Third-party keyboard developer Fleksy today announced its popular keyboard app on iOS and Android will be going free on a permanent basis, increasing the potential customer base for full basic keyboard functionality while continuing to offer additional premium content such as themes and extension slots for in-app purchase. Fleksy has generally sold for $0.99 in the App Store, although it has occasionally been free for short periods of time.
By making the keyboard available for free, Fleksy is able to serve a much larger and more diverse set of users. With this increased user base, Fleksy will be focused on delivering new and exciting product improvements across all languages.
“We want every smartphone user to have the opportunity to experience fast, expressive, and intuitive typing,” said Fleksy’s Co-Founder and CEO, Kosta Eleftheriou. “We believe the best way to do this is to make the app free for everyone.”
To thank users who previously paid for the app, Fleksy will be offering a set of free themes and extension slots that typically cost $8.
In addition to the shift to a freemium model, Fleksy is also rolling out improvements to GIFs and stickers, building on a feature introduced in April. With the new "Highlights" view, users will be able to easily access relevant GIFs and stickers all in one place by searching and tapping on auto-suggested hashtag topics.
Like many third-party keyboards, Fleksy requires users grant "full access" to the keyboard, a capability that makes some users wary as Apple warns it allows keyboards to log keystrokes and send them back to remote servers. In a support document, Fleksy outlines the keyboard features such as language packs and personalization (as well as GIFs and stickers) that require full access to function, and the company outlines its privacy promises regarding the data it can collect and how it protects that data.