Continuing the litany of neat things in the Galaxy S 4 that Samsung didn’t talk about during its grand (some would say overproduced) unveiling last night, the smartphone’s keyboard has gotten a boost thanks to some prominent text input buffs. According to Swiftkey co-founder Dr. Ben Medlock, the U.K. startup’s keyboard tech is “at the heart of” Samsung’s new flagship.
It’s worth noting that the startup’s popular keyboard app isn’t actually preloaded on the GS4, so don’t go looking for that familiar icon — rather, it’s underlying tech directly into Samsung’s stock keyboard. That’s certainly a good sign for finicky keyboard fanatics, but those looking for the full SwiftKey experience will still need to download the app from the Play Store.
The deal is quite a feather in SwiftKey’s cap, as it seems to be the first time the startup has locked up a deal with a major mobile manufacturer… that we know of. As Forbes notes, persistent rumors pointed to the white-label inclusion of SwiftKey’s keyboard tech in BlackBerry 10, though neither SwiftKey nor BlackBerry ever officially weighed in on the matter.
Samsung’s current infatuation with SwiftKey isn’t the first time the company has sought to bring a novel text input experience to a high-end smartphone. Back during the days when Windows Mobile was still clinging to life, Samsung locked up a very brief exclusivity deal to bring TC50 alum Swype’s sliding keyboard to the Omnia II — I’m sure some users got a kick out of it, but it ultimately didn’t do much to give the Omnia II any staying power.