OftenType Custom Keyboard Startup Story

To say that smartphones are common is an understatement. Today, the popularity of the handy device we carry everywhere is unprecedented. However, with the incredible popularity of devices like the iPhone, you can bet that if one person finds a certain feature repetitive or annoying, the other millions of handset owners could agree.

Smartphone users across the globe understand the frustration associated with repetitive text fields on things like online forms. Filling out your email address (and then repeating it) is a common way to activate or login to your favorite website accounts. OftenType relieves this frustration by introducing custom keyboard fields which save things like your name or email address. So every time you’re faced with the same text fields, you only need to tap one key. We caught up with OftenType founder Artem to find out more.

What Is OftenType?

“OftenType is a custom keyboard app that allows you to set up quick keys for words and phrases you have to type often on a smartphone.” Examples of this include common information like email addresses, surnames and even home or business addresses.

Where Did the Inspiration for This App Come From?

“The inspiration came from general app store research whilst looking for new apps. Every time I had to type my email and password to download then register for the app. I thought ‘ok, why not have custom quick keys that work just like emojis but for email and passwords?’” Artem explained.

How Long Did It Take You to Turn This Idea into a Fully Functioning App?

“I took a year because at the moment the idea came to me, 3rd party keyboards were not allowed in iOS. I waited for half a year, hoping Apple would add this feature to the iOS8 release.” Luckily for Artem this was indeed a feature which Apple added when they launched their iOS8 update, meaning the OftenType project could go ahead. Artem then clarified, “if we’re not taking into account this pause, it took us 3-4 months to build and release the app from scratch.”

What Challenges Did You Face That Other Startups Could Watch out For?

“For a young project I guess finding the best people is the hardest challenge. Once you have them on board – nothing can stop you!”

Do You Have Any Advice for Someone Thinking of Launching Their Own Startup?

“Don’t rely on the investments. Try to figure out how you can prove your idea with your own money. Being super lean can help you to be creative and innovative. Investors will value risks you’ve taken. My other advice is to never stop learning and discovering new things.”

What Can We Expect from OftenType in the near Future?

“We’ll release a big update in a few weeks – with more features, more icons and other improvements. We also plan to make bigger changes in the middle of the year, making the app better for our users. Stay Tuned!”

OftenType have since ceased trading, for a similar app try PhraseBoard or Fazt.