SwiftKey comes out of public beta to rock your Android keyboard

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SwiftKeyIf you haven’t heard of SwiftKey by TouchType and you have an Android phone, you’re either suffering with the native keyboard or trying out some of the other popular alternatives, such as Swype for instance. The release of the bigger and better SwiftKey for Android wouldn’t be big news, if it wasn’t for the fact that it is. I’ve been using the keyboard for about two months now and despite some hiccups, it is already a lifesaver. The new version is slick, not to mention faster.

Their public beta version has already generated 250,000 downloads, making it the most downloaded keyboard in the Android Market, says the London, UK-based company. What’s the big deal? SwiftKey’s technology works on AI, learning from the user’s writing style and predicting as he/she types. SwiftKey claims that a third of the words can be predicted even before you tap the first letter and the majority just with one or two clicks. According to the company, that’s an increase of up to 50% in your typing efficiency.

SwiftKey runs on their TouchType’s FluencyTM prediction engine. In a nutshell, what it does in the background is analyze text to see how you combine and order words both as you write, as well as by reviewing prior content stored on your phone. Basically, it’s not predicting just across the board for everyone as a whole, but it’s personalizing the predictions to based on your own typing behavior.

Another really useful feature of SwiftKey is the simultaneous multilingual prediction. If you’re anything like me and have to communicate in two to three languages, you either type freely without suggestions or you switch languages, right? SwiftKey solves this problem with simultaneous prediction for two languages. You just type and it recognizes the language and gets better at predicting over time.

Newly added key features:

-My personal favorite, simultaneous bilingual prediction
-Much desired voice-to-text support
-Multi-touch support
-Improved keyboard layout, with number-pad, arrow keys and improve symbol access
-Vast performance/speed improvements
-Enhanced settings options, including ability to alter prediction behavior on hard keyboards
-Predictions now shown in browser, search etc.
-Language module handling improved

SwiftKey is currently available in US English, UK English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch and Swedish. The public beta version was available for free, while the general release will be available for $.99c for the next week, until September 30th, when it goes to full price, selling for $3.99.

Coincidentally, or not, TouchType has also announced $1.25 million in funding, in a third round led by Octopus Ventures and the Cambridge Capital Group, a private syndicate of angel investors.

  • James Whatley

    So is this better than Swype?

    • Marina Zaliznyak

      I would say it’s a different concept. Definitely an excellent product in my opinion. Try it and decide.

      • James Whatley

        I’ll give it a go. Cheers :)

    • vikash

      it looks james

    • Pallab

      No, it isn’t. It still involved typing things, and that’s something I can’t go back to after getting used to the SWYPE way.

      • Joe Braidwood

        Well, really it doesn’t involve typing things in the same way as other keyboards, because it predicts so much for you, Pallab. Try it out!

  • Artem Russakovskii

    Completely different concept (i.e. no swiping), and I’ve preferred it to other keyboards for a while due to predictive typing. Only reason I’m back to stock EVO keyboard is the absence of arrow keys on the main screen.

    • Joe Braidwood

      Hey Artem,

      We’re planning the option to bring arrow keys to the home screen, but as you must appreciate we can only achieve so much over time. The next few months are going to see the app just get better and better – with skins, even better prediction handling with tenses, etc and so on. Watch this space!


      CMO, TouchType Ltd.

  • Chris Cardinal

    I’ve been using SwiftKey since its Android launch and it’s absolutely fantastic. I think it’s faster than Swype because Swype I almost try too hard on and because I still have to make the full motion. With SwiftKey, two or three approximate letter presses is typically enough. It even helps improve blind operation a lot better, though I wish it was a bit brighter with the missed-key algorithm, it’s still quite good.

    Definitely worth the 99 cents it’ll be tomorrow, and I’ll be buying it immediately.

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  • Jenny Teo

    I currently use Swype, but having tried out SwiftKey, it seemed a good alternative keyboard for me. Sadly, I am in Singapore where paid Android apps have not arrived. Sigh.

    • Joe Braidwood

      Well be launching on other stores to try to achieve global coverage soon, so keep your eye out.


  • Wysie_Soh

    SwiftKey is a wonderful piece of software indeed! :)

    Jenny: If your phone is rooted you can use MarketEnabler. :)

  • anon

    Can’t even buy it in Belgium either wtf.

  • Evan Tapper

    Swiftkey is the best software based keyboard out there. I work for Tmobile and recommend it to all of my customers.

  • Another reason to get an Android phone « Void Pointer
  • netsuo

    I’m using Swiftkey since its android debut.. it’s just a fantastic piece of software !

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  • Milind

    I tried SwiftKey for a while, but went back to Swype. It was just too distracting to have to type and keep an eye on the suggested word(s) and then selecting it. But I think it’s all a matter of training. I had to train myself a bit to use Swype as well.

    One of the things I love about Swype is that I don’t have to swype across all the characters accurately. This has allowed me to enter longer and better passwords on my phone since it actually makes it even easier to accurately swype a long non dictionary word, including numbers after I have added it to Swype’s dictionary. I didn’t test that out with SwiftKey.

    Having said that, at $1, I’m buying it. And I’ll have to use MarketEnabler to do that. This will be the first paid app I will have bought from the Android Market. All my other apps were purchased from other sites. But I think it’s getting hard to keep track of it and getting upgrades. Between the AppBrain app and Market Enabler, I should be able to get my updates.

    • Joe Braidwood

      Milind, please let us know how you get on. This new version is much stronger when it comes to autocorrection.

      • Milind

        I had the same problem as Martyn. I had to go into Google Checkout on the PC and re-register my card.

        The installation program is excellent. Swype’s installation is it’s weakest point. Off the bat, my reaction is that the prediction is very very good. Voice to text is awful, but I have never ever got any Speech To Text working well for me. At the moment I think I’m much faster in Swype. But I’m sure with training, it will get better. I’m going to leave it as my default keyboard for a few days.

        The one thing that I like about Swype is how it auto inserts a space after swyping a word. Swiftkey does that as well after selection, but I have to remind myself to do that when I’m typing the word myself. A little bit of cognitive dissonance there to get used to.

        Also need to figure out some shortcuts like capitalizing. If I type in “It is i”, it doesn’t convert the last letter to uppercase. I’m sure I’ll find how to work around some of this in the documentation or forums.

        Well worth the money.

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  • Martyn Butler

    I tried a range of keyboards and I loved Swype But SwiftKey beats any text input system I have ever used. In no time at all it was pre guessing 90% of my SMS’s

    I really could not imagine using anything else so when I got notification of a new update and a cheap offer to get paid version I decided to make my first ever Android App purchase – a milestone that should cheer any developer.

    TouchType has cancelled your order. You have not been charged.
    Reason: Other (describe below)
    Comments from TouchType:”Order canceled due to internal error in Market.”

    ooher – devastated

    • Joe Braidwood

      This is terrible Martyn! We didn’t cancel anything, it’s all Google’s Checkout. Have you had any luck since? If no, I’ll complain on your behalf. Please email me.

  • Ken S

    Been a huge fan of Swype for a few months and have just downloaded and given Swiftkey a try. Impressive. The predictions are pretty good. During one of my first test texts it predicted what the next word should be – which was different from what I would have typed – but turned out to be a better choice so I just selected it. I found that to be useful and time saving to say the least. Zero learning curve as far as I can tell so far.

    Good stuff!

  • Martyn Butler

    Ok I went to Google Checkout on my PC –
    re registered my Card –
    and Presto Market accepts the Purchase now


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  • YA

    Apart from advanced features, it appears that HTC stock keyboard works exactly the same way.

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  • Nick P

    Found Swiftkey after brief search for decent keyboard apps on the market. Brilliant. Beta was good but loving the full release. Liked the sound of Swype but couldn’t download, glad I went for Swiftkey! Prediction is amazing and saves me so much effort! Thanks a million and keep up the good work!

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    I’ve just found this site, can I really get a new BB for free?.


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