It seems that the beautiful era of third-party keyboards has come to an end. What was once a field full of innovation, where every month we see a new keyboard that promises to re-invent the way we write on our smartphones, has now matured. And this state of maturity implies that there is only room for a few already established keyboards. And these are, of course, Google's keyboard, Swiftkey, which was bought by Microsoft, and Apple's. We have seen how Fleksy, one of my favorite keyboards, disappeared in 2016 (it has now revived under another company), and now it's Swype's turn, perhaps one of the most innovative mobile keyboardsNuance announced.
Swype is the keyboard that popularized the act of sliding your finger over letters to form words . When I debuted on Android, it seemed like magic; the keyboard could understand the words that one types just by swiping, without letting go, on top of them. This, as a result, allows us to type at tremendous speed with one hand, because instead of lifting your finger with each key pressed, we simply slide your finger from one letter to the other. It worked extremely well.
Unfortunately, the business model for mobile keyboards is currently non-existent. On Android, a huge percentage of users are used to just using free apps, so charging $ 4.99 for an App is unthinkable for many. On iOS, third-party keyboards are so poorly integrated that many prefer to use the default one. This is why Swiftkey had to be sold to Microsoft; there is no real market for mobile keyboards, unfortunately.
And now Nuance, the company behind Swype, has abandoned the project to focus more on its b2b (business) voice recognition business. Nuance has always been known for its Dragon Dictation programs, which allow us to dictate to a computer instead of typing.
The app continues to exist on iOS and Android, but has been discontinued; that is, no longer improve or continue with the development of functions, no bugs will be corrected, nor will the app be updated for future operating systems. If they use it, it's time to find a replacement.
Too bad, I'm afraid the era of innovation in physical keyboards has come to an end. What worries me? That something similar happens to Launchers too, since none offers a sustainable business model, unless they are developed by a single person, as is the case with Action Launcher 3.