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A better shift key for iPhone

5 years ago from , Founder at Tiny Hearts Studio

A few months back I posted an ASK DN about how you would improve the iOS keyboard.

https://news.layervault.com/stories/29928-ask-dn-how-would-you-improve-the-ios-keyboard

I was doing research for a keyboard we're building. As simple as it sounds fixing shift was the number one thing that kept coming up in our research.

Thanks for the feedback. We're getting closer to sharing Next Keyboard (www.nextkeyboard.co) with the world. In the meantime I wanted to share our fix for shift and another problem we had which was editing text quickly.

A better shift -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4Tbkgr3DTk

Quick cursor swipe -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dcr-0AOQHts

Would love to hear your thoughts. Does it work for you? If not, what would you prefer?

44 comments

  • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    One of the biggest pain points for me with custom keyboards is losing access to my native iOS text shortcuts.

    When I type "eml" in the native keyboard, it transforms into my email address, but it doesn't work in SwiftKey (which is pretty glitchy itself in my experience).

    Will this keyboard have access to the native shortcuts?

    9 points
    • Robleh Jama, 5 years ago

      Hey Mattan, we've built in support for iOS text shortcuts. We have all of the functionality you expect from the native keyboard.

      8 points
      • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

        Fantastic!

        My fingers ache to touch your keyboard.

        Yeah that was weird.

        2 points
  • Chris HerbertChris Herbert, 5 years ago

    Finally someone does it right. Glad to see the cases going upper and lower when toggling the shift button. The quick cursor swipe is fantastic too. Can't wait to install this one.

    7 points
    • Robleh JamaRobleh Jama, 5 years ago

      Thanks Chris! Hoping it will work well for most people.

      0 points
    • Alex TapperAlex Tapper, 5 years ago

      +1 for quick cursor swipe! Imprecision in the iOS cursor selection has been a major pain point for me. Cursor has also been a little buggy in a few places too.

      1 point
  • Tobias ReichTobias Reich, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    +1 for using "It's road trip" in the video.

    4 points
    • Robleh Jama, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

      Haha I had to! That was my favourite parts of the last keynote. It would make a great ad for the city of Utah :)

      1 point
  • Dmitri LitvinovDmitri Litvinov, 5 years ago

    Looking good, can't wait :)

    2 points
  • Tycho Klein SevertTycho Klein Severt, 5 years ago

    I would defintely use this if it isn't English only!

    2 points
  • Cory HughesCory Hughes, 5 years ago

    Can hardly wait! Cursor swipe, cursor swipe, CURSOR SWIPE! ;)

    2 points
  • Andy LeeAndy Lee, 5 years ago

    This is brilliant. I've been waiting so long for someone to make a simple keyboard where the letters reflect the case. I can't wait to try this!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1 point
  • Scot Angus, 5 years ago

    Love it!! I can't tell you how often I find myself painfully navigating sentences to make corrections ... this looks quite promising!

    1 point
  • Grant McAllisterGrant McAllister, 5 years ago

    My only issue with your solution is that it may be fine for people on here who probably don't look at the keys when typing but uppercase keys are a lot more distinctive and recognisable ( i : I vs l : L) and I think you may have some usability issues and wouldn't be a good solution to roll out to iOS.

    That being said, this may be a great solution for power users (I'm guessing your target audience).

    And unlike most, you have built a solution and that is really cool - nice work folks, best of luck with it!

    1 point
    • Nate DaubertNate Daubert, 5 years ago

      If everything is in lowercase, why would you question whether one is an exception or not. It's only confusing when theres no context. There's clearly context.

      2 points
  • Sam KingSam King, 5 years ago

    I used to have a jailbreak tweak that let you swipe across the keyboard to move the cursor.

    Since updating to iOS8, I've missed this so bad but your implementation looks even better.

    Also love the shift key stuff.

    1 point
    • Alex ChanAlex Chan, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

      Yes! That tweak is still alive and kicking. It's called SwipeSelection. Pair that with SwipeExpander and you have an awesome native keyboard.

      SwipeSelection (which allows keyboard navigation) has a bunch of options as well such as sensitivity, swipe speed, and even the swipe area (whole keyboard vs spacebar only).

      SwipeExpander is awesome as well. It allows you to map text and command shortcuts to swipe up and swipe down actions on your keyboard keys. For example, swipe up on "q" to type out "1" or swipe down on the spacebar to paste your clipboard item.

      Here's how a typical SwipeExpander setup looks like:

      swipeexpander

      iOS 8.1 is the last version to be jailbreakable so i you haven't updated to 8.1.1 yet, you can still grab it!

      4 points
  • Mariusz OstrowskiMariusz Ostrowski, 5 years ago

    Nothing new. Is on Windows Phone from years, on Android from years, even on webOS :) Only Apple still thinks that color change for shift key is sufficient.

    1 point
    • Nemanja NenadicNemanja Nenadic, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

      Only Jonny Ive still thinks that color change for shift key is sufficient.

      1 point
  • steve lamsteve lam, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    Nice to see these things potentially coming to official iOS. Both of these tweaks have existed in the jailbreak world for a long time though.

    1 point
  • Felix Terpstra, 5 years ago

    Are there any plans for a white version of the keyboard?

    1 point
  • Rick KhannaRick Khanna, 5 years ago

    Just leave the "space space" to make a period space shortcut.

    1 point
  • Jesse HeadJesse Head, 5 years ago

    What happens when there's multiple lines of text re cursor swipe?

    1 point
  • Ricardo NunesRicardo Nunes, 5 years ago

    If I don't have to enable all access to next, I'm all in on it

    1 point
    • Piet AukemanPiet Aukeman, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

      Absolutely. This is the sole reason I haven't played with many custom keyboards.

      0 points
  • Chris Howard, 5 years ago

    Will it work in Messages every time?

    I've tried all the addon keyboards and they all stop appearing in Messages after a few uses, then I have to either remove them or reboot.

    Consequently, I've given up on third party keyboards, even though I know this isn't their fault.

    0 points
    • Robleh Jama, 5 years ago

      Yeah, our beta version is working nicely with Messages. There were some major bugs with 3rd party keyboards when iOS 8 came out. Apple fixed a lot of those issues with 8.1.

      0 points
  • Ewen McCahonEwen McCahon, 5 years ago

    This looks great! I haven't had a chance to properly read the whole site yet, so will this support iPads as well as iPhones?

    0 points
  • Cory MatthewsCory Matthews, 5 years ago

    Are there any ideas about price yet?

    0 points
    • Robleh Jama, 5 years ago

      Nothing is set in stone yet. How much would you pay for a premium keyboard?

      0 points
      • Cory MatthewsCory Matthews, 5 years ago

        If it had good support I'd think anywhere around $1.99 would be a great hit, but for something better than the keyboard on my iPhone I'd personally give up my left lung. Best of luck guys!

        1 point
  • J VJ V, 5 years ago

    I think supporting multiple languages at the same time/remembering which language I use depending on the recipient would be fantastic.

    0 points
  • Ray YipRay Yip, 5 years ago

    Try this

    http://ismyshiftkeyonornot.com

    0 points
  • c kizerc kizer, 5 years ago

    I designed this right before iOS 8 came out. Keys change from lowercase to uppercase: https://dribbble.com/shots/1567076-iOS-Shift-Key-Animated-Concept-Updated?list=users&offset=2

    0 points
  • David BachmannDavid Bachmann, 5 years ago

    Looking forward to try this. Will I be able to disable the suggested words?

    0 points
    • Robleh Jama, 5 years ago

      Yes, you'll be able to turn off suggested words and suggested emojis.

      Would you want to disable something like show case as well? So going from upper to lower case. The default setting will show case.

      0 points
  • Hans van de BruggenHans van de Bruggen, 5 years ago

    I'm torn. I love the quick cursor swipe, but I'm not a fan of the key lettering changing case. I'd pay $1.99 for the option to keep key case alone.

    0 points
    • Robleh Jama, 5 years ago

      Hey Hans, Show case will be an optional setting. By default it will be on but you can choose to turn it off.

      0 points