Announcing FlickType Keyboard & looking for beta testers

App Developer

Announcing FlickType Keyboard & looking for beta testers

Hi everyone,

Since there was enough interest from the community on a possible revival of the original Fleksy app, I took the code that was open-sourced by the company a while ago and brought it up to speed, with a goal of releasing it to the App Store as soon as possible for free. Please note that this is a personal effort of my wife & me, and while I am the creator of the original Fleksy app, FlickType is not affiliated with Fleksy.

What is FlickType

FlickType is the fastest keyboard app in the world for blind and low-vision iOS users, based on the familiar QWERTY layout. It is a full-screen keyboard without a spacebar, and utilizes a couple of simple gestures for the most common typing tasks such as entering a space, deleting words and cycling through the automatically provided suggestions. Instead of having traditional virtual keys, FlickType looks at the points where you touch the screen. Just tap once for each letter of a word, roughly where you think that key would be on the regular keyboard, and flick right to end the word - FlickType does the rest!

A new beginning

FlickType picks up from where Fleksy left off, and if it proves to be popular enough in today's text input landscape, I have a lot of fresh ideas to make it even better than it ever was. The app is currently in beta, and everyone is welcome to try it out and tell us what you think. Just send an email to hello@flicktype.com and we'll send you a TestFlight invite right away.

Useful links

Looking forward to your feedback via email or by replying to this thread!

Warmly,
Kosta & Ashley

Forum: 

#52 Thank you David and Thomas

App Developer

I'd like to thank you both for the opportunity to do this interview, really enjoyed our chat!

I also wanted to once more express my heartfelt apology to everyone for what happened in the past. We are looking to make a fresh start and always keep FlickType focused on serving the blind and low-vision community as best as we can, and never expand into the sighted market. This is our passion.

Warmly,
- Kosta

#54 FlickType

I thought I was content with Braille Screen Input. But after reading all the comments here, I've got to get in on this. Just sent an email.

#55 Hi Kosta, thank you for such

Hi Kosta, thank you for such an interesting and iilluminating interview, your honesty, dedication and sincerity certainly shine through.

I am having fun testing flicktype, though I must be honest I rarely get words I want first time which is very strange given that with fleksy on a smaller screen I normally got words I wanted first time, I don't know if maybe its the screen size or the way I hold the phone that now affects accuracy, also I am sure its just me but I feel I am slower at typing with flicktype than the braille screen input, I mean my fingers actually moving not responsiveness of the app, I guess I feel sort of clumsy. This isn't criticizing flicktype at all, I am sure its down to me being spoiled by braille screen input, I am looking forward to when flicktype can learn from how we type.
Also, another thought maybe flicktype could accept braille as an input method, as yes braille screen input works, but it has bugs which apple are unable to reproduce, and mbraille is slower for me and less accurate in terms of when I am trying to hit certain dots.

I don't know if it helps, but when I am typing with flicktype I am gripping my iPhone x with more of my hand which could limit finger movement, also it feels more secure holding the phone with the screen facing vertically or maybe sloping away from me which I am sure affects my dexterity. the problem is its hard to get a balance between feeling you have the phone securely and being able to type due to the larger screen, the smaller screen was ideal for fleksy but now its a real balancing act trying to type and make sure the phone is gripped firmly.
when I type with braille screen input I keep the phone in landscape mode phone gripped between the palms of my hands screen facing away from me in landscape screen away mode.

I do have a bug to report with flicktype and landscape mode but I am uncertain if its ios or flicktype that has the bug, but I will send feedback through testflight and explain the issue.

One final thought I have its not a biggy but just a suggestion regarding the name, you call the app flicktype, why is this given that we tap to type, I guess we do flick for some of the gestures but most of the time we are tapping, perhaps the app should be called tap type? I don't mind at all if you don't like the idea just thought I would throw it out there for people's thoughts.

One thing that third party keyboards and even braille screen input haven't done well at is quickly changing keyboards to say go to the emoji keyboard, I mean for example if I am using mbraille its 3 separate taps and some flicks to quickly get the emoji keyboard up, and then its a real nightmare trying to find emoji you want, there is no way to kind of enter a search string to find an emoji you want, yes VoiceOver does offer a rotor option to replace emoji, but it doesn't always work in terms of figuring out what emoji you want unless you get wording exactly right, and other times you might be looking for a more abstract emoji so then you have to comb the huge emoji list.
I must admit I do like the way mbraille has its alias commands that might be fun for flicktype further down the line.

#56 A little feedback

I'm loving FlickType. I'm a bit slower with it than I am with Braille Screen input, but i'll get there.

One feature that's messing with me is "raise to read." I guess I was holding my phone at that same level to type, because I was in an area that was hard to hear so I had my phone closer to my ear. I couldn't figure out what was making it so sluggish, and then it occurred to me that it was trying to read instead of write. I disabled that, and all was good again. I wonder if there could be a gesture to read back what's been written? Or if there already is one, and I'm just a little behind, Lol.

#57 Yes. Touch the area above the

Yes. Touch the area above the keyboard and it will be read out to you.
You can touch the keyboard again to resume typing.

#58 App fails to open

I have just updated to the latest version and now the app fails to open.

#59 Delete app and re-install to fix crash

App Developer

Hi Creed, please see the discussion here: https://groups.io/g/flicktype/topic/16926198?p=Created,,,20,1,0,0::recen...

I'm not sure what the cause of the crash is, but probably something in the update path which should not happen when re-installing.

If you'd like, you can always revert back to the previous build from TestFlight.

- Kosta

#60 Many thanks

Thank you, uninstalling and reinstalling the app worked.

#61 Email

I just emailed about the crash... I should have checked here first, Lol. Uninstalling and reinstalling now.

#62 Build 32 works great

Build 32 is working great, and I love the new settings. I love that everything can be customized. However, I also had to uninstall and reinstall the app, And then restart my phone to get it to work after the update. I also notice a tendency for the tap sounds to fluctuate in volume. This is no big deal, but I'm interested to hear if anyone else has noticed that.

#63 Build 32

App Developer

Thank you Samantha. Confirming that after updating to 32, some folks might experience a crash on startup. Deleting and reinstalling the app should fix that. Sorry for the inconvenience, and just reminding everyone that you can also always go back to a previous available build from TestFlight at any point.

On the tap volume sounds, we changed the way those work. Previously, the volume of the taps was dependent on the ringer volume setting of your device, which doesn’t make sense. The current fluctuation is due to VoiceOver momentarily suppressing sounds while making word announcements. We will try to fix this, but I would also like to hear from others just how big of a deal it is, because it might take some time to find a solution that has no issues.

As a side note, how do you like the alternative vs standard tap sounds, and the stereo panning effect when using headphones?

Thank you all for testing, and for anyone not yet in the beta you can email us at beta@flicktype.com and we’ll add you right away!

-Kosta

#64 Volume, and tap sounds

This update is awesome!! I like having choices when it comes to tap sounds. My preference is standard, but choices are always good. The volume changes don't bother me... I didn't notice them until I read this post and they were brought to my attention. I don't think they're a serious issue at all and would rather see time spent on other things pertaining to the app instead of troubleshooting something so small. You guys have been doing a fantastic job, and I appreciate FlickType so much!! It's great to have alternatives for typing... I switch back and forth between Braille screen input and FlickType.

#65 Re Sounds

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Well in terms of the tap sound, I'm pretty happy with it as it is. It might be nice to have the option to go louder than you currently can, but personally I have it at the 80% mark and am happy at that.
I prefer the alternative sound option.
When deleting, I preferred the old squish sound to the current ding sound.
The stereo feature is interesting, but honestly I don't see any real benefit to it myself.
Dave

#66 I agree with Brooke.

I agree with Brooke about the tap sound. Now that I understand why it fluctuates, I don't mind it. It was just something I noticed and was curious about. I like the new tap sound, and I really like having choices. The stereo panning with headphones is so cool. Thank you so much for all your hard work, we really appreciate it. :-)

#67 built in to IOS11.4

Hi, I heard somewhere that this would be built in to 11.4, is that true, and if so, how do you enable it.

#68 Not built in

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Sorry @Dustin but that is not true. Curious to know who told you that as there has been no indication at all of such a move.
What is true though, and possibly got misinterpreted, is that Kosta and Ashley are working on a system wide version of the keyboard. Once launched, if you have this, you will no longer need to go into a separate app, but instead be able to use it in place of the regular keyboard.

Dave

#69 that is what I heard

Hi, I should have made myself more clear, that is what I meant. Sorry about that. When might this be released?

#70 Ah ok. Well rest assured that

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Ah ok. Well rest assured that is not related to the version of iOS you're on. I will leave that for Kosta and Ashley to answer, as I honestly don't know. It is very definitely in development though.

#71 Custom Keyboard Release

App Developer

Thanks, Dave.

Hi Dustin, thanks for your question. As Dave states, we are currently developing the custom keyboard that can be used in all apps, and are nearing the launch day in the App Store. We do not have an exact date as there are so many factors involved including Apple approval, but we do plan for it to happen in the next few weeks (yay!). We will be sure to post on AppleVis as that day approaches to keep everyone in the loop.

Cheers!
Ashley

#72 system keyboard

I will be watching this closely! I like using flicktype already and could definitely see myself using it more if I could select it as a keyboard, much like emoji or, dare I say, how Fleksy used to be.

I do have a question though. Will this require an additional app download, or will the update to our existing app, for those of us who already have it, give us the system keyboard functionality?

#73 System Keyboard

App Developer

Hi Mendi, this is something that we have been actively discussing and have not quite come to a decision as there are positives and negatives for each approach. Whichever approach we end up taking will be well thought out and we will be sure that it makes the most sense for FlickType users.

All the best!
Ashley

#74 beta testing

Hi, I'd be interested in beta testing your product if you are still in need of that.

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