Ginger Software is on a mission to become the go-to spell-checking tool for Android. This week, the Israeli makers of natural language technology designed to help native and ESL speakers better express themselves, released its latest free mobile app for Android, called the “Ginger Keyboard.” Simply put, the Keyboard is a straightforward, easy-to-use proofreading app that allows users to correct full texts with one click.
While there are plenty of proofreading and grammar apps to be found in Google Play, most of them are educational apps, grammar exercises and dictionaries. However, Ginger’s new app is meant to your cross-app proofreading tool, as it integrates with any and all Android apps you have installed on your phone, whether it be SMS, email, Twitter or Facebook.
The idea, Ginger founder and CEO Yael Karov says, is not just to be another name in the text-correction software space, but to be able to provide better contextual understanding of natural language. Based on its advanced natural language parsing platform, Ginger’s Keyboard works to both correct grammar errors and misused words, but also adapt to the user’s own way of speaking, the proper names he or she uses and, over time, even slang.
Up until now, Ginger has been primarily focused on providing proofreading tools for Microsoft Office and browsers, and the founder says that Ginger currently checks more than 20 million sentences across platforms each day. The company’s algorithms utilize machine learning models that incorporate more than one trillion words in an effort to offer proofreading and corrections that work in context and allow users to send better, less embarrassing texts and higher quality writing.
To use the app, users simply download the app from Google Play, and, when the installation wizard opens, enable Ginger on their device input list. Once Ginger is enabled, you can make it the default keyboard on your phone so that it can be used across apps. Users can correct any text, with the option to approve or ignore suggestions as they see fit.
The Keyboard also works with any Android device, Karov says, so that users don’t have to download supplemental software to make it compatible with your phone. Naturally, with the frequency at which we send mobile communications today, whether it be over email or SMS, it’s becoming increasingly important to express ourselves in a way that don’t lead others to think that we’ve been hit over the head one too many times. At the same time, the speed at which we move and the increasing speed of communication tools make it difficult to do so coherently while on-the-go.
Ginger’s new Keyboard, Karov continues, is designed to give Android users more confidence — that no matter what they write — or how fast they type, on whatever platform they choose to do so — they will be able to make contextually accurate and relatively error-free communication. The app, as it stands today, isn’t perfect. Natural language processing and parsing technologies are still improving (as Siri has proven so effectively), as is Ginger’s grammar-check, but this is a big step in the right direction. And the ability to spell- and grammar-check across applications definitely comes in handy.
To date, Ginger Software has been competing head-to-head with companies like Grammarly, which have their own (some would say more effective) grammar-checking technology. Yet, while Grammarly offers add-ons for Chrome, Firefox and Safari, it’s yet to come to Android in any significant form. Ginger hopes that, by being one of the early contextual spell and grammar-checking apps on the fastest-growing mobile operating system, it can gain a leg-up on the competition.
Ginger’s new app follows on the heels of the startup’s announcement last August that it had raised an additional $5.4 million of venture funding from Li Ka-shing’s Horizon Ventures and Harbor Pacific Capital.
As Ingrid wrote at the time, the new round brought the company’s total backing to just under $21 million, and the team planned to use its new infusion of capital to help it implement the technology behind its existing products — that “work on an intelligent platform that understands crazy accents and nuances in meaning, with consideration given to things like local idioms and metaphors” — on new platforms, like mobile. Hence the launch of Keyboard.
This is also just the beginning of its plans for Android, Karov says, so stay tuned for more.
Readers can find the app on Google Play here.