Slash is the best iPhone keyboard you can download today -- and it will completely change how you message your friends

Slash is the best iPhone keyboard out today, and its killer feature is taking the pain out of jumping between your apps.

Research shows we spend 85% of the time in our phones buried in apps. And switching between these apps can be one of the most annoying things we deal with on mobile.

Slash’s innovation comes in the form of a blue forward slash that sits at the bottom of the keyboard. That slash is a magic button that can instantly give you access to a slew of app-based search engines baked into the keyboard itself.

Here’s an example.

If you have iMessage open with Slash installed and you type “/youtube taylor swift,” you’re immediately presented with the top YouTube selections for Taylor Swift. Simply tap the one you want and you can send the link to a friend without ever leaving messenger. Simple.

This works not only with different mini-search options: like Spotify, Soundcloud, Giphy, Foursquare, Google Maps, or Google search — but also within any app that uses a keyboard (Twitter, for example).

The Slash team told Wired they think of their keyboard as a mobile-first search engine. Initially, Slash was going to be a messaging app, according to CEO Cem Kozinoglu. But Kozinoglu was worried that all the services and APIs he wanted to integrate, like Facebook and Google, would turn off the data stream if Slash got too popular.

It was a horrible proposition: your app would only work until it got popular.

Kozinoglu decided to make Slash a keyboard as a kind of “Trojan horse” to getting the functionality he wanted, he said to Wired. The keyboard is “pretty much the only piece of software that’s between your operating system and your apps,” he says.

That’s a place where Slash can make life whole lot easier for users. What Slash eventually hopes to do is become a Siri-like software that works even when you aren’t talking. It will guess what you are going to type and what functions you are going to need as soon as you start. If you are a Spotify user, for example, and start to type “have you hear that new song by…” it will already start pulling up the song. It will just know.

And right now, Slash is working to secure more partnerships, and voraciously absorbing every open API it can find.

So far, users and developers have been impressed. Adam Leibsohn, the COO of Giphy, wrote on Product Hunt that he’d tried a lot of custom keyboards, but that Slash’s integration for Giphy is the best he’d ever seen.

What’s next for Slash?

Kozinoglu says they are working on calendars and pictures to add to Slash’s already expansive list of features.

Here are some of the things you can already so with Slash:

When you type the '/,' a little menu comes up.


You can search Giphy for the perfect GIF...


...and then simply hit 'paste'...


...and it will go right in your messages app.


You can search YouTube...


...or Spotify...


...which will create an external link...


...that the recipient can click on and listen to thanks to the app's deep-linking feature.


You can even search for cool stickers...


...which will appear right in whatever app you are using.


Check out Slash for yourself on iOS.

You can also type '/foursquare' to search nearby restaurants and reviews...


....or type '/maps' to send your location via Google Maps to a friend.


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