Apple has quietly procured Dryft, a startup that creates keyboard applications. The acquisition seems to be validated by the LinkedIn profile of Randy Marsden, former technology officer at Dryft, which mentions him working for the iPhone company in September last year. It is being predicted that Apple could have taken over the app developer around that time, according to TechCrunch.
Why Apple acquired Dryft
Randy Marsden currently works as an iOS Keyboard manager at Apple. In addition, he is also the co-founder of Swype, a well-known keyboard app for both Android and iOS phones. Considering this, it can be presumed that the iPhone maker bought Dryft to add Marsden’s expertise to its team.
Also the acquisition could have been aimed at obtaining Dryft’s assets, suggests the report. Whatever the case may be, nothing can be said about the intent of the deal with absolute certainty unless Apple comes out officially on the deal.
However, when asked about the acquisition, the iPhone maker typically confirmed it by telling TechCrunch, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Growing market for keyboard app technology
The Dryft app, in essence, is a keyboard for tablets that appears when a user touches the screen, thus exhibiting a different method of displaying an on-screen keyboard. In addition, its fundamental features include a patented dynamic keyboard, the first of its kind in the industry, which tracks finger gestures and facilitates instant availability of row keys to the fingers of the user. Moreover, the keyboard app consists of a distinctive touch tap technology that can differentiate between the typing gestures of a user or when he’s just resting his fingers. This enables users to pause on the row keys before typing a piece of text.
Apple’s acquisition of Dryft makes sense as customized keyboard apps have been among the best-selling applications on the Google Play Store lately. Earlier, the customized keyboard feature was only available for the Android phones, but the launch of iOS 8 has led numerous third-party app developers to manufacture custom keyboard apps for iPhones as well. Some of the examples of such keyboard apps are Swype and Swiftkey.