Apple has acquired a finger-tracking keyboard app called Dryft, according to a new report from TechCrunch.
While the exact timing of the acquisition is unclear, Apple could theoretically have purchased Dryft as early as last year. Dryft’s chief technology officer, Randy Marsden, is listed as joining Apple last September, according to his LinkedIn profile, and currently holds the title of iOS Keyboard Manager.
Exactly how much Apple paid for Dryft is still a mystery, and as Marsden is also a co-founder of Swype, a popular keyboard app for iOS and Android, it’s entirely possible that Apple acquired Dryft to bring Marsden’s knowledge of keyboard apps to its team — but Dryft is also an interesting enough keyboard app on its own.
Dryft claims to make “typing on tablets feel natural again,” and it’s all thanks to its finger-tracking technology that is capable of detecting the difference between resting your fingers on a keyboard or actual typing.
By waiting to display the keyboard until after you’ve placed your fingers on the tablet’s screen, Dryft can ensure your fingers are touching the home keys without you having to situate your fingers at a specific location.
In many ways, the Dryft acquisition makes a lot of sense for Apple. In the past, third-party keyboards have been a signature feature of Android phones, but beginning with Apple’s launch of iOS 8 in September, iPhone users can now install various third-party keyboards — plenty of which have been top sellers in the App Store.
With more and more people interested in customising their keyboards — and with rumours of Apple launching a larger, 12.9-inch iPad Pro later this year — it makes perfect sense that Apple could be investing in keyboard technology.
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