One distinguishing features about the Android System compared to some other mobile OSes is that you can change many things about the environment of your device. One of the most important, in my view, is the ability to change the keyboard as it is the main input into the device. There are many keyboards available on the Play store, and into the foray comes Fleksy, which comes with it’s own set of features not to be outdone by it’s competition.
Fleksy has the honour of being one of the few (if not the first) keyboards to be designed for both Android and iOS. The developers originally developed the technology with the blind and partially sighted in mind, as the keyboard will give you voice feedback after each typed.
The open Beta, which the app is now in [edit: my mistake, the app is out of beta for English and Spanish, with a beta for several other languages soon.], allows you to get a feel for the app, and the developers to improve their algorithms and add features from user requests.
So, what sets Fleksy apart from the other apps on the market? One of the most intriguing feature I found was the fact that you can make the keyboard disappear completely, viewing what is below.
The picture above shows the text entry box at the bottom. Above this is blank space till you reach a row of words (hello troop jelly Kelly). This is the correction bar, where you can change what Fleksy autocorrect for you. The blank space inbetween is where the keyboard is. It’s still there, just turned invisible. You type roughly where you think the letters should be, and Fleksy will use its algorithm to work out which word you meant. So far, I’ve found it very accurate, almost like it knew what I was trying to type.
This transparency and autocorrect is especially useful on a device with a small screen, such as a small phone and even a watch. The other nice feature is that the keyboard is also gesture heavy. This isn’t solely found in Fleksy – Keyboards such as Minuum also use gestures heavily – but the way Fleksy does it takes it beyond simply space and changing layout. For example, to add a full stop, you swipe your finger to the right across the keyboard twice (effectively like pressing space twice). Then, if you want to change that full stop to a comma, exclamation mark, or other punctuation, then you swipe down on the keyboard till you reach your required symbol. This makes typing very fast, and also negates the need to look down at the keyboard to find the correct punctuation.
Fleksy also comes with several choices of colour. You can have a plain black, white, and if you choose to share the app via social network, you unlock a good-looking blue colour.
Currently free in the Play store, you get a 30 day free trial, after which you asked to pay £2.49 ($2.99/€2.98) which could be considered expensive for a keyboard, but with what the technology promises, one I’m willing to pay for.
A quick look at Fleksy’s website shows how ambitious they are with this technology. There is even a video with someone typing in mid-air, almost like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, which gets me very excited.
It must be stressed that Fleksy is still in Beta, and therefore could still have bugs. It is, however, a very polished product already and one I look forward to watching evolve. There are some, maybe personal, features I’d like added, such as the ability for the letters on the keyboard to be dynamic and show both lowercase and uppercase so it’s obvious at a glance what case you’re typing in. Other than that, I am very close to adopting this keyboard as my full-time keyboard.
You can find Fleksy in the Play Store.