Esper x Fleksy: Changing Text Input on Company-Managed Devices

Keith Szot
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In today’s organizations, security and data confidentiality are paramount. You can tick all the boxes for the best on-device security hygiene, but if you’re not monitoring app activity, then you risk leaving a potentially gaping hole wide open. Just looking at apps and their internet activity usually isn't enough on its own, either — system apps need to be kept in check, too. Let’s talk about one of the most crucial apps on every device, and one that probably doesn’t get monitored enough: the keyboard. 

Think about it — the keyboard on your device is a crucial stakeholder in its functionality. And it sees everything. Everything you type goes through the keyboard, including sensitive information such as usernames/passwords. And since most modern keyboards use real-time text prediction and are constantly getting smarter, all that data gets sent to the cloud, processed, and used to train keyboard ML (machine learning) models. Of course, the companies doing this work promise data anonymity, which is usually fine for consumer devices. But when you’re looking at devices used in critical industries like healthcare, where patient confidentiality is of the utmost importance, it’s probably not quite up to snuff. 

That’s one of the reasons why Esper teamed up with software keyboard pioneer Fleksy to offer a custom solution on Foundation for Android. Fleksy is a trailblazing text input company that pairs perfectly with Esper’s security-first, compliance-focused Android build, Foundation. The benefits of Esper Foundation with Fleksy don’t stop at security and compliance, either. 

Let’s dig in. 

Privacy-First Typing with Localized Processing

Fleksy's technology introduces an unprecedented element of privacy-first typing. In a digital age where data security is paramount, every keystroke is treated on the end user's device with the highest confidentiality standards. All data is processed on the device — not in the cloud — stored locally, and fully encrypted. What that means for you is confidence that all the information typed on Fleksy’s keyboard is completely secure and private, which aligns seamlessly with Esper's commitment to providing secure and controlled device management solutions.

Because text input is kept on the device, nothing you type on Fleksy’s keyboard is transmitted to the cloud, adding an extra layer of protection against potential cyber attacks. This bolstered security framework and precise on-device text processing is a new standard for text input on company-owned and managed devices. 

A Step Above the Stock AOSP Keyboard

You might be asking yourself what’s wrong with the stock AOSP keyboard. If you’re looking for just the most basic of functionality, nothing. But it hasn’t seen a major update in seven (!!) years, meaning it’s very far behind modern standards. 

On the surface, it provides the most basic of keyboard functionality, but that’s about it. With Fleksy, you get all the advantages of a “connected” keyboard without the potential risks. Fleksy specializes in autocorrect, predictive text, custom dictionaries, and data security and supports more than 82 languages. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the AOSP keyboard, but there are a lot of optimizations that can take your keyboard experience to the next level. Enter Fleksy. 

Robust Technology and Expertise

Fleksy's extensive experience in the text input arena, spanning over a decade, is a testament to its robust technology and exceptional capabilities. Fleksy technology currently powers 100+ million devices worldwide, where tight relationships and constant feedback pave the way for even deeper improvements. As a result, Esper Foundation customers will continue to benefit from Fleksy’s text input offering as it advances in ways that directly respond to the feedback we hear from our Foundation users. 

Increased Vertical Productivity

In professional communication, where precision and efficiency cannot be overstated, Fleksy brings a unique advantage — the ability to tailor-make customer-specific dictionaries and predict words that correspond to a specific use case. This innovative feature caters to industries and domains where specialized terminologies and jargon are the norm, like healthcare and restaurants, to name a few. 

Fleksy's technology enables organizations to curate dictionaries that align perfectly with their specific needs, ensuring frequently used industry terms, acronyms, and technical vocabulary are just a tap away. This not only streamlines communication but also reduces the likelihood of errors caused by autocorrect suggestions that don't understand the context of professional needs.

Think about it: how about a point of sale system in a restaurant that can automatically suggest “gluten free” when a “g” is entered? Or a customer-facing kiosk that intelligently suggests email suffixes (@gmail, @hotmail, etc.) for quicker loyalty signups. And that’s not even considering the benefits for tablets in hospitals, where jargon, acronyms, medication names, and other non-standard language are the norm. 

Without getting too in the weeds, let’s quickly look at some of the numbers. The average keypress takes 0.26 seconds. For a 10-letter word, that’s 2.6 seconds. Now, imagine a scenario where you type a single letter, and the correct suggestion immediately pops up — that’s two taps instead of 10. 

But we can take this a step further. Let’s use “mushroom” as an example. In a restaurant, you could type “mus” and have two options show up: mushrooms and “no mushrooms.” Using the 2.6 second calculator from above, you’re looking at 0.78 seconds for the three letters, then 0.45 seconds for the text suggestions. That’s 1.23 seconds total — a 52% time savings. 

That doesn’t seem like much in a one-time scenario, but scale that up to multiple employees across multiple shifts, and the time savings add up fast. Continue to scale that across the weeks, months, and multiple locations, and the efficiency is really meaningful. 

The benefits are enormous. 

Custom Skinning of Keyboard User Interface

In a world where branding and user experience are key differentiators, the collaboration between Fleksy and Esper introduces a powerful tool for businesses looking to leave a lasting impression on anyone who uses their hardware. Fleksy’s technology allows for custom skinning of the keyboard user interface, offering a tailored experience that perfectly aligns with a bespoke customer's unique identity and preferences.

With this feature, Esper Foundation customers can go beyond the standard keyboard design and create a keyboard that reflects their brand's aesthetics and personality. The possibilities are endless, whether it's matching corporate colors, incorporating logos, or designing a keyboard layout that resonates with their audience.

The ability to brand the keyboard user interface not only enhances the visual appeal but also fosters a sense of familiarity and trust among employees. It ensures that every interaction with the keyboard reinforces the brand's image and messaging, making it a valuable asset for businesses across industries.

Esper and Fleksy are Ready to Take Your Device Experiences to the Next Level

In the world of technology, the convergence of ingenuity and collaboration often yields remarkable outcomes. Esper and Fleksy's collaboration echoes this sentiment, charting a course toward enhanced security, privacy, and efficiency in text input. 

This partnership is a direct response to the stagnation of the AOSP virtual keyboard, which simply does not meet the needs of modern customers. As the industry advances, the dynamic duo of Esper and Fleksy are here to drive progress, offering an advanced input method that empowers users and safeguards their digital experiences.

Learn more about Fleksy
Learn more about Esper Foundation for Android


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Keith Szot
Keith Szot

Keith is the SVP of Business Development at Esper, the geeky force-of-nature driving efforts to build a robust community of device manufacturers and software developers to connect with our customers.

Keith Szot
Learn about Esper mobile device management software for Android and iOS
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