A virtual keyboard with a gamification element? That’s what Fleksy’s Android software just became, thanks to the big version 2.0 update of its app that just went live. The update offers a ‘Badge’ system to reward use, similar to the one you’d find in Foursquare and other apps. Fleksy 2.0 also introduces ‘My Fleksy Cloud,’ a syncing feature that unites Fleksy’s user-specific features, including its individual-based language and writing style algorithm, across different installations of the software on multiple Android devices.
The update’s badge system currently offers rewards for user behavior including learning how to use its gesture-based input method and mastering that technique, as well as for using its invisible keyboard mode. This is a unique means of convincing users to stick with a novel method of digital input, and one that Fleksy COO and founder Ioannis Verdelis thinks will help users have more fun picking up his company’s software. Plus, users can unlock very tangible rewards using badges, including an extension to Fleksy’s 30-day free trial period.
In addition to the 2.0 Android update, Fleksy also added eight new languages to its iOS software with a new SDK version for Apple devices, as it passes the 50 developer mark for signed-on partners building Fleksy into their apps. This should help the company’s ambitious goals of making Fleksy a widespread alternative keyboard option on Apple’s mobile platform, without platform-level access and using a grass-roots, developer-first approach.
Fleksy is one of the many companies competing to be the input method for the next generation of connected devices, including VR, gesture control and wearable gadgets, but it’s also still clearly very focused on improving input on our traditional smartphones and tablets, too. The gamification element introduced in this update is one way to tackle the fact that there’s a huge learning curve to overcome anytime you switch people off tried and true typing solutions, but it’ll be interesting to see if this is the right approach.