As an iPhone-carrying iOS supporter, I rarely look back on my days with an Android device with much longing. Or I didn’t, that is, until I saw this leak of SwiftKey Note, what is claimed to be an upcoming iOS app that integrates the popular third-party keyboard into its interface.
Sadly it seems like the app will act more as an exaggerated tech demo than anything else. It’s hard to imagine the software company known for its alternative Android keyboard will create a note taking app that could carve out much space for itself, but it will certainly offer an appealing mode of text input.
SwiftKey is smarter than the average keyboard. It learns a users typing style and tailors its predictions and corrections to match. Its latest iteration, Flow, allows users to use even fewer key strokes with swipe gesture input. For some, it’s an infinitely better option than the stock Android keyboard. And it makes us wish we at least had the option for iOS.
Apple’s refusal to open up the core of iOS to allow replacement keyboard apps has created an untapped market of iPhone and iPad users. Few have tried to create workarounds, including Fleksy. That particular app is working with developers to have the Fleksy keyboard installed as an option on an app-by-app basis, but it’s not a true solution.
It’s easy to see a workaround with SwiftKey Note. Type your messages in the app then copy/paste into another. But the extra steps involved in this process outweigh the time savings that SwiftKey can provide.
With apps like Fleksy and SwiftKey Note, perhaps Apple will take notice. Perhaps the whole point is to gently nudge the company toward allowing third-pary keyboards. Can we ever expect that to become a reality? We sure hope so.