Currently, the easiest way to write messages on Apple Watch is to use voice control or Apple's recommended response. But a pristine developer wants to go back to the past by adding a keyboard to Apple's portable device.
His app, Shift Keyboard, just launched in the App Store. Developer Adam Foot spoke to Cult of Mac to try to sell us the idea.
"Everyone is used to using the phone's keypad, but no such method exists on Apple Watch," Foot, a 19-year-old developer who has created apps over the past four years, told us. "The Shift Keyboard app is easy to use and lets you enter text as you are used to. Not everyone wants to use their voice publicly and text wrapping (read: Apple's handwriting recognition) can often misunderstand what you are writing. The keyboard comes in. The buttons are the perfect size for you to easily know that you've hit the right key, and once you've rolled down, you can see what you've written on the top left without scrolling back to the top. "
Foot said the app is especially useful if you are someone who likes to add more emoji to messages. It is impossible to use the standard messaging app.
To be clear, this is not a third-party keyboard in the same way as iOS. Shift Keyboard works as its own app. When your message is written, press "Send" and it will take you through to the Message app. From there you can send it to a contact of your choice.
An alternative approach to text input
As footnotes, getting into the App Store for this app wasn't as easy as expected.  "I originally created a keyboard for the Apple Watch app, which was rejected, even though it was a useful addition," he explained. "I myself wanted a better way to enter text on an Apple Watch. I've often heard that users say they want [one too]. My first keyboard was rejected by Apple to be an Apple Watch keyboard, so I went away and created an iPhone keyboard app [I then] added the Apple Watch app to an extension to this app. "
Apple rejected the app several times because text and buttons are too small. But he continued to revise it, and eventually Apple gave its approval stamp.
"The only other Apple Watch Keyboard app I've seen is the FlickType app," he said.
The difference between FlickType and Shift Keyboard is that FlickType only lets you see the words you have written after a whole word has been completed. Shift Keyboard works more like a standard keyboard, with letters displayed in real time. It is also possible to add numbers, punctuation and – as mentioned – emoji.
"In some ways, it's an option," Foot said. "But in another way, it offers its own unique set of features currently offered by no other app in the market."
Will it be a hit with users? We have to wait and see. If you want to try it for yourself, download it to $ 0.99 from the App Store here.