You may not have heard of Next yet, at the moment it is an unreleased keyboard app for iOS. When Apple announced that third party keyboards were going to be supported system wide earlier this year I was delighted. As a fan of Swiftkey, I was keen to get my hands on it and start using it again.
However, the problem with all of these third party keyboards so far is that they have been developed for Android at first and now they are trying to port the software to iOS. It leads to what can be a pretty buggy and unstable experience, it is not the worst keyboard experience however personally I found myself back on the stock keyboard pretty quick.
This is where Next comes in, an app claiming to be the perfect keyboard for the iPhone and clearly users have belief in what they have seen so far. The apps creator, a company called Tiny Hearts, set up a Kickstarter page looking to raise $10,000 CAD for finishing the app which they say is about 75% done. The Kickstarter went up on Friday and by Sunday they had met their target.
The keyboard lets you adjust the cursor by sliding your finger along the spacebar instead of fumbling around with the magnifying glass on the line of text you want to edit. You can also access emoji faster and as well as that it will suggest emoji to use based on what you are typing.
Other features include improvements to the perplexing shift key, themes to choose from and also a new shortcut to access numbers and punctuation. You can see some of the features in action in the clip below.
What really makes this iOS keyboard stand out is that it is iOS only. So far we have had okay keyboards from companies and developers who are well established on Android however Next is built specifically for iOS. In fact, the keyboard is being developed and crafted for iOS so precisely that there are no plans to make the app available for Android.
By the sounds of it this is the iPhone keyboard we have been waiting for, at last someone seems to get it and for the first time ever I have backed a Kickstarter project, that is how much I believe in what the developers are trying to achieve. The company says they are aiming for a February 2015 launch, however thanks to the team at Next I have been given access into their beta programme to give it a go and provide feedback before release so you will be able to read my opinion on it before public release.
You can check out their Kickstarter page here.