iOS10, 5 Predictions for iMessage & keyboards

Regy Perlera

For those of you who missed the latest WWDC Keynote, you should check it out.

Here at Often we’ve been working on 3rd party keyboards for over 18 months. At this point we’ve seen just about everything. Keyboards have become these essential marketing tools for publishers and even though their average life span is only 2–4 months, they’re amazing for sharing content.

The problem is, I don’t think Apple expected them to be used this way. Here are a few things we’ve learned:

  • There are two different types of keyboards: Content & Utility.
  • Content “keyboards” should have never been keyboards in the first place. They should have been extensions. Take Kimoji for example. It wasn’t meant to replace your keyboard but rather compliment messaging.
  • The keyboard system is still broken. I wrote about this last week

When we saw the keynote on Monday, we were pumped. Here are my predictions for iMessage and keyboards in iOS 10:

1. Content will move away from keyboards to iMessage apps

Bitmoji for iMessage. No more globe toggle and no more copy/pasting 😭 🙌🏽

All of a sudden iMessage apps seem like a much better alternative to keyboards. You don’t need an app, there’s nothing to install, content feels native and you don’t even need to copy and paste. They’re everything we wished keyboards would’ve been. Ton of opportunities for brands to be early adopters of iMessage here.

2. We’ll see a second home screen inside iMessage

The current app drawer is going to run into some scaling issues. Maybe they could try the version on the right?

We’re going to see apps for stickers, Uber, Cash, Seamless, Spring, etc. all inside the same app drawer. The problem is, it isn’t scalable. Most of these apps and stickers are meant for quick responses. If it takes too long to share, it kinda kills the experience. A search bar or navigation bar would be nice to see in the future.

3. Keyboards will go back to being about typing. Not stickers

With apps in iMessage, you don’t need the keyboard to do everything anymore

Apple’s standard keyboard just got a major upgrade. QuickType now lets you share contacts, location and even add events to your calendar. Multi-language typing is also now supported (HUGE). With apps like Youtube, Yelp and Uber already existing in iMessage, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple added search to the keyboard either.

4. iMessage will be the WeChat of the West

The messaging wars just got very real

For the past several months we’ve heard people talk about how Snapchat, Kik, and Facebook Messenger were in the running to be the WeChat of the West. Apple just became the front runner. However, I don’t think the same model will work (different cultures).

5. There will be a billion dollar company built on top of iMessage

Yes. That Q means Quadrillion… QUADRILLION.

Messaging as a platform is the real deal. I believe that over the next 5–7 years, someone will build a billion dollar company on top of iMessage. Maybe even as another platform (platform within a platform) 🤔

What do you think is going to happen with iOS 10? Thanks for reading ✌🏼

Regy Perlera

Written by

Product, strategy & art direction. Currently Design at Nike. Previously Oscar, StockX, Square. Almost got sued by Drake. 🇸🇻

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