Ask any Android fan what they like best about the platform, and they’ll surely tell you about the ability to use third-party software keyboards such as Swype and SwiftKey.
It’s a feature that’s sorely missing from Apple’s iPhone, but Fleksy has come up with a workaround. The company, which last year released a standalone keyboard app for the iPhone, is now allowing some other app makers to add Fleksy as an option.
The text editor Wordbox, for instance, lets you switch to the Fleksy keyboard through the app’s settings menu. Other apps that have added Fleksy include GV Connect, Blindsquare and Launch Center Pro. According to The Verge, other apps can request the feature, and Fleksy will approve them on a limited basis.
What’s so great about Fleksy? In theory, it’s far better at word prediction than the iPhone’s built-in keyboard, allowing you to type while barely even looking at where your fingers are going. After you type a word, Fleksy shows a list of predictions that you can toggle through by swiping up or down over the keyboard.
I haven’t spent enough time with Fleksy to say how well it works, but I’m impressed by the end-run around Apple’s restrictions. If enough other keyboard makers follow Fleksy’s lead, and enough text-heavy apps give users the option to switch, maybe it’ll convince Apple that the time is right for official third-party keyboard support. And Android diehards will have one less thing to brag about.