September 24, 2015
Custom keyboard apps existed – limited to their own sandbox/app – before Apple allowed them to get system-wide access with the launch of iOS 8. The first gesture-based keyboard did offer a reason to switch, but privacy concerns and typing accuracy have so far stopped me from using then shortly after the testing period. Gesturely, however, somehow managed to take custom keyboards to the next level by preserving your privacy and helping you speed up your productivity.
What I like in Gesturely is that it is a gesture-only keyboard. So how do you use a gesture-only keyboard? Well, it's pretty easy. After creating your account, you can start adding gestures to your gesture library and assign a specific phrase to each. You may think of only a few at first, but believe me, you'll be tempted to add more and more as time goes by, because Gesture can speed up your daily workflow. There is a little trick, though, to make it work: You'll need to go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards and add GesturelyKeyboard to your list.
Think usernames, lengthy repetitive phrases, a specific set of emojis, etc.; the sky is the limit. (And your memory, because you need to remember every gesture to be able to use them.) To add the custom text in any app, just select the Gesturely Keyboard, and … swipe. (By the way, gestures are directional sensitive, so swiping right will be a different gesture, than swiping let.)
Of course, when we entrust an app with sensitive data such as usernames (I tried to gesturize my Gesturely password, but I wasn't able to activate the custom keyboard for input), privacy concerns arise. Gesturely handles this matter in an elegant way: It doesn't collect any personal data, and your gesture library is password protected. But what I consider highly important is that the app is 100% local, so it doesn't even require an Internet connection to work.
Overall, I loved using the app. However, be sure you use unique gestures for each text, because you may end up pressing the delete button too many times. If you find the gesture too similar to another, you can simply edit it; just look it up in your gesture library. Now you can say the same things over again.
Gesturely costs $1.99 and it is available for iPhone only, but there are iPad and Android versions in the works. Download Gesturely from the App Store. [download link]
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