As you have noticed, I don’t have as much time as before to make this app evolve further.
The Android platform is constantly evolving, and it is difficult to keep up with all these changes on a 9-year old app which is supported on thousands of differents devices.
That’s why I have decided to open (most of) the source code of Smart Keyboard, so that other developers can improve or customize it as they wish, and don’t get frustrated with the lack of updates.
The paid version will remain on Play Store and may integrate improvements coming from the open source version, and some features which are not open source.
A bit of history: I have started to work on Smart Keyboard at the end of 2009, when Android had 5% of the smartphone market. At that time there was no multitouch keyboard for Android, unlike on iOS, so typing on Android phones was quite slow and painful. I also needed an international keyboard on which it’s easy to switch between languages with a single keypress, which was not the case on the stock keyboard.
That’s why I decided to fork Android LatinIME app to create my own keyboard, with support of multiple languages and multitouch (Android has added official multitouch support a few months later), and to my own surprise the first release was quite successful even though the feature set was very limited.
This success encouraged me to work hard on the app and add more and more features, and here we are 9 years later!
Of course the competition has evolved too during all this time, especially with the arrival of SwiftKey, which has raised the bar a lot. Even though a lot of bugs remain and it got quite dated, I still think Smart Keyboard has some unique strenghts and it’s the only one I’m comfortable typing with.
I need to do some clean-up on the source code first; it will be available on Github soon.