Apple’s heavy-handed control over iOS can be a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, that lets it give users a consistent user experience, but that’s at the price of not giving users greater freedom. As we get ready for news of iOS 7, some of Tim Cook’s comments about openness have developers wondering which aspects of the platform might soon see themselves freed a bit from Apple’s stranglehold. TouchType, the firm behind SwiftKey, is anxious to learn if this might mean iOS support for third-party keyboard software.
While many of us treat software keyboards as an afterthought, moves like Google’s recent distribution of its Android keyboard show that there’s still plenty of user interest in trying something new. Perhaps Apple has been feeling this pressure, too, and can no longer afford to dictate just so much of the iOS experience to its own users.
As a TouchType exec explained, “the most obvious API for them to open is the keyboard, because it is the greatest weakness,” continuing, “the keyboard is the thing that needs work more than anything on that platform.”
How would you like to see Apple open up iOS 7? Does this keyboard idea ring true to you? What about better support for alternate web browsers?