One of the killer features of Android is the ability to swap out keyboards for different ones with new features. iOS doesn’t have this ability, but some amazing developers are doing their best to bring this functionality to the iPhone without a jailbreak.
One of the finest examples of this work is the Predictive Typer Application by Danijel Lombarovic. This application works to take the predictive typing functionality made popular by the SwiftKey Android app and bring it to iOS. His app does this in one of the most user friendly ways I’ve seen thusfar.
As always, there is no way to actively replace the stock keyboard without jailbreaking your device. Some people prefer to remain stock, and Danijel tries to bring the functionality to everyone, stock or not.
When you open the app, you are met with a blank canvas for text and a seemingly normal iOS keyboard. This app basically opens its own word processor application with its own built in keyboard. You no longer have to use the keyboard that comes stock with iOS. This keyboard is the one that has all the built in predictive typing functionality. You use their in-app keyboard on a blank text entry field and you can start typing as you normally would. As you type, the app actively analyzes your text and predicts what you might want the next word to be. The prediction seemed to be pretty much what you would expect. It was excellent for the first few words, and would actively try to find related words to input. If you’re one of those people who uses proper language and grammar while conversing on the internet, you are going to love this application.
Even if you swear a lot in your messages or use some slang, the app is very good at picking it up and keeps working. With some select swear words (not pictured for obvious reasons), the app suggested other swear words, as well as words the swear might be followed up with. We got a good laugh from this and appreciate the attention to detail in this respect. to the device anyways.
Even when typing longer items, such as blog entries or long emails, the prediction remained great and was amazing at picking up commonly used words based on surrounding contextual clues. If you blog on iOS this is undoubtedly a great tool to have in your arsenal.
You may be wondering how you interact with other applications since this appears to be a standalone sandbox application. Well Danijel has you covered on that front too. This app has many sharing options built in to share with a number of stock applications. The sharing is nowhere near as robust as something like Android might have, but it is above and beyond what you usually see with iOS. You are able to “share” the text you produced with messaging, email, facebook, twitter, printers, or open it in an existing application. At first glance it might seem quite paltry, but there is definitely more here than meets the eye. Choosing one of the options opens up all the available applications you can share with, and boy are there a lot!
Basically any application that accepts sharing or text input can be used with this application. As you can see in the screenshots, you can share it to office applications, reader applications, chat applications, and even online storage applications. This really expands on the functionality built in to iOS and comes quite close to emulating what you would find in Android. Even if you have no use for a predictive text application, the pdf creation function might be worth your money on its own. Those apps usually cost quite a bit in the app store alone without predictive text.
Aside from these sharing options, the app also includes built in iCloud support. You can automatically sync whatever document you are working with right to your iCloud account and access it on any capable device or browser you need to. This makes it great for people who write across multiple devices. Start writing an article on your iPhone on the train, continue from the browser at work, make some changes on your iPad at lunch, and finish it up from your iMac computer at home. You can do this already with Apple’s “Pages” application but not with the predictive abilities, sharing abilities, or PDF capabilities.
Of course you also get a number of text settings included as well. You can change the font, size of the font, even the color of the font right from the settings. These settings are there when you need them and gone when you don’t, leaving you with the ultimate distraction free writing environment.
So what’s our conclusion on this app? Buy it. Now. No seriously, why are you waiting around? Go get it! It runs $2.99 in the App store and is worth every penny. The worth increases when you consider that most other word processor applications and PDF creation softwares run about the same if not more, and don’t even include the predictive text feature. This is a MUST HAVE for anyone doing writing on an iOS device. The time you save and the ease of use will make you wonder how you ever lived without it.
Do we have any negatives for this app? Not right now. In the future we’d maybe like to see more formatting options, maybe a few more sharing options, and of course a continued refinement of the predictive dictionary. None of these are truly negative though, merely suggestions for the future. This is one of the best productivity apps we’ve seen on iOS. You should at least give it a shot.
Source – Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad
Thanks to app creator Danijel Lombarovic for hooking us up with a promo code.
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