We’re big fans of our VIP community who are instrumental to our product process, particularly around big launches like we had two weeks ago. Today, we wanted to put the spotlight on one of our VIPs you may have seen – or been helped by – on our VIP Community: boberry2009. Brandon is extremely knowledgeable about SwiftKey Keyboard and so fantastic about helping other users. It’s been great to watch his awesome activity in our new Peer-to-Peer Community section in VIP, and as a sign of thanks, we’ve shipped Brandon a care package which includes an exclusive SwiftKey t-shirt.
For new readers and users, the VIP community is an open forum for users to give feedback, share ideas and get their hands on betas. For anyone interested in joining, we encourage you to check it out! VIPs are a hugely important part of the SwiftKey story, so thank you to Brandon and all of those who give their time and effort to making SwiftKey even better.
Without further ado, we’ll hand it over to Brandon!
1) What’s your name?
Brandon is my real name, and boberry2009 is my alias on the interwebs.
2) Where are you from?
I was born, and still live, in the always-trying-to-improve city of Lansing, Michigan.
3) What’s your day job?
During the day, I’m a cashier for the company of Kroger. During the night? Well, I’m currently trying to major in the art of sleep. (But that’s another story…)
4) How did you first hear of SwiftKey?
Hmm… It’s quite the mystery, actually. I believe I first saw SwiftKey advertised in the Play Store as an “Editor’s Choice” back in Fall of 2012. Instantly, I fell in love. (Because stock keyboards just weren’t all the rage back then, and SwiftKey did it a lot better.)
5) What do you think makes SwiftKey different?
Different? I think that’s a little too bland for the work of art that is SwiftKey; don’t you think? It is an extraordinary app, with extraordinary themes, and predictive text that tailors to the words/phrases/sentences you use everyday, extraordinarily. The predictions and Cloud capabilities are definitely where SwiftKey breaks the ice when it comes to other keyboards, especially with the option to personalize predictions via third-party apps like Facebook, Gmail, and even your RSS feed!
6) How many keystrokes have you saved using SwiftKey?
Let’s see… 42,465. Okay, now I’m a little embarrassed. xD It’ll probably drastically increase over the course of the next couple of weeks, though.
I blame my use of three phones (two of which were factory reset at least once), one tablet, and one laptop (because I just had to try out SwiftKey Flow Hard). There’s also the beta testing to take into account, but as one of my friends always says, “them’s the breaks.”
7) What’s it like to be part of the SwiftKey VIP Community?
Definitely being able to help collaboratively create a better app; or rather, keyboard! The people alongside are equally as awesome, but it’s the ability to help others with their experiences using SwiftKey and listen to suggestions of features that really keeps me coming back.
8) What are your three favorite apps? (apart from SwiftKey)
Endomondo – Occasionally, (ya know, when I’m not on the web) I like to go for a walk or a bike ride. This both gives me a visual of my trip and records so useful stats along the way.
Google Play Music – A pretty minimalistic app, but with All Access, I can listen to whichever song I want, almost whenever I want to, with no ads! There’s a radio feature, naturally; and they even included the “I’m feeling lucky” option we’ve all tried at least once in Google Search. ;D
SMS Backup & Restore – Let’s me backup my SMS and MMS to my SD Card (or even upload to Dropbox), so I can store them elsewhere to view later, without having them be deleted from a backed up Cloud by accident later.
9) What are your three favorite websites or blogs?
Facebook – Okay. It may sound a little too mainstream, but I like keeping in contact with my friends; and Facebook helps me do that. (No, I’m not always inside when I post something. 😛 )
deviantART – A free image-hosting website where you can even order prints of your favorites. There are some pretty talented artists on this site, and they deserve all the page views they have.
Serebii.net – The go-to place for PokéGeeks. A-yep. Can’t wait for November! ;D
10) Tell us something unusual about yourself!
Unusual? Gosh; where do I begin? I guess you could say it’s unusual how outgoing I can be. From being willing enough to hug a random person, to pretending to be pregnant for a day (the struggle was real). From sleeping in a tent in front of a store, for a week; to whistling a solo during a 7th grade Mary Poppins choir concert in front of elementary school kids. Sounds pretty unusual to me! (Maybe it’s just me…)