Full Access in FancyKey

FancyKey is unique in many ways, an important one is it does not require user to “Allow Full Access” for basic features to work. User can enjoy Word Prediction, Emoji Art and 6 default Themes without Full Access opened. Full Access is only required if user opts in the Keyboard Click Sound feature. And it’s temporarily required if user adds a non-English(US) language or apply a customized theme.

What is Full Access?

Granting an iOS keyboard extension Full Access is allow it to share data with its broader “container” app and gain network access. Apple has a warning message in place to alert users the potential security issues, which is quite scaring.

If you don’t grant the Full Access right, developers will have no way to access any of your typing record. And it’s also impossible to offer some special features.

Why we need Full Access?

There are three features we have to ask for Full Access:

  1. Play keyboard click sound. Apple has designed it that we cannot play any sound without Full Access. I don’t quite understand why Apple doesn’t offer a separate option to control play sound ability. I hope they improve it in future updates;
  2. Add non-English(US) package. The installation package from App Store only has English (US) language integrated. To add extra language, user has to download from our remote server. A language pack occupies 2~5 MB storage. If we pack all languages into one single installation package, its size would be over 100 MB. That’s hard to download and consumes unnecessary storage on device.
  3. Customize themes. Apple has limited run-time memory of the keyboard extension to 40 MB. It’s impossible to do CPU insensitive jobs in the extension. But generating a customized theme needs quite a lot of CPU work, we cannot achieve this in the extension.

Different from other keyboards, we’ve designed FancyKey to ask for Full Access only if user opts in specific features. For 2nd and 3rd features, users just need to open Full Access for minutes and close it after language or theme successfully applied.

Technology is just a tool, it can do good, also can do evil. It depends how we use it. FancyKey is designed to fancy your social life, not to ruin it. We live a life by selling great apps, not your personal info.