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iOS keyboard text expansion

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This forum has seen a lot of posts recently (including my own) which are basically geared towards allowing Alfred to replace TextExpander in the wake of the Smile pricing/sync kerfuffle -- ideas like allowing tabs/form filling, input within snippet expansion, snippets triggering workflows/scripts, case sensitivity in snippets, etc.

 

Thinking about what it would take for me to be able to replace the 250+ snippets I have in TE with Alfred snippets, there are two killer features....1) is snippets to trigger scripts (mostly for date math)....I suspect this is in the works....2) is the ability to use my snippets on iOS.  As far as I've seen, this hasn't come up, but it seems like an area where Alfred could really raise the bar.  Smile has a pretty widely adopted API ( https://smilesoftware.com/textexpander-ios/apps) but the TE keyboard itself is pretty slow and generic.

 

So I'd like to see an Alfred iOS keyboard, either as part of Alfred Remote or a separate app.  It could just do snippet expansion on iOS using Alfred's synced snippets.  If it could run scripts, this would be even better.  And for the icing on the cake, maybe it could communicate with Alfred on OS X, run a query and return the results (the kind of two-way communication I think people were hoping to see emerge with Alfred Remote).

 

OR....now that Smile has lowered their price on TE 6 to $20/year for existing users, and $40/year or so for new users, maybe it would make sense to not invest development resources into snippets.  For me at least (as an existing user) the revised TE pricing makes switching a lot less urgent and compelling -- the main concern is the need to rely on Smile's sync service.

 

Hence the subject line....if Alfred is going to go all in with snippets and replace TextExpander, it seems like an iOS keyboard is going to be necessary for many users....if that's not on the roadmap, it might not be worth prioritizing snippet features.

 

Thoughts?

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Part of what we believe sets Alfred apart from many other apps out there is that we're very mindful about which new features are added, and how they're implemented. This helps us avoid feature-bloat and ensures new features are useful to as many users as possible. Whether an iOS counterpart is created or not is something we'll carefully consider, and establish where resources are best used to keep making Alfred the best, sleekest productivity tool you could wish for.

 

As you know very well, Alfred is so much more than a text expansion tool; the snippets auto-expansion is a featured we had planned as an evolution of the existing clipboard and snippets feature, with a holistic view of how Alfred helps users get their work done. It's not necessarily intended as a replacement for the handful of users who require the most advanced features provided by dedicated, single-purpose tools.

 

We have amazing plans for Alfred 3 and for snippets, and we're listening to feature suggestions along the way, so you can be confident that we'll take Alfred in the right direction as we've done for the past 6 years :)

 

Cheers,

Vero

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One thing to consider here is, that the iOS api for third party keyboards is atm miserable...to say it nice. 

Android is way more advanced in that case. Multiple third party keyboard devs have issues and some even quit overall.

Apple is way behind and doesn't fix the current bugs...the developer of nintype is talking about it a lot. 

Its pretty sad that apple added the support for third party keyboards, but doesn't provide a decent api.

 

Maybe this changes now with iOS 10, but who knows. For now i personally wouldn't go into that direction and focus more 

on other things.

 

Cheers,

 

Frozen

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Thanks Vero and Frozen - great point Frozen re: the unfortunate state of iOS keyboards, too.  I think for now a wait-and-see approach is prob. best, too.

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I concur with the above. Focus on the desktop app until Apple takes a better approach to keyboards. Even the top rated 3rd party keyboards have significantly slower startup times than the stock iOS keyboard so in my mind they're not worth it at the moment. A .5-1 delay at every keyboard open is just too much. Right now I manually added my most import text replacements to the iOS system text replacement service. It's supposed to sync with the laptop via iCloud but that part has been broken for the entire life of iOS 9 and most of 8. The other super painful part is each snippet must be added by hand. I might be able to make a stupid sideloaded app (because it would never have Apple's blessing in a million years) that would import snippets from a csv file but that's not terribly likely and very low on my priorities. 

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OR....now that Smile has lowered their price on TE 6 to $20/year for existing users, and $40/year or so for new users, maybe it would make sense to not invest development resources into snippets.  For me at least (as an existing user) the revised TE pricing makes switching a lot less urgent and compelling -- the main concern is the need to rely on Smile's sync service.

 

 

Typinator. Supports pretty much all the features of TE (minus iOS support) and it imported my TE snippets almost perfectly. It syncs via Dropbox or the like, and doesn't have a subscription model. I found an old licence in a bundle, too, so I got the upgrade price.
 
I gave Alfred 3 a go, but a lot of my snippets require cursor placement to be useful, and Alfred (uniquely, I believe) doesn't support that.
 
(FWIW, Typinator places the cursor way faster than TE. Its UI looks like butt in comparison, but the cursor placement more than makes up for it.)

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