If you're not familiar with SwiftKey, it's a Google Play Editors' Choice app, and it won the coveted Most Innovative App award at the 2011 Global Mobile Awards in Barcelona, Spain. What sets it apart from other keyboard replacement apps is its capability to understand not just patterns in your typing, but also how words work together. This makes it scary good at predicting not only the next letter you need to type, but also the next word, sometimes even before you begin typing it. What's more, Swiftkey can continue to learn from your e-mail, SMS, and even social media accounts (if enabled), so it gets noticeably better at making predictions as you use it.
More than just a new set of keys, though, SwiftKey offers a full set of tools to improve the efficiency of your typing. Under the settings menu, you'll find a list of quick tips and typing statistics where you can see how many keystrokes SwiftKey has saved you, how many typos it's corrected, and more. Plus, there's a nifty "heatmap" that shows how accurately you type and on which keys you tend to make mistakes. You can even share these statistics via Android's share menu, if you like, though this feature is probably more useful to SwiftKey's marketing team than it is to you. Lastly, you can customize the keyboard for your typing style, change the color scheme, and even adjust key height to suit your tapping needs.
The newest version of SwiftKey comes with an improved UI, a larger spacebar (thank goodness) and a smart punctuation function that rolls out punctuation choices when you hold down the period key. These tweaks, while they may seem minor, help significantly to reduce errors and speed up your typing. There are also two new themes -- "Cobalt" and "Holo" -- so you can customize the look of the keyboard to your liking.
Also, SwiftKey now offers Smart Space, an almost magical technology that understands when you accidentally omit or otherwise screw up spaces in your typing. With Smart Space, you can actually tap out an entire sentence without spaces, and have the Smart Space technology correct you as you go.
Between the phone and tablet versions of SwiftKey, most of the features are the same. Both support dozens of languages and offer the same customization options. The tablet version, though, does let you switch between a normal keyboard and a split keyboard when in landscape mode. This split keyboard pushes the letters close to the edges of your tablet (by putting the number pad in the middle of the screen), which lets you more easily type out words with only your thumbs.
Overall, I can't recommend SwiftKey highly enough. With all its customization options and its scary-smart technology, it can help improve your typing accuracy considerably, which is worth the premium price. Plus, its predictions will certainly help with your speed. If you're still not convinced, you can, of course, try the free version (phone | tablet) for up to one month, before making your decision.
SwiftKey replaces the touchscreen keyboard on your phone with one that understands how words work together and predicting your next word before you press a key.
The keyboard learns as you use it to make corrections and predictions based on the way that you write. It can even learn from your Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, or blog to make its insights even more personalized. You can also enable up to three languages simultaneously, for true multi-lingual typing.
Switch seamlessly between tapping and gesture typing with our new SwiftKey Flow feature. It combines the mind-reading capabilities of SwiftKey with the speed of gliding your fingers across the screen. With 'Flow Through Space', you can also enter entire phrases without lifting your finger from the screen, simply by sliding to the space bar between words.
What's new in this version:
- Innovative keyboard layouts and modes for a better experience for all users across all screen sizes
- Full keyboard including Extended layout for tablets, Thumb keyboard for two-handed typing and Compact layouts for one-handed use
- All three layouts can be resized and undocked so you can choose their position on the screen
- Canadian English language model