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The tales of developing a virtual keyboard with minimal effort

Creating a fully functional keyboard for mobile devices takes more time and coding knowledge than you might assume. From predictive text to auto-correct algorithms and analytical features of tap locations, the multiple layers that go into developing a well-built keyboard are extensive in their complexities.

Smartphone app developers would know that keyboard programming is no walk in the park, luckily, white-lable keyboard SDKs exist. For example, the Fleksy keyboard integrates seamlessly with the native iOS and Android keyboards. Additionally, app developers can add it to their programs without using extensive coding.

A vital focus point of white-lable keyboards is to make the developer’s work easier, by offering easy integration – for example, if an app is already built, the white-lable keyboard can be installed without completely changing the app’s already built functions. 

This doesn’t mean that the keyboard isn’t customizable, developers are capable of making alterations for design purposes. The SDK simply offers the foundation from which additional functions can be altered. 

One of the main benefits that come with installing a keyboard SDK is that developers have more time to focus on building the overarching features of their app. For example, a medical communications app’s main function might be to offer smarter services when it comes to patient care. Multiple functions need to be built into the app, for example, data analytics; diagnostic algorithms and smart search. Although these elements carry great weight in making the app functional, the keyboard remains the key tool for performing actions on the consumers’ side.

That’s where a trusted keyboard SDK becomes the developer’s support in building an optimized keyboard – in no time at all – for the remaining parts of the app to connect and function in unison. Not only does it take minimal effort on the developer’s side, the end-user is provided with a positive in-app experience. 

More accessible third-party keyboard SDKs are making it easier for developers to unlock keyboard alternatives that provide more freedom in terms of customizability than the standard (pre-installed) iOS and android keyboard models.

Although the developer would have to build the white-lable keyboard into each of their apps, individually – powerful typing support is provided to the end-user, once the keyboard is installed. 

For example, with the Fleksy keyboard, dictionaries and other options including color choices are made available. This allows the app developer to match the keyboard to the overall theme of the application in question. 

Improving the typing experience might seem like a small part of optimizing the app in its totality. However, assisting users to feel confident in their written communications is essential. Added keyboard features, such as leniency towards typing errors, can make app engagement more inviting for visually-impaired users. As a result, the end-user feels more comfortable to use the app in question. Building a feature like this into the app’s keyboard requires many additional layers of code, however, minimal effort is required by making use of a pre-set keyboard SDK.

Although apps come in a variety of shapes, with multiple different services being provided – the common characteristic is a keyboard. Upgrading the keyboard remains one of the most profound means by which to customize an application. 

As most apps rely on the keyboard as its primary input method, it’s an integral part of the user-experience when interacting on a mobile device. This is why a keyboard should make user inputs easier, faster and less error-prone.

Building your own software keyboard sounds pretty straightforward when considering the “light” elements like a layout template; autocorrect and next-word prediction. Though, it is heavily underestimated how much resources on the developers’ end it requires. Despite being complicated, it takes time to develop the keyboard UX/UI. Next comes Quality Assurance and bug fixes, code maintenance and updating features. As well as different layouts for different languages, such as non-alphabetical languages. 

Essentially, purchasing a white-lable keyboard SDK saves time and money. The app developer can focus on what greater goal the application needs to accomplish, while the keyboard builder takes care of the typing experience end-users will enjoy. With support from the SDK provider, you also don’t need to worry about upkeep of the keyboard or additional engineering needed for maintenance. In the long-run, there’s less strain on their resources to keep the app functioning at its full potential.

In terms of licensing agreements, purchasing an SDK also means less legal headaches you could encounter. For example, the Fleksy keyboard’s Intellectual property (IP) is totally owned and operated by Fleksy. This means that the SDK purchaser won’t encounter restraints that AOSP keyboards have.

When deciding whether to build a keyboard from scratch or to purchase a white-lable SDK, consider the time and resources involved in creating an efficient user experience, as well as the legal factors involved throughout the process of taking your application to market. You might just save your developers a few headaches.

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