Following the announcement made at WWDC 2014 about third party keyboards, three big Android names, SwiftKey, Swype and Fleksy have all announced they will be launch partners for iOS8 and will bring their keyboards to the new OS.
Previously, Apple only worked on their own keyboard and no third party keyboards were allowed on the system. This did make users feel a little sad, when Android started getting things like predictive text, better key placement and swype gestures.
Instead of trying to beat them all, Apple has decided to allow integration on their keyboard. This means users can now download keyboards from the app store and replace them with the stock iPhone/iPad keyboard.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook did hint at this happening at D11 Conference last year, claiming that Apple was prepared to be more open with developers and is working on some fantastic things for the iOS developers, which were shown off at WWDC 2014 on Monday.
Considering developer interest is still mostly on iOS, since it offers the most revenue per user, now is a good time for Apple to offer new APIs and integration, to kick Android in the one place developers loved more than iOS.
Android is still more open to change and integration, but this comes at the cost of app developers taking advantage. Apple still wants an environment where the user is in charge, something a lot of people can agree is the better way to go about things.
Widgets for the Notification Center, integration with Safari and other apps and new Extensibility features that allow apps to talk to one another are all part of the iOS8 package for Apple Developers. We are excited to see what developers do with applications, now they are free to explore more of the iOS framework that has been locked away.