard, revealing the content underneath, but still allowing “touch typists” to type.

Developers will, of course, need to make the choice and spend some time implementing Fleksy into all of their individual applications – because Fleksy doesn’t have access to iOS on a system level, each application must contain its own instance of Fleksy – which means that only a small handful of applications will likely ever gain access to this excellent looking alternate keyboard. Wordbox, GV ConnectLaunch Center Pro and Blindsquare are all currently on board to implement Fleksy into future versions of their applications, which is a decent start, but as long as they can get a discussion out there this might be a sign to Apple that this is a piece of missing functionality that they need to seriously consider in future versions of iOS.

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