One of the bigger revelations to come out of AllThingsD’s recent D11 talk with Tim Cook was that Apple would “open up in the future.” It’s hard not to read deeply into that, especially when the Cupertino company is known for being so protective of its software platforms in the past. So what might change going forward?
For SwiftKey creator TouchType, that could mean the potential for third-party keyboards, among other similar tweaks. As it stands, Apple doesn’t allow any system-level tweaks inside of iOS because it wants to tightly control the experience. But Cook’s comments suggest that might change, meaning we might one day see SwiftKey for iOS. However, according to Cook, “Not to the degree that [Apple puts] the customer at risk for having a bad experience.”
According to Joe Braidwood, TouchType marketing chief, iOS’s keyboard is the platform’s greatest weakness, making the need for an open API in that area more obvious. In addition to the simple keyboard experience, there are plenty of tweaks that would fit right at home on iOS. And with so many shining examples currently in Cydia, developers are certainly capable of helping to improve Apple’s mobile platform.
Cook’s comments could be loaded with hints of big changes to come. Or they could be nothing more than hypothetical. Apple is notorious for having a strict walled garden, which has its good and bad points. If the company does crack open its doors, a company like TouchType is already envisioning ways to improve upon the beloved platform. SwiftKey for iOS? Who wouldn’t want that?