Fleksy is a keyboard that allows you to mindlessly pound out sentences on your phone with one hand. Its smart, predictive typing system is very forgiving and intuitive–did you mean “big” instead of “buf”?–allowing you to type, well… dumb.
Like with SwiftKey, Android users are able to swap their default keyboard for Fleksy. But thanks mainly to the App Store’s increasingly arcane restrictions on third-party keyboards, IOS users have to download a dedicated Fleksy app, type out their message, and then hit another button to take them to a screen where they can then send a text, tweet, or email. It’s an inelegant workaround, but a necessary one.
Now, there may be evidence that Apple is loosening the reins. After a private beta, Fleksy today opened its iOS SDK for other developers who might want to build its sublime typing capabilities into their applications. “We’re very excited to finally make our SDK available to hundreds of thousands of developers around the world,” Ioannis Verdelis, COO of Fleksy, said in a statement. “We learned a lot from the private beta and today’s release brings the most beautiful, streamlined third-party keyboard experience yet for iOS.”
What kind of apps can you already use Fleksy with? At launch there’s Wordbox, a note-taking app; Google Voice Connect, a call and SMS client for Google Voice; and BlindSquare, a $24 location app that uses Foursquare to help the blind navigate. Verdelis tells me more are on the way.
Using other apps to circumnavigate the App Store’s restrictions is a clever workaround. Scaling will be an issue: Part of the challenge will be convincing developers like Mailbox or WhatsApp that Fleksy is the right keyboard to build into their UX. “Any developer will be able to submit an update, with zero code required, and give their users access to our award-winning keyboard,” Verdelis says in an email.
It’s still a far cry from using Fleksy to fire off iMessages while you’re juggling a coffee and an umbrella. But it will have to do until Apple’s gatekeepers have a change of heart.