Multitasking has never been a strong suit of iOS when compared to Android, especially till iOS 7. One could not even share the data from one app to another. However, things changed with iOS 8 and one of the biggest addition was the feature of inter-app communication. Using the feature, one can seamlessly share data like a photo or a link with other apps (using the Control Center of course). The sharing of data is not as fluid as it’s on Android, but still something to start with.
Another useful thing that iOS 8 brought to the fray, was the ability to install and use a 3rd party keyboard as default. None of that required root access and it was a major deal. Gursimranjeet Singh, an iOS developer, has brought the two features together and created a keyboard, called the ReBoard, which can help you to multitask on your iPhone.
Confused? Don’t worry, let me show you what the app can do.
Multitasking on the ReBoard Keyboard
So as I already mentioned, ReBoard is a keyboard which allows you to communicate to different apps directly from the keyboard itself. Here are some of the tasks that can be done directly from the keyboard itself.
- Search for videos and play them on YouTube
- Search for images
- Post to Slack
- Directly search Wikipedia or the Web
- Search for a location and insert address
- Convert between different units, and much more
That’s just some of the many things you can directly execute on the keyboard. So let’s see how they function.
On the keyboard, press the Command (⌘) key to enable the feature. Let’s say you wish to search for a YouTube Video, hit the command button and type in the video name. Next, scroll for the YouTube icon of the keyboard and tap on it to see the associated results.
You can then copy the link of the video, insert it to the window you are currently on or just open it up. Due to iOS limitations, other apps need to be opened using the ReBoard widget in the notification area.
ReBoard has 18 powerful and easy-to-use actions, but the developer has promised more services and actions to be integrated in the future. Similarly, you can try to search for images, articles on Wikipedia and even do simple calculations. There’s so much that you can do with ReBoard without navigating to other apps.
How the Keyboard Functions
So that was how ReBoard can help you with multitasking on your iPhone. But at the end of the day, it will be used for composing emails and text as a keyboard and there too it provides a lot of features when compared to the stock iOS keyboard. The app comes with gesture support to make typing easier, like swiping up on the keys give a long press action and the backspace deletes the entire word.
Note: There are some bugs in the current version, like the clipboard text comes up as default text for commands. But when I contacted the developer, he mentioned that a new version has already been submitted to the App Store which will take care of the bug and have future improvements.
Users can scroll on the spacebar to control the cursor to go back and forth while editing. Much better than pinch to magnify, especially on older devices. However, if you are a fan of swiping your texts, you might have to compromise on that. For better understanding, I would suggest you go through the tutorial from ReBoard settings menu.
It’s Good, But is a bit Expensive.
So that was pretty much everything about ReBoard and the app is available for $1.99 from the App Store. But that’s not all, surprisingly there are in-app purchases for additional extensions like Dropbox and location shortcuts and each of them at $0.99. There are themes that can be purchased for $0.99.
There is no lite or trial version and thus you need to invest in it to even try it. And when you do, don’t forget to share your experience with us.