SwiftKey Launches Its Keyboard Theme Store On iOS

Predictive keyboard maker SwiftKey is today flicking the monetization switch for its iOS app, with the launch of a keyboard theme store which it debuted on its Android app last year. Since last June Android users have downloaded more than 26 million themes — although the company is not breaking out how much revenue its store is generating at this point.

The iOS store introduces 12 new themes for users, including an animated keyboard with parallax scrolling (costing $1.99), pictured below, along with a range of Nickel and Minimal themed keyboards (costing $0.99 each). Themes can be live previewed prior to purchase. The three free existing iOS themes remain in the app.

Shooting Stars theme GIF

SwiftKey switched from a paid app to freemium in June — selling themes to users as its new monetization strategy, so giving away its core predictive text engine to chase scale. SwiftKey does also gather anonymized keystroke data — and its privacy policy notes that anonymized, aggregated data can be shared with third parties. So building a data business based on typing intel is another potential revenue generator.

The SwiftKey iOS app is less than a year old, launching last fall after years of being locked out of Apple’s platform because, prior to iOS 8, Cupertino did not allow third party system-wide keyboards. The app garnered around one million downloads on its first day. SwiftKey has not released any data on downloads or usage since then.

In addition to a theme store for iOS users, SwiftKey said the app update brings performance improvements designed to boost stability and reduce instances where the SwiftKey keyboard is unintentionally replaced by the iOS default keyboard. Sample screenshots of some of the new themes are shown below.

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