SwiftKey comes out of public beta to rock your Android keyboard

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.