Brightkey + PANTONE ® Spring and Summer 2015 Collections are here!




March is one of our favorite months because it marks the transition from Winter to Spring. While March begins with snow on the ground in much of the world, the official start of Spring on March 20th brings renewal and growth to mind. Traditions like spring cleaning and putting away the Fall and Winter items are things we look forward to. In that spirit, Brightkey is thrilled to introduce our latest version featuring the Brightkey + PANTONE ® Spring and Summer 2015 keyboard themes.


The Brightkey + PANTONE ® collaboration continues with Spring and Summer 2015 collections including the seasonal trend colors and fashion styles available in the stores, boutiques and high streets of the world. The two collections are “Top 10 Colors for Spring and Summer 2015 Menswear” and “Top 10 Colors for Spring and Summer 2015 Womenswear”. Each contains ten different colored keyboard themes, four of which span both collections, anchored by the earthy red PANTONE ® 2015 Color of the Year Marsala (PANTONE ® 18-1438).


The Womenswear collection is described as “An Eclectic, Ethereal Mix” featuring such colors as Aquamarine (PANTONE ® 14-4313), Scuba Blue (PANTONE ® 16-4725), and Strawberry Ice (PANTONE ® 16-1720). The Menswear collection has “Uncontrived, Natural Deeper Tones” including Classic Blue (PANTONE ® 19-4052), Dusk Blue (PANTONE ® 16-4120), and Titanium (PANTONE ® 17-4014). Available to purchase individually or as a collection, the themes are available now within the themes section of the Brightkey Keyboard app for Apple’s iOS 8. If you don’t yet have the Brightkey keyboard app, you can download it from the AppStore on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch device or by visiting

AZERTY, QWERTZ, and Diacritics – 3 strange words that mean a lot!



You’ve probably heard of the keyboard layout style called QWERTY. The acronym literally spells out the first six keys of the top left row of a typical English Keyboard. But did you know that QWERTY isn’t the only keyboard layout?

In several parts of the world, including France, Germany, and Austria, a different keyboard layout standard has been adopted. The two major alternatives to the QWERTY layout are AZERTY and QWERTZ. In all three cases, the acronyms refer to the first six keys of the top left row of the keyboard and overall it means a layout change of a couple characters.

Brightkey 1.3 introduced user configurable layout with options for QWERTY, AZERTY, and QWERTZ. To make the change, open the Brightkey app, select Keyboard Settings > Languages > Select your language (such as English) > Select your preferred layout. Each installed language offers the ability to chose the preferred layout independently.

This release also introduces support for special characters and diacritics (accents and other letter modifiers). To access the special characters and diacritics, just tap and hold on the letter you would like to modify and you’ll see a list of options appear as seen below:


Here’s a picture of Brightkey in QWERTY, QWERTZ, and AZERTY layouts in our gorgeous new Secret Garden theme collection. (You can easily review the new Secret Garden Themes and optionally purchase them individually or as a collection in the main Brightkey app > Themes)



Product Snapshot Sample

Brightkey launched its first designer partnership in November with the PANTONE® Fall 2014 theme collection. We followed up with the December launch of Marsala, named the PANTONE® Color of the Year 2015, and a new collection honoring previous Color of the Year picks from 2000 through 2015.   (You can easily review and purchase the colors you like or the full collection in the main Brightkey app > Themes)

With PANTONE’s® reach across many fields, including fashion and design, and authority in color trends, we knew the marriage of Brightkey + PANTONE® would be awesome and we’re thrilled with the experience.  Of course, one aspect of working with designer brands is being true to the style of our partners.  To that end, we would like to explain the signature PANTONE® chip and why it’s an integral part of the Brightkey + PANTONE® theme collections.

The PANTONE® chip is an area included in PANTONE® products that displays the registered PANTONE® brand mark, the color name, and color number. For example, our friends at Theo Chocolates in Seattle created a limited edition PANTONE® Marsala 18-1438 chocolate bar (organic, fair trade and delicious by the way) with the PANTONE® chip on the label ( and the PANTONE® Colorwear clothing line ( includes the same information on each piece.

The PANTONE® chip serves several purposes, including being the brand mark and sign of genuine licensed PANTONE® offerings, but more importantly, it represents PANTONE’s® proprietary system for communicating exact color information. This ensures that whether you are designing a chocolate, a sweater, a keyboard, or any other object, the producers are using the exact shade you intend for them to use.  It’s not an advertisement.  We view it as an authentic representation of the PANTONE® brand in the digital world. It is truly an honor for Brightkey to welcome new users to the PANTONE® brand and the heritage that accompanies the PANTONE® chip.

Brightkey Vibrant Christmas

HO HO HO!  It’s beginning to feel a lot like the holidays in much of the world. As families gather together to celebrate new and old traditions, Brightkey would like to offer a small gift to its users. We are pleased to introduce the Limited Edition “Vibrant Christmas” theme collection available for use at no charge during the holiday season.

The five “Vibrant Christmas” keyboard themes (Vibrant Pink, Vibrant Yellow, Vibrant Green, Vibrant Blue and Vibrant White) offer a fun holiday spin on Brightkey’s signature Vibrant Colors.  You’ll find playful Christmas Trees, Snow Globes, Santa Hats, Bells, and other cheery things.  In addition to the five free to use Brightkey keyboard themes, we are also offering matching wallpapers and Facebook covers to complete the look.

To begin using the themes, simply open version 1.2.3 of the Brightkey App > Themes > Vibrant Christmas!  The matching wallpaper and Facebook covers can be downloaded directly from your iOS device here:   May your holiday be Merry and BRIGHT!

yellow green blue pink

Brightkey @ ArtBasel


Miami is an exhilarating place to be anytime of the year but it really heats up each December during Art Basel. Art Basel is the largest modern art gathering in the world. Artists, collectors, fans, and the curious are treated to this assemblge for several days each year in Miami (December), Hong Kong (March), and Basel, Switzerland (June).

As part of our designer collaboration with PANTONE®, Brightkey was invited to PANTONE’s® 2015 Color of the Year launch event taking place during Art Basel Miami. Dressed in our best, the Brightkey Executive team and four Brightkey Brand Ambassadors (some of which you may remember from our Apple Store launch back in September) celebrated the unveiling of Marsala (PANTONE® 18-1438) with the PANTONE® community.

We were thrilled to be part of the event welcoming the earthy red Marsala and used the occasion to reveal our salute to PANTONE® Color of the Year past and present with the Brightkey + PANTONE® Color of the Year theme collection. In addition to making Marsala available on the same day it was revealed to the world, the collection includes every PANTONE® Color of the Year from 2000 – 2015 including past favorites such as Radiant Orchid (PANTONE® 18-3224), Tangerine Tango (PANTONE® 17-1463), and Cerulean (PANTONE® 15-4020). (You easily review and purchase the colors you like or the full collection in the main Brightkey app > Themes)

We’ve posted some fun Art Basel pictures on our Instagram, including one of our Brightkey Brand Ambassadors getting fancy by matching their Brightkey Marsala keyboard with Marsala nail polish!  Did you know you can buy iPhone and iPad cases, clothes, makeup, and even nail polish to match PANTONE® colors including Brightkey + PANTONE® collections?  You might be able to match a nice Ferrari too.  Why not have a look!

The Philippines and the Brightkey Jeepney

A few weeks after Brightkey’s introduction, we started looking at where our users were located.  One country, the Philippines, stood out as one of the more popular.  We searched for media or blog coverage that would explain the popularity, but found very little.  Since we are all the investigative type, our CEO was “immediately dispatched” to the Philippines and to spend time in metro Manila area including trips to our most popular place, Quezon City.  The below is in his own words.

Having Filipino friends my entire life (I actually prefer lumpia to egg rolls), it was wonderful to experience the culture first hand and also better appreciate the strong ties between the people of the United States and the Philippines.  But I needed to answer who was in Quezon City and how could I meet them.  After countless conversations with the Peninsula Hotel Concierge Joey (who was awesome), a plan was born.

First off, I found out Quezon City is the location of the University of the Philippines. Sensible that students and professors there would be Apple users. Next, finding a way to talk to them.  The Philippines has a very unique transportation vehicle called a Jeepney.  It’s the words Jeep and Jitney put together.  Functionally similar to the Tuk-Tuk’s of Thailand, but much larger because they were built on old army jeeps, decorated and painted Jeepney’s are a mainstay of daily commutes.  Concierge Joey and I decided to rent a Jeepney at the University of the Philippines for the day, decorate it with Brightkey logos, dub it the Brightkey Jeepney, and offer free rides to anyone getting on the Brightkey Jeepney for the University of the Philippines loop route (called the IKOT route).

Similar to our cards from iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch day at the Apple stores, we had cards designed in both English and Tagalog to thank users for trying Brightkey. We were able to introduce the app to hundreds of people and thank our existing customers with free rides.  Everyone was fascinated with Brightkey – and also that I was using the iPhone 6 Plus for demo (it hadn’t yet launched there).  Here are some pictures of the Brightkey Jeepney.



New from Brightkey, the Wood Collection, editable Quick-fire™ messages

Dear Brightkey Fans,

We’re excited to announce that our latest release (version 1.1 for those who are interested), is now available in the Apple App store. We listened to all of your comments on Twitter and in your App Store reviews, and this release addresses some of your most popular requests, including more themes, and the ability to customize the Quick-fire messages. We also fixed some irritating bugs, and spiffed up our auto-correct (if we get it wrong, just hit the backspace and we’ll automatically undo the correction, try it out!!).

The Wood Collection

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We’ve included a new collection of 5 new Wood-toned themes, and we think you’re going to love them. They bring a natural, calming vibe to your hectic day, and you can choose from light wood tones all the way to deep mahogany and chocolate tones. Let us know which one is your favorite!  App Store reviews are great but if you prefer email, contact us at or @brightkeyapp on Twitter – @brightkeyapp will work too!

Customizing the Quick-fire messages


With this release, you can now customize the Quick-fire messages that appear beneath the keyboard. You can edit the existing messages, or create a brand new one. To edit, just open the Brightkey App, tap on ‘Keyboard Settings’, and then ‘Quick-fire Messages’. People are coming up with really clever uses for these messages. It’s a great place to save things you don’t want to re-type, like your phone number, your address, a link to a web page. Be creative!

An undo button for Auto-correct

With every release, we’re working to improve the accuracy of our auto-correct tool so that you don’t have to worry about fixing common typos. But sometimes you actually intended to type a word a certain way, and you need a quick way to undo the auto-correction. We’ve developed a really simple way to do this – just hit the backspace button, and voilà, your word returns to exactly the way you typed it!

Coming soon – more themes and features!

We are already hard at work our next few releases which will include even more themes, new features, and support for more languages and keyboard formats. In the mean time, have fun with the new Wood themes and with making the Quick-fire messages your own! Thanks for all the suggestions and feedback, keep it coming on Twitter! (@brightkeyapp)

Why Brightkey (like most keyboards) requires ‘Full Access’ to your device

Dear Brightkey fans,

As part of the keyboard setup process described in our Tutorial, you have to click a toggle button to allow ‘Full Access’ to your device, and then you see the scary warning message below:


This message is understandably setting off warning bells, so we want to take a moment to explain why this message appears and to re-assure you that Brightkey is not storing, logging, or otherwise collecting any of your sensitive information in any way.

Why Brightkey needs ‘Full Access’

The Brightkey keyboard that pops up when you type is technically different from the app that you download and contains the tutorial, your themes, and your preference settings. In order for the keyboard to know which themes or settings you’ve chosen, the app needs to “talk” to the keyboard, and Apple requires your permission for this to take place. At the moment, there is no option other than “Full Access” – so they have included the disclaimer wording here to make sure users are aware of the potential risks.

What data is being transmitted?

The only data we are passing is the theme you have selected, the sound that is played when a key is pressed (the clicking noise), and the preference settings you have chosen, such as Auto-Capitalization, Auto-Correction, Enable Caps Lock, Predictive, and the “.” shortcut by double tapping the space bar. And we are using Google Analytics so that we can see statistics on downloads, devices, regions, etc. that are using the app. That’s it!

What data is not being transmitted?

We are not logging your keystrokes, saving your passwords, or sending any of the information you type back to our servers. Privacy and trust are fundamental to our business, and we take it very seriously. That’s why we’ve written our privacy policy in way that doesn’t require a law degree to understand. If you have any questions, please ask!

What happens if I don’t allow full access?

If you do decide not to allow full access, we will not be able to ‘save’ your theme selection or play the clicking sound when you press a key. Some users have asked why the app always reverts to the blue theme even though they’ve selected another. This is one of the downsides of not allowing the app to talk to the keyboard.

Since there’s no need to worry, can’t you fix this message?

We are working with Apple for a more granular access level that is more appropriate for the level access that we do require to make our keyboard work as intended.

Still have questions?

Send us an email at Happy typing!

Brightkey Launch Events – We’re Live!!

Brightkey released its banner product, Brightkey keyboard, alongside the launch of iOS 8 on September 17, 2014.  Two days later, if you were in line for the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus at any of 12 Apple Stores, including Boston, New York Cube, New York SOHO, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and others, you may have seen the Brightkey launch event first hand. 

On September 19, 2014 (iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch day), Brightkey Brand Ambassadors, along with entertainment and logistic staff, provided coffee and donuts to thousands of Apple fans waiting in line patiently for their new devices. We had a great time meeting everyone, introducing Brightkey to users and the media, and explaining how third party keyboards like Brightkey were a huge addition to iOS 8. 

To capture the magic of that day, we have put together a short two minute video with scenes from the Boston, New York Cube, New York SOHO, and Washington, D.C. events.  Thanks to everyone who made this awesome day possible!