Fleksy Makes Huge Strides Toward Full Accessibility

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

A few months ago, the community of blind and visually impaired iOS users was thrown into an uproar when Fleksy split their apps into a new, updated version that was not Voiceover friendly, and an older version that was. Hundreds of comments, tweets, emails, and boos were posted, with some saying Fleksy was abandoning the blind community that helped it get off the ground by purchasing its original app, and others urging patience as Fleksy went through a transition and promised to reunite the two apps into one within six months.

Now, not three months later, Fleksy is back. The main app is now mostly accessible, so there is no need for the separate Fleksy VO app that Voiceover users had to use for the last few months. Best of all, this update means that, moving forward, any app that integrates Fleksy will automatically integrate an accessible experience. This is great news, as an increasing number of apps are adopting Fleksy as an alternative keyboard.

If you are currently using Fleksy VO, you can continue to do so; the new Fleksy app may have bugs that the Fleksy testers did not pick up on before the release. In general, though, you can safely switch to Fleksy, the same version that everyone else is using. Please read the blog post linked to in the previous paragraph for full details.

Known bugs in the current version of Fleksy include the following, though there may be more we missed.

  • you cannot review the text you have written
  • the numbers keyboard is laid out like the regular iOS numbers keyboard, not like a keypad
  • the help is inaccurate in some places, referencing things that are not currently there (such as the "raise to speak" setting)
  • the new line command, a two-finger flick down, does not seem to work at present; you must manually enter new lines on the keyboard

Some changes that people should know about, but that are not necessarily bugs, are:

  • the keyboard is now on the lower part of the screen, instead of taking up the entire display
  • there is no gesture to bring up the menu; use the buttons at the top of the screen to access the sharing, settings, and other functions