Introducing the brand new system-wide FlickType keyboard

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iOS and iPadOS

Dear AppleVis friends,

We could not be any more excited today to share with you our biggest news yet: The brand new, system-wide FlickType keyboard is now available on the App Store! Packed with emoji, cursor control, better dictionary and so much more! A huge thank you to all our amazing testers, we couldn't have done it without you ☺️

The new container app is also much easier to navigate, has improved instructions and is totally free to use. For the system-wide custom keyboard, we are offering a free 7-day trial, and after that it's just 99 cents per month. Continuing to build out this technology is no small task, and this will support our ongoing development costs so that we can continue to provide you with the very best VoiceOver typing experience available.

All beta testers can continue to use the custom keyboard free of charge, but we hope that you will also support us by simply downloading FlickType from the App Store and choosing the "Upgrade" option. You will still receive new beta builds as usual.

A big thank you to everyone for your support over the last few months, and we can't wait to show you what else we've planned for the future of VoiceOver typing. Please help us spread the word!

Warmly, Kosta and Ashley

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Comments

Submitted by slj on Monday, July 9, 2018

Hi.
The keyboard sounds really interesting. I hope the Danish language will be supported as well. Anything we can do to help regarding to more languages?

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Monday, July 9, 2018

So I was trying to find the User Guide for FlickType. I went to www.flicktype.com and found it, only to realize the user guide did not talk about the gestures available for the new app. I would suggest updating the user guide.

Also, as a solution for dismissing the keyboard, instead of having a tiny little button on the bottom of the screen or an awkward flick down and hold gesture, why not use the original gesture of a two-finger swipe up to dismiss the keyboard when you are done? Also, you could take it a step further and have a two-finger swipe dismiss the keyboard and a three-finger flick up be the next keyboard command. My two cents' worth.

Submitted by kool_turk on Tuesday, July 10, 2018

In the main iOS keyboard, holding a letter and waiting a couple of seconds brings up a list of alternative characters.

I was wondering if FlickType will be able to do something like that in future?

I was also wondering how you would enter the cent sign? I was able to find the $ sign, but not the cent sign.

Most of the other signs are there like the euro, and yen, just not that one.

I'm sure there are others as well, not that they're commonly used.

What I like about FlickType is the way you edit, no fiddling about with the rotor, apple could learn a thing or two from some of FlickType's features, and while I'm not as fast with this keyboard as I am with BSI, I don't have to try and remember how to write a certain symbol, plus, you don't need to use both hands.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The responsiveness of FlickType when you manually enter a word by touching each letter and lifting your finger to enter it is a hundred times better than the stock iOS keyboard. You'd think it would be the other way around.

Submitted by Jesse Anderson on Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Agreed, I'm impressed with how responsive the touch typing mode of Flicktype is.

I've been using the app a lot as a system-wide keyboard for a few weeks now, and really like it. It definitely does make typing many things much faster.

However, I do have a question about the dictionary used. What dictionary does the app use for predicting what words you're typing? It's decent for some words, but it does seem to lack a surprising number of words I often use, that aren't too uncommon.

Some examples: executable, headsets, invert, screenshot, reflector, etc. These are just some that come to mind.

Otherwise I really like using this as a system-wide keyboard.

Hi @Kool_Turk,

Thank you for the detailed feedback, this does help us tremendously in trying to understand and track down the issue. One question we have is how long toggling Voiceover on and off fixes the issue? Does it lose focus again the very next time you dismiss the keyboard?

Thanks!

Hi @Crysania,

Sorry, you're having this issue and thanks for reporting. Would you mind sharing whether you're having this issue with the new 3rd party keyboard or the FlickType Classic app? If you're on the 3rd party keyboard, you can toggle on the dismiss button in the settings and use the button instead of the gesture.

Please let us know how it goes!

Thanks!

Hi @sockhopsinger! Thank you for letting us know, we'll get that updated :)

And thanks for the ideas for the dismiss gesture. One of the main reasons we have chosen a one finger gesture or button is due to the fact that some users have mobility issues and having the ability to use the entire app with one hand has been extremely helpful for them. That being said, we are considering implementing an alternative gesture if our upcoming gesture control work doesn't eliminate the flick down and hold issue.

Finally, thank you for your last comment! We're curious, what version are you on? We just sent a build to beta that improves the responsiveness even more for manual entry.

Cheers!

Submitted by FlickType on Tuesday, July 10, 2018

In reply to by Jesse Anderson

Hi @Jesse, thanks for using FlickType and glad to hear it makes typing faster for you! You're absolutely correct about the dictionary limitations. We plan to update the dictionary corpus soon, but it's quite a large endeavor due to the fact that we'd have to go deep into the typing engine and redo everything in order to get the rankings correct with the additional words. We hope the fact that we've made dictionary additions so much easier recently helps to eliminate some of the annoyance until we have the new dictionary ready.

If you have any other questions or recommendations we'd love to hear!

Submitted by kool_turk on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Yes, it does it every time.

When I toggle voiceover, I usually have it off for about a second or 2, it doesn't make a difference.

Toggling voiceover fixes the problem, until the next time you decide to use FlickType.

Strangely, this only appears to happen when using the system wide keyboard.

I just tested it with the demo tab and didn't get the focus issue.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Hi. Thanks for the response. I am running the latest public version. I bought the system-wide keyboard and am loving it. Keep up the good work. I will be interested to see what you come up with as a dismissal alternative.

Cheers.

Submitted by kool_turk on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I remember with the old Fleksy VO, when you switched to numbers, numbers were arranged in a numeric keypad stile, like you would get when entering your passcode.

If you do it like this, the symbols keyboard would have room for more symbols.

If people don't like this method, you could have an option to choose your preference, just a suggestion.

Hi @kool_turk,

Thanks for getting back to us. I want to confirm, you're saying the issue only happens with the system-wide keyboard? I'm curious whether this only happens when you use the dismiss gesture or whether it also happens when you use the dismiss button?

Edit: As for the numbers and symbols, thanks for the suggestion. We were trying to stick with what's most familiar, but we'll take it under consideration, smile.

Thank you!

Submitted by kool_turk on Friday, July 13, 2018

I just tested it, and there doesn't appear to be any issues when you use either the dismiss or next keyboard buttons.

Strange, wonder if it's a gesture thing?

I prefer the gesture myself, less clutter.

For the most part, the keyboard isn't bad, some words I can't always get to work.

For example, typing something like, oi, do you mind?

The word mind doesn't always appear as a choice.

It could just be me, since I tend to exaggerate my typing, as though the keyboard takes up a lot more of the screen.

Hi @cool_turk,

Thanks for the reply. It does sound like it's an issue with the gesture, you may even be initiating the control center by accident, it's hard to say. We'd suggest either starting the gesture higher on the screen or using the button for now. We will be doing more gesture recognizer work in the near future so we hope to eliminate the problem very soon.

As for the word mind, I wasn't able to reproduce, but it sounds like your theory could be correct. Since mind is a shorter word and there are many other four letter words with a similar pattern, the system possibly doesn't recognize the entry if it's a bit higher on the screen. In order to rule out a fundamental issue, you can try to run a little test by typing mind carefully to find out if the issue persists.

Really appreciate all the feedback!

Submitted by alex wallis on Saturday, July 14, 2018

Hi, I joined the beta email discussion list and have in fact received one digest from it.
But I have tried to submit some thoughts and comments about the current flicktype beta but I don't think it has been received I used the address given in the what to test information on the beta in testflight which is beta@flicktype.groups.io
is this address out of date or something? as the digest indicates its from hello@flicktype.groups.io

Submitted by FlickType on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hi Alex,

Sorry for the delay here, but hope you received Kosta's response on the group discussion platform a few days ago. If for some reason you did not receive his reply, please do let us know so we can look into it further.

Thanks!

Submitted by alex wallis on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hi I have been back through recent digests and haven't found the reply to my comments. as I say the digests are confusing because they come from hello@flicktype.groups.io, but testflight indicates I should send feedback to beta@flicktype.groups.io so am I on the wrong mailing list or something. either way not sure if you got my big email full of feedback or not?

Hi Alex,

Sorry for the confusion. The issue is that you did not join the subgroup, which is the group for beta discussions and where you left your feedback, which is the reason you weren't sent our response. I've included Kosta's response to your feedback below, and when you get the chance please send a blank email to beta+subscribe@flicktype.groups.io to join the beta mailing list where you can access other beta feedback and ideas, as well as our responses.

"Thank you, Alex, for the thoughtful feedback.

We will consider adding a landscape lock setting, but this has proven to be a bit trickier as a custom keyboard compared to the classic app. As a workaround, if the current app supports landscape mode you could switch to that and FlickType will respect it.

On the welcome page content, thanks for letting us know about the "ruler, dimmed" announcement. This was not intentional and is a recent change which we will fix. On the extra click hear when going through the list items, this is just a standard HTML list that we are using, but again, it was recently changed and we will look into it.

The "Done" button in the settings is indeed confusing. It's only active when you edit the emoji shortcuts, and serves as a way to dismiss the keyboard and complete your emoji shortcut editing. All other changes take effect immediately without any further action required. People were previously confused about what to do after they edit their emojis, hence we added that button, but we'll revisit that based on the feedback as well as add an explanation on how to edit them.

On the tap stereo effect setting, some settings need more explanation than others and so we made that one go to a new screen when selected, similar to some others like the volume, which would have been a slider if it wasn't for the required explanation.

A preview for the sounds is a great idea, and definitely something we will consider when we do a revamp of the entire settings and dictionary screens.

Thanks again for the feedback,
Kosta"

Here's the link for once you're a member: https://flicktype.groups.io/g/beta/topic/flicktype_thoughts_and_a_bug/2…

Thanks, again, for the feedback and sorry for the troubles!
Ashley

Submitted by alex wallis on Friday, July 20, 2018

Hi thanks for the reply, so do I need to be a member of the hello flicktype group? or could I leave that and just join the beta one if I wanted to?

Submitted by Dave Nason on Saturday, July 21, 2018

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hi Alex. There is no hello FlickType mailing list. The hello email address is just for emailing Kosta and Ashley directly. The beta groups.io one is the mailing list.
Hope that clears it up for you.
Dave

Submitted by alex wallis on Saturday, July 21, 2018

Hi Dave, sorry I am still confused are there two separate email groups for flicktype? I joined one group then I was sent an email to confirm joining it, emails from that group come from hello@flicktype.groups.io, OK so that's one group. then I was told to join the beta group which is also another groups based email address, beta@flicktype.groups.io unless I am totally getting the wrong end of the stick it sounds to me like there are two separate groups. I had to also confirm I wanted to join this beta group like I did when I confirmed I wanted to join the hello@flicktype.groups.io address, ashly can you comment on this? you referred to the beta group as a sub group because of the two different addresses it sounds like they are distinct groups to me.

Submitted by Dave Nason on Saturday, July 21, 2018

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Oh, I might have given you a wrong steer on that then sorry. I was thinking of the hello email address. I guess the hello group would be open to all users, with the beta one of course just for the beta testwrs.
Ashley and Kosta, is that right?

Submitted by FlickType on Sunday, July 22, 2018

In reply to by Dave Nason

Hi Alex, David,

Sorry for the confusion. The hello group is the parent group and for all FlickType users, which will include information relevant for all, including the App Store users. The beta group is a subgroup which is only pertinent to the beta users. The way Groups.io works is you have to belong to the parent group in order to belong to the subgroups, but you can customize your settings so you only receive the messages from us in the hello group and then you can set your settings in the beta group to be as active as you like.

Hope this makes sense,
Ashley

Submitted by tripolice on Monday, July 23, 2018

Hi,Could there be a one time purchase of the app instead of regular subscription at some time in future? Thanks.

Submitted by FlickType on Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Hi Tripolice,

Our subscription decision is certainly not set in stone and it's something we'll be constantly assessing, as it's very important to us to make the keyboard as accessible as possible. We invite you to send us an email regarding your payment preference and why to help us in our assessment: hello@flicktype.com

Thank you!
Ashley