Remember Fleksy? The customizable Android keyboard app has a new trick up its sleeve: It’s adding a shop in which customers can find and upload light-weight third birthday celebration apps to decorate their typing revel in.
Right now, it’s released a taster, preloading a variety of ‘mini apps’ into the keyboard — a few from very familiar emblem names, a few a bit less so — so customers can start to see how it works.
The first in-keyboard apps are Yelp (nearby services search); Skyscanner (flight seeks); Giphy (animated Gif search); gift note (music Gifs; launching for U.S. Customers handiest for rights reasons); Vlipsy (reaction videos); and Emoji (stickers) — with “many extra” branded apps slated as coming in the following few months.
They’re no longer pronouncing precisely what different brands are coming. However, there are masses of familiar trademarks to be noticed of their press materials — from Spotify to Uber to JustEat to Tripadvisor to PayPal and extra…
The full keyboard saves itself — on the way to permit customers to find and add and/or delete apps — can be launching at the give up of this month.
Today’s version of the Fleksy app can be downloaded totally free through the Play Store.
Mini apps made for messaging
The middle idea for these mini-apps (aka Fleksyapps) is to offer lightweight additions designed to serve the messaging use case.
Say, for instance, you’re chatting approximately where to devour, and a chum suggests sushi. The Yelp Fleksyapp would possibly pop up a contextual concept for a nearby Japanese restaurant that may be shared without delay into the communique — thereby saving time via disposing of the want for a person to cut out of the chat, transfer apps, locate some relevant data and cut and paste it returned into the chat.
Fleksyapps are meant to be beneficial shortcuts that maintain the conversation flowing. They also, of course, put manufacturers again into the communique.
“We couldn’t be greater excited to deliver the energy of the sector’s popular songs with GIFs, films, and pictures to the new Fleksyapps platform,” says Gifnote co-founder John vanSuchtelen, in an assisting statement.
Fleksy’s mini-apps appear above the Qwerty keyboard — in plenty the identical area as a next-phrase prediction. The consumer can scroll thru the app stack (each a tiny branded circle till tapped directly to increase) and pick one to engage with. It’s similar to the micro-apps lodged in Apple ’s iMessage but on Android where iMessage isn’t… The group also plans for Fleksy to guide a much wider variety of branded apps — subsequently, the Fleksyapps store.
N-keyboard apps are not a brand new concept for the dev group behind Fleksy; an advanced keyboard app of theirs (known as ThingThing) supplied micro apps they constructed themselves as a device to increase its utility.
But now they’re hoping to garner backing and purchase in from third birthday party brands excited about the exposure and reach they might benefit with the aid of being wherein customers spend the most device time: The keyboard.
“Think of it a bit like the iMessage equivalent, however, on Android across any app. Or the WeChat mini software, however, within the keyboard, to be had anywhere — now not best in one app,” CEO Olivier Plante tells TechCrunch. “That’s a problem of messaging apps nowadays. All of them are verticals, but the keyboard is horizontal. So that’s the benefit for those brands. And the consumer may have the capability to transport them around, upload some, to take away a few, to explore, to discover.”
“The manufacturers that want to join our platform have the option of being preloaded through default. The analogy is that by default, on the house screen of a smartphone, you are with the aid of default in our keyboard. And transferring ahead, you’ll be able to have a membership — you’re turning into an ‘emblem member’ of the Fleksyapps platform, and you may have your logo inside the keyboard,” he provides.