Apple quietly bought an Android keyboard startup last year
Last year, right around when iOS 8 was released, Apple quietly snatched up Dryft, a startup that made a popular Android keyboard that seems perfect for the iPad. Not only that, but the CTO of Dryft now heads up iOS keyboard development.
The information comes from Techcrunch, who notes that Randy Marsden, Dryft’s chief technology officer and a co-founder of the popular third-party keyboard Swype, joined Apple last September. He’s now the head of Apple’s internal keyboard efforts.
Whether Dryft was acquired just to land Marsden, or because of its other assets and talent, is still unclear. But the Dryft keyboard sounds optimally suited to the iPad Pro. Here’s how Techcrunch describes it:
“The Dryft keyboard appears on screen only when the user places their fingers on the display, a unique way of creating an on-screen keyboard. It’s essentially a keyboard for tablets that tracks your fingers’ movements”.
Typing on the virtual keyboard on the iPad is already a pain, since it obscures so much of the rest of the display. A keyboard like Dryft, if officially sanctioned and polished by Apple, could vastly improve the typing experience on Apple’s keyboards.
No other information is available right now, so who knows if we’ll ever see a keyboard like Dryft come to iOS in an official capacity. But I, for one, would welcome a better default typing experience on the iPad. What about you?