Seeking Input on a Possible Revival of the Original Fleksy App

App Developer

Hi everyone, I'm the creator of the original Fleksy app.

Is there enough interest from the community for a revived version of the app? This would be what eventually became the unfortunately-named "Fleksy VO" app, which was later removed from the App Store for reasons I can elaborate in a separate post.

I would start from the code that was open-sourced a while ago, and release it for free. If I move forward with this, it would be a personal effort under a different name due to trademark issues with Fleksy the company.

What do you all think?

Warmly,
Kosta

Forum: 

#1 I don't think it's necessary

I don't think it's necessary for a new flexy app. In my experience, over the last few years, once I got the braille input that is built into iOS, I've been racing thru typing things a lot quicker than I did with flexy original. Just my thought!

#2 yes I'd be interested

Hi, yes I think that would be brilliant if you did a new kind of Fleksy which worked how Fleksy VO worked. Although I tend to use braille screen input a lot of the time now, I'd definitely still be interested in this, since I loved Fleksy before it went all odd.

#3 I'd love it

As with the other two commenters, I tend to use brail screen input, or moved to it after Flexy became a little difficult to use.

I really enjoyed typing with Flexy VO in the past, it was a seamless means of fast typing without having to change orientation and, though brail screen input is pretty good, it is still a little awkward to hold the phone in such a way and the lack of six dot recognition still bugs me.

Furthermore, not all people are brail users, in fact, I believe that the number of brail users has drastically declined in recent years due to the expense of soft brail machines and the comparatively less expensive screen reader solutions to parse information.

I'd say, go for it, if you would be so kind. I'd certainly use it, though, in tandem with brail screen input, dependent on task.

O

#4 Yes! I have been crying out for this for a long time!

I would absolutely love a new version of the original Fleksy app to be made! I don't use Braille input and have never found anything that made me type as quickly as Flexi. I bought the original Flexi app on the day it was released and never looked back. I still used Fleksy VO right up until I had to change to iOS 11, which I delayed at first just so I could keep using it. I would even pay for a fully functional iOS 11 friendly new version! Please make this reality! Thank you

#5 Non Braille User says yes please

Hi,
I am a non-braille user, who would greatly appreciate the return of an App like the former Fleksi VO.
I was happy to pay for the utility that the App gave me then, and I am pretty sure that I would be happy to pay for it now...
Good luck.

@SeaNoEvil00

#6 Love it… Just do it!

Would be very happy to see a new version of this app Costa! I guess I am a fake blind guy because I don’t use braille! Other than to play cards ha ha! I mostly use the dictate feature on my iPhone because I have learned to dictate very effectively! From the early days I enjoyed your keyboard very much but it all went to shite after the Vo thing! If you need beta testers p.m. me and I’ll sign up! Thanks this post just made my day cheers… Rocker

#7 Yes please!

I would greatly appreciate this. Despite my attempts I have not been able to use the fleksi App sufficiently. I do not use braille and I can only type with one hand. The vo app was perfect for me… I am not sure if you could do this now since there have been so many iOS changes, but I greatly miss the ability to have the word spelled up to me phonetically before I can swipe right. I mean if I used a word like it, if, or is I was able to have it spell out to me which one it was since I have trouble sometimes differentiating between them all. For an example it would be indigo tango , Indigo Fox trot, and indigo Sierra. It stopped working at iOS eight I believe though. I understand it may be a dream, but the answer is always a negative until you ask.
Another thing that I missed was the minimalist keyboard… The new one has too much clutter for me. I understand it it works fine for some people, but it does not work for me.

#8 My input

Hi,

Yes, yes, yes!!! As someone who never owned their own braille display, and still doesn't, this app was so useful!! I would love to have this app back again!! As someone who also has Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy, the app helped me type faster, especially since I couldn't use braille screen input, still can't. Never will be able to.

I really appreciate that you created Fleksy!

Warmly,

Portia.

#9 Would be nice

That would be a great idea! I'd use it. If you could make it a built-in keyboard into iOS for an in-app purchase that would be even better.

#10 Yes for the new app

Hello,

I remember the Fleksy for the iiPhone was very aawesome when i used it. It help me to write faster on the iPhone with out having to use ttouch typing all the time. I really miss this keyboard so much. I hope that Fleksy app will come back to the app store that would make me so happy. Yes i have tried braille screen input but never got the hang of it. Fleksy has the bess keyboard until IOS 11. Please bring back Fleksy back I would be so happy.

Thanks a lot,

Michelle.

#11 I applaud this idea

It would be great, especially if it supports multiple languages.

#12 Fleksy nowadays

Hi,

a couple of years ago I found and loved Fleksy. In the following years it declined dramatically. But since about half a year I starded to use Fleksy again because it is usable again. So I wonder where a VO Version revival would make it more usable than Fleksy at this time is.

I'd incurrage everyone to at least check Fleksy out again instead of thinking of the times when it wasn't usable at all and thinking that's probably how it is right now...

If it is still not usable for the majority or there is a real benifit of usinga new Fleksy then I'd be on board. But currantly I'm not sure if that is really needed.

#13 Yes yes yes!

Hi,

I really miss the old Fleksy app and would definitely love for it to return. Although I’m a Braille user, I could never get the hang of Braille screen input. Dictation is ok, but not always ideal for long messages, and it definitely doesn’t work well in noisy environments.

Please return the app if you can, and if you need beta testers I would be more than happy to participate.

Callum.

#14 Great

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Sounds like a great idea that would be very well received! I don’t use Braille input and would definitely use a revived Fleksy VO app. If it could be done as a third party keyboard that’d be even better, but even as a separate app like Fleksy VO was would be very useful.

#15 A former user who now wouldn't use it

Hi,

I'm not seeking to pour cold water on this initiative at all, but instead want to give my perspective as it's often the way that the most likely people to post to something like this are those that would like to see it. Those who would not are more likely to remain silent and move on past this post.

I loved Fleksy when I originally discovered it. Prior to Fleksy, all I had was the standard Apple on-screen keyboard, using touch typing with Voiceover. This was very slow and I kept wishing i had my Nokia back. Fleksy changed all that immediately. Nowadays, however, I use Braille screen input all the time both on iPhone and iPad. I can't see any reason why I would use an app like Fleksy again, I am sorry.

It certainly looks as though you have a lot of folks who are keen on a return of Fleksy; but I think there's also no doubt you're going to have users like me who just won't need it anymore. If you're going to put a lot of time into this project I think it would be a good idea for you to know how many users who would have bought the app back when you first released it would not do so now, so if there's anyone else out there like me I would encourage them to take a moment to say so. it looks like the overwhelming majority of people want this back, but to ensure it is an overwhelming majority then folk like me should also give feedback to put that support in perspective.

#16 Yes please

I would love to see this app resurrected.

#17 Keyboard Please

I would like this, especially if it is a system keyboard. I bought the app Day One, and would buy it again to have that functionality back. I am not interested in a stand alone app.

#18 Would definitely be

Club AppleVis Member

Would definitely be interested in this

#19 Could be a cool idea

I personally still only use fleksy on my phone so I believe that after decluttering the interface by removing the gifs and other features, this version is usable. But since enough people seem to be having trouble with it, I say go ahead. I would also like to see support from multiple languages if it does take off, being able to switch on the fly is a huge help.

#20 Yes Please!

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I think that would be awesome, especially if you can make it a third party keyboard as opposed to a standalone app. I currently use the mainstream Fleksy app, and while it is still great, it does have its own issues with Voice Over sometimes. And if you need a beta tester, sign me up!

#21 I don't think it's necessary but for a different reason

I don't want the original Fleksy back although i'm a totally blind VO user. The reason is that i never have liked apps that act as an interface between me and the rest of the phone. I don't want to use what the developer thinks blind people want to use, i want to choose for myself and therefore i prefer Fleksy as a third party keyboard like any other. Only thing i'd like to see now with Fleksy is a way to use the hot key extension and to actually use the hot key phrases that i have added and a way to instantly regret a typed character without having to first actually enter it and then having to delete it afterwards to type in the right character. Other than that, Fleksy as it stands now works beautifully for me.

#22 I’d love that idea

Yes! I’d love that idea.

#23 Absolutely Interested!

Hello, yes, I would like to add my support for the revival of the original Flecksy app. I recall the first time I used Flecksy and was positively blown away by the app. It made writing texts and emails such a breeze. These past several years without Flecksy has made composing messages so tedious and an absolute chore. I do not use Braille and carrying around a bluetooth keyboard is not always possible. Writing text is just an overall better experience with Flecksy. Writing messages for Twitter would be a much better experience as well.

#24 Yes, because not everyone uses Braille

Yes I am very keen on a redeveloped version of Fleksy. On a side note, I congratulate those who use Braille screen input but I am rather dismayed to hear that some of them think that this should mean that an alternative should not be available to others. surely there is room for both.

#25 Another user interested

Dear Kosta

As another user who regularly still uses this app for faster typing purposes which basically translates to all the time. I would certainly be willing to take part in the beta process.

In reality though: why should the burden fall on one persons shoulders? In this case you?
If you were one of the original creators, have you considered asking the current Fleksy team if you could join them and together, work on the current accessibility issues that are outstanding and therefore make the app a better product?

Also also everyone, let's not forget android and let's go further ahead and think of other operating systems that we may not know about in the future and just think how much of an advantage Fleksy will have if access ability was considered a little bit more across the board. Not to mention the advantages by then that it could be for being usable for everyone! Note! I use that term regardless of being fully sighted or not.

Sorry for the long post but I an quite passionate about this keyboard. As well as trying to think objectively here. :)

#26 Thank you

App Developer

Thank you all for your input, I really appreciate it.

It seems that today's iOS text input landscape is a bit different compared to a few years ago, but quite a few folks expressed interest in getting back the original Fleksy experience. I agree with the fact that people who are not interested most likely did not comment on this post, so there's likely a bias here.

I guess ultimately, the only way to really know is to do the work and launch it. Thankfully this shouldn't be too hard, since a lot of the pieces are already there, but a few new yearly iOS releases since the code was last maintained have caused some things to break. I have already started tinkering with it, and will make a separate post when the time comes for anyone interested in beta testing.

And if the new app does prove to be popular enough, I have a lot of new ideas to make it even better than it was :)

Warmly,
Kosta

#27 I would love that!

I loved fleksy vo back in the day, and was sad to lose it. As a totally blind voiceover user, I find the regular app almost unusable, and would love to see the return of an app similar to Fleksy vo. It would be awesome to have it as a third-party keyboard as well.

#28 reply to LBM

@LBM for the avoidance of doubt, I was not suggesting that there should not be an alternative solution for those who don't use Brailel or Braille screen input. Nor have I read anyone else saying the same thing on here. What I said was, in the spirit of being honest with Costa who would be doing all the work on this app, speaking for myself I would no longer use it and I imagine he will lose some people for the same reason, even if they don't post on here. I think it's fair to give that sort of feedback to a developer, even if it's a minority view on this particular thread. if this app is relaunched I wish Costa all the best with it and hope you all enjoy using it - there's nothing more frustrating than having a tedious or uncomfortable typing experience on any device and it sounds like it will cure that for a lot of people.

#29 Reviving Flexy

I would love to see a revival of this app and would be happy to pay for it. Please just make sure that you support more than just English. :-) Thanks.

#30 Yes, please.

Speaking as a tester of the original app, I would still use this.

#31 System keyboard

I am also interested in the return of Fleksy, but as a system-wide keyboard that I could use directly in any app, rather than having to copy and paste from a stand-alone app. This would have been useful for writing in a meeting I had last week because I forgot my Bluetooth keyboard.

#32 Yes, revised Flexy would be great!

Just echoing everyone's sentiments. It'd be great to have the app back. As so many here, I am not a Braille user and found the app quite helpful.

...and thank you very much in advance.

#33 Yes!

Please please please please please. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, it was a terrible loss, what happened to that app. I used the VO version even after it no longer worked properly until iOS 11 no longer let me. I would use it all the time. I now need to have a bt keyboard with me all the time and bt is lagging badly. I would be very very grateful.,

#34 Fleksy made me feel i can type like everyone else

Let me start by saying, if you can bring Fleksy with full accessibility and ease of use with voiceover, I would be happy to pay for this. I waited to upgrade to the very end, so that I would not lose FleksyVO.
Yes it was a standalone application back then and you had to either copy or use the functions within the app to send your text, but for me this was still much quicker than typing using the standard keyboard. Using Fleksy, I actually felt I could type much much faster; very close to a sighted user.
So yes, Please bring this back and I would be happy to test this if you require it.
Thank you.

#35 I would be interested in

I would be interested in knowing the historical background to fleksy why blind users were charged for the app, basically used to fund development then it went free, and after that the company as a hole developing it became far more interested in targeting sighted users and sacrificing accessibility and ease of use once they no longer needed us in favour of fancy graphical stuff, certainly they stopped engaging with the applevis community on what we needed, some of which I guess could be down to negativity at the time, but surely they could have added in settings to remove clutter and get back more of a fleksy classic experience as I think of it. I blame the company though not kosta as an individual because of course he has approached the community open and very interested in dialogue unlike the original fleksy company by the end.
now as to a return of fleksy I guess it would depend on how the app worked and what new features could be added in future if I used it. I abandoned the original fleksy once it stopped being a keyboard that covered the entire screen, for me that was one of its biggest strengths that I didn't have to worry about where I tapped.
Now of course we do have alternative text input methods these days like braille screen input and m braille, I use a combination of braille screen input and for longer documents a Bluetooth keyboard. I would say with fleksy I was as fast as I am on a Bluetooth keyboard, with BSI I am probably as fast as the average sighted user. with braille screen input it works OK, but there are errors in the braille code and translation of inputs, and sometimes dots have a habit of going walkies on the screen so I am tapping in the right place to enter some characters but one of the dots has moved on screen, and apple shows no willingness to fix the issues I have raised with them.
with m braille I find using it difficult in some cases compared to BSI, certainly not as accurate, and it is clunky and annoying switching keyboards, so depending on how the new fleksy app worked I would at least check it out. my only thought is that with larger phones gripping and typing could be an interesting experience, as it was really ideal for the smaller phones like the 4, 5 etc, but I guess several different options for orientation could be offered. I am curious though why the interest in reviving it now.

#36 agreed with the previous poster

I was extremely disappointed to see the route that this app took after using it for so long, though I too don't blame the developer who continues to engage us in positive dialogue. However, I am honest enough to say that unless the new features that are being considered are very enticing, I personally will continue to use MBraille and Braille screen input for the foreseeable future. I do wish you well though, and thank you for putting forth the effort to revive a version of this app for those folks who might not use braille, or who might just be interested in it in general, because they think that using it to type is faster than using one of the braille alternatives.

#37 Yes I am interested.

My name is Jennie Facer. I am very interested in this!!! I would be happy to be a beta tester for it if you need one. My Apple ID is jennie.facer@gmail.com Thanks, Jenn

#38 I also loved Fleksy VO

I would also be interested in the return of this app. I purchased it not long after its release and used it religiously. It also worked brilliantly on the iPad. I never got the hang of Braille screen input on the iPhone so the return of this app would be definitely welcome and eliminate my need to use a Bluetooth keyboard.

#39 I love this new app, info if you want to try it.

Hi all,
For those who haven't noticed it yet, there is now a separate thread for beta testers of this app called ‘announcing FlickTyping and looking for beta testers.’ If you send an email to flicktype@gmail.com and then install the testflight app on your device, you can then start testing and providing feedback on the app. Once you receive an email confirmation inviting you to test the app, just click the link in the email to install the beta version of FlickType.
Just putting it out there for information.
For my part I love it.
Mike

#40 Historical background

App Developer

Dear Alex Wallis, Atherj, and everyone else.

Thank you for bringing this up as we are looking forward to answering questions about the early and later days of Fleksy. There is a lot to be said, and both my wife and I want to make sure we give you the complete picture. We have a podcast interview scheduled for early next week with http://BlindAbilities.com, where we’re hoping to address this and more. We invite you to listen to the interview, and after it airs we’ll be starting a dedicated thread here on AppleVis where we would like to take any questions that remain - we think transparency is the way to go.

Stay tuned, and looking forward to next week!

Warmly,
Kosta & Ashley