Ever since Apple presented toughen for custom keyboards in iOS 8, third-birthday party developers rushed in to fill the void with keyboards that offered an array of options like predictive emoji, easy access to GIFs, swipe-based totally input, and extra. lately, some other new contender is throwing its hat into the now-crowded ring: subsequent, a skinnable custom keyboard that offers predictive typing, fast modifying, plus speedy access to emojis and stickers.
The app itself was developed through Tiny Hearts, an impartial building studio based totally in Toronto which has put out a lot of iOS purposes over the years, including kids app Pocket Zoo, a game called Instamatch, a well-liked alarm clock Wake Alarm, and a 7-minute workout app quick fit, among others.
then again, explains Tiny Hearts founder Robleh Jama, the bootstrapped firm has been very taken with the subsequent keyboard for the past yr and plans to spin it out as a separate firm.
“Our purpose is to create merchandise which have the prospective to turn out to be sustainable cellular companies,” he says.
The keyboard app originally obtained its begin on Kickstarter, where over 6,500 backers pledged nearly $ 65,000 (CAD) to carry the app to existence. Now, after over a yr of labor, the subsequent keyboard is live on the App retailer.
The app itself deals numerous features that may enchantment to people who like to provide their keyboard a little bit pizzaz, together with a variety of colourful issues, plus fast access to emojis and stickers. The emoji will if truth be told be steered to you as you kind, and which you can tap a button on the next keyboard to quick transfer over to the integrated emoji keyboard the place that you would be able to swipe to change between emoji and stickers.
right here, you could scroll vertically to browse via the usual set of emoji, or swipe horizontally to change over to the section that includes subsequent’s personal “big” emoji and your sticker collections. the company offers 60 original stickers at launch, but will doubtless extend its sticky label retailer in time. currently, the stickers aren’t on hand as in-app purchases, but moderately you “pay” to download completely different sticky label units through tweeting in regards to the next keyboard.
rapidly after launch, further themes, stickers and GIFs will probably be made available through in-app purchases. however, in the meanwhile, all of the add-ons are free.
while the stickers, emoji and subject matters make the keyboard enjoyable, the corporate in reality spent most of its time growing the phrase prediction and autocorrect engine, which improves the extra you utilize the keyboard. This will be a big focal point going forward, as neatly, notes Jama.
“We plan on persevering with to strengthen our prediction engine, including swipe typing, and persevering with to innovate in the house of ‘messaging + AI’ whereas exploring ways to lengthen the keyboard with integrations with the intention to make it easy for people to specific themselves and get work executed on iOS,” he says.
quick Cursor Is A Killer feature
There are a few different standout features in this keyboard as smartly, together with my favorite, the “quick Cursor.” Designed to make enhancing your messages more straightforward, the quick Cursor allows you to swipe your finger throughout the keyboard’s spacebar to be able to relocate the cursor to where you wish to have it. that is more uncomplicated and sooner than trying to position your finger in the correct spot and waiting for the magnifying glass to look.
The keyboard has additionally introduced its own model of the Shift key, which addresses the troubles users had with the default Shift key in iOS eight which made it harder to inform whilst you had Shift grew to become on. in the subsequent keyboard, the Shift key’s arrow is printed and the letters are small, but when pressed, the arrow is crammed in with an exceptional colour (relying on your theme) because the letters on the keys change into capitalized. (in fact, Apple is at last fixing the Shift key problem with iOS 9, whose unlock is correct around the nook.)
This might not be everyone’s most popular approach to the Shift key drawback, however it works smartly sufficient.
the other difficulty I’ve had with customized keyboards in the past is that switching between them turns into too cumbersome, particularly for the reason that button to maneuver between keyboards isn’t always persistently situated. subsequent has this problem, too. whereas its “switch keyboards” button is at the bottom left, it requires two taps – once to launch a 2nd display, and then again to “swap keyboard.” (the other possibility on this monitor is access to your “Settings.”)
that might make swapping between next and, say, your favourite GIF keyboard more difficult, and may just ultimately put you off.
but when next integrates its own GIFs, then it could turn out to be your only keyboard, as it already offers a few of the options customers search for in 1/3-celebration keyboard apps like predictive text and predictive emoji, stickers, topics and will soon introduce swipe input as neatly.
I will have to observe that there have been a couple of bizarre quirks when trying out the keyboard – as an example, it occasionally switched via to the Apple default keyboard even when next used to be set as my main keyboard. but most grievances were minor, and should be corrected with device updates.
The app is $ three.ninety nine on the iTunes App retailer.
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