Have you ever used a great third-party keyboard on an Android(s goog) device and wished for the same experience on your iPhone(s aapl)? That might finally happen, as Fleksy just made its iOS keyboard SDK available to all developers.
Fleksy first introduced the SDK back in December, but it’s been in a closed beta until now. Apple doesn’t allow third-party keyboards to be installed across its operating system the way that Google does with Android, but Fleksy makes it extremely easy for developers to integrate its keyboard within their app, since it doesn’t require any additional lines of code. iOS users will need to have the free Fleksy app installed, since it will remember settings and make for a universal keyboard experience no matter which app you use. You’ll see an option to switch to Fleksy in supported apps when you press down to bring up the cut, copy and paste field. Right now you’ll find Fleksy support in a few apps, such as Cotton Notes, SnapStatus and Tap Forms.
What makes Fleksy more appealing than the traditional iOS keyboard? Part of it is visual — the keys themselves are larger and easier to hit correctly on the first try. And once you get the hang of it, Fleksy uses a combination of gestures and traditional typing that actually make it faster and easier to type. You can just flick your finger right or left anywhere on the keyboard to enter a space or delete a word, for instance. And Fleksy’s autocorrect is truly a force to be reckoned with. I couldn’t even trick it into getting any words wrong.
Just for fun, you can also change the color of the keyboard, though certain colors must be purchased. Fleksy plans to keep the app itself free, and monetize it through colorful add-on themes and various other features in the future.
I like the standard iOS keyboard just fine, but Fleksy shows there’s room for improvement. And after seeing how popular alternative keyboards like Swype have become for Android, it’s clear that there’s plenty of room for Fleksy to grow, as long as it can entice developers to sign on.