Subsequent’s Intelligent New iOS Keyboard Has Virtually Every part You Need
Ever since Apple launched help for customized keyboards in iOS eight, third-celebration builders rushed in to fill the void with keyboards that provided an array of options like predictive emoji, quick access to GIFs, swipe-based mostly enter, and extra. Immediately, one other new contender is throwing its hat into the now-crowded ring: Subsequent, a skinnable customized keyboard that gives predictive typing, quick modifying, plus immediate entry to emojis and stickers.
The app itself was developed by Tiny Hearts, an unbiased improvement studio based mostly in Toronto which has put out quite a lot of iOS purposes through the years, together with youngsters app Pocket Zoo, a recreation referred to as Instamatch, a well-liked alarm clock Wake Alarm, and a 7-minute exercise app Fast Match, amongst others.
Nevertheless, explains Tiny Hearts founder Robleh Jama, the bootstrapped firm has been very targeted on the Subsequent keyboard for the previous yr and plans to spin it out as a separate firm.
“Our aim is to create merchandise which have the potential to grow to be sustainable cellular corporations,” he says.
The keyboard app initially acquired its begin on Kickstarter, the place over 6,500 backers pledged almost $sixty five,000 (CAD) to convey the app to life. Now, after over a yr of labor, the Subsequent keyboard is reside on the App Retailer.
The app itself provides various options which will attraction to those that like to offer their keyboard a bit of pizzaz, together with a spread of colourful themes, plus fast entry to emojis and stickers. The emoji will truly be advised to you as you sort, and you may faucet a button on the Subsequent keyboard to shortly transfer over to the built-in emoji keyboard the place you’ll be able to swipe to modify between emoji and stickers.
Right here, you’ll be able to scroll vertically to browse by way of the usual set of emoji, or swipe horizontally to modify over to the part that includes Subsequent’s personal “big” emoji and your sticker collections. The corporate gives 60 unique stickers at launch, however will possible broaden its sticker retailer in time. Presently, the stickers aren’t out there as in-app purchases, however quite you “pay” to obtain totally different sticker units by tweeting concerning the Subsequent keyboard.
Shortly after launch, further themes, stickers and GIFs shall be made out there by way of in-app purchases. However, in the meanwhile, all of the add-ons are free.
Whereas the stickers, emoji and themes make the keyboard enjoyable, the corporate truly spent most of its time creating the phrase prediction and autocorrect engine, which improves the extra you employ the keyboard. This will probably be an enormous focus going ahead, as nicely, notes Jama.
“We plan on persevering with to enhance our prediction engine, including swipe typing, and persevering with to innovate within the area of ‘messaging + AI’ whereas exploring methods to increase the keyboard with integrations that may make it straightforward for individuals to precise themselves and get work completed on iOS,” he says.
Fast Cursor Is A Killer Function
There are a few different standout options on this keyboard as properly, together with my favourite, the “Fast Cursor.” Designed to make modifying your messages simpler, the Fast Cursor enables you to swipe your finger throughout the keyboard’s spacebar so as to relocate the cursor to the place you need it. That is simpler and quicker than making an attempt to place your finger in the appropriate spot and ready for the magnifying glass to seem.
The keyboard has additionally launched its personal model of the Shift key, which addresses the considerations customers had with the default Shift key in iOS eight which made it more durable to inform whenever you had Shift turned on. Within the Subsequent keyboard, the Shift key’s arrow is printed and the letters are small, however when pressed, the arrow is crammed in with a strong shade (relying in your theme) because the letters on the keys develop into capitalized. (In fact, Apple is lastly fixing the Shift key drawback with iOS 9, whose launch is true across the nook.)
This is probably not everybody’s most popular answer to the Shift key drawback, nevertheless it works properly sufficient.
The opposite difficulty I’ve had with customized keyboards prior to now is that switching between them turns into too cumbersome, particularly because the button to maneuver between keyboards isn’t all the time persistently situated. Subsequent has this drawback, too. Whereas its “change keyboards” button is on the backside left, it requires two faucets – as soon as to launch a second display, after which once more to “change keyboard.” (The opposite choice on this display is entry to your “Settings.”)
That may make swapping between Subsequent and, say, your favourite GIF keyboard harder, and should finally put you off.
However when Subsequent integrates its personal GIFs, then it might develop into your solely keyboard, because it already provides most of the options customers search for in third-social gathering keyboard apps like predictive textual content and predictive emoji, stickers, themes and can quickly introduce swipe enter as nicely.
I ought to notice that there have been a few bizarre quirks when testing the keyboard – as an example, it typically switched by to the Apple default keyboard even when Subsequent was set as my main keyboard. However most grievances have been minor, and must be corrected with software program updates.
The app is $three.ninety nine on the iTunes App Retailer.