It isn’t everyday you hear of a new keyboard coming to iOS due to the fact that Apple restricts the ability for developers to do this, but today this has happened. Flesky has just announced its predictive touch keyboard is now available for iOS developers to integrate into their applications through an SDK.
This SDK allows developers to replace the default iOS keyboard with Flesky’s popular alternative keyboard that includes a number of features including sophisticated prediction and autocorrection, as well as gesture-based functions such as space and delete. MacRumors has more on the launch:
Bringing Fleksy to other iOS apps is not without its challenges. Unlike Android, which is open to all sorts of third-party keyboard creations, Apple gives you its keyboard and nothing else. Developers can build their own special keyboards on an app-by-app basis, though it’s uncommon. Google’s done that with a handful of its iOS apps, while Wolfram Alpha’s special search app keyboard takes up nearly the entire screen with custom buttons. Although it was rumored Apple was considering opening up to third-party keyboard makers, ultimately it didn’t. But it did throw developers a bone by simplifying its software tools, says Fleksy founder Ioannis Verdelis.
“With every new version of iOS the work required on our part to build a keyboard SDK has reduced significantly,” he says. “We’re [now] doing stuff on iOS that integrates the keyboard deeper than it’s ever been integrated.”
You can try out the new keyboard with four apps:
- BlindSquare: Combines location and FourSquare information to assist visually impaired users in their daily lives [Direct Link]
- GV Connect: Phone and SMS client for Google Voice users [Direct Link]
- Launch Center Pro: Application launcher with shortcuts for frequently accessed tasks [Direct Link]
- Wordbox: Clean and simple text editor [Direct Link]
Flesky will be working with select developers to bring its keyboard to their apps and then the SDK will eventually be open to everyone.