13
Jul
Swiftkey

Swiftkey For those of you who don’t like your stock or alternative add-on keyboards on your Android device, have I got good news for you: the Swiftkey beta is now available in the Android market.

I’ve been using Swiftkey through a private beta for the past few weeks and there’s one word I have to describe it: fantastic. I replaced my Swype keyboard with Swiftkey and haven’t looked back since.

Predictive Text

One of the best features of this keyboard is the predictive text. I’m not talking about predicting the rest of a word that you’ve already begun to type. I’m talking about actually predicting the next word that you might type based on what you’ve already input. It predicts based on the context of what you’re writing about.

From the Swiftkey website:

“SwiftKey offers intelligent next-word prediction by analysing the context of a user’s sentence and input behaviour. This is accomplished through TouchType's Fluency™ prediction engine, which employs statistical language models generated by analysing billions of words of background text.”

All I can say is that it “just works” and that the more you type, the more it learns your word patterns which helps it become even better at predicting your next word. In fact, it correctly predicts your next word around a third of the time without your entering any characters from that word and it correctly predicts 80% of the time with only one or two characters input from that word. This is nothing short of “very cool.” You’ve got to see it in action yourself to believe it.

In the graphic below, you’ll see a short paragraph with the words colored as “next words predicted,” “characters entered,” and “word completion.” Take a look at the “keystrokes saved” and “next words predicted” figures. I think you’ll see why this is such a big deal.

prediction-stats

Swiftkey beta is currently free, though limited by an expiration date, after which it may extend the free beta or convert to a paid model.

Check out this video to see Swiftkey in action:

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    Trying this out now. Swype is too annoying at times, so I switched back to the stock KB on my EVO. Let's see if Swiftkey is good enough to switch to it.

  • LipGloss712

    Really? I just checked it out. Sticking with swype.

  • http://www.ikaisays.com Ikai Lan

    This is a very smart idea that Swype should also implement. I still prefer Swype but this has become my #2.

    Seeing the comments makes me smile: Android means choice. We're not all made the same. I have a friend who loves the keyboard that shipped with his Evo because he has wider fingers and has never been able to use a touchscreen or BlackBerry comfortably.

  • Deon

    I never liked swype. Decided to try this keyboard out. Not bad. But I need the voice input button, I used that religiously.

  • baley

    I like it, This is good as swyping is not always very precise specially for short words. A combination of both is actually what I need. Plus the option to switch language easily from the keyboard.

  • Sean

    Wow! I like it. The predictive elements are excellent.

  • unhappy camper

    Guess I will give it a try.

  • Xcom923

    it would be so cool if they could rip the engine behind the kb out and put it in an HTC skin

  • Yorick Reuvekamp

    The guy in de video is typing REALLY slow on the stock keyboard. Weak comparison.

  • Walt

    One can't type fast with this app not good for fast typers, it doesn't respond when typing fast, at least on the EVO so far I still like the stock EVO keyboard, need to try swype.

  • MR

    I like this more then the normal keyboard, but I still think Swype is much faster. (EVO)

    • Ron Hamelin

      I also thought Swype was faster at first, but once you get used to Swiftkey, you'll see that the actual prediction of your next word before you even begin to type it is simply amazing. It does take time to get used to how the algorithm works and for the app to learn your words. I suggest you give it 2 days and experiment with the settings. Let me know what you think then!

      • Goonies

        My first try with swift had no suggestions, subsequent texts had wrong suggestions which were overriding My typing. If doesn't seem to come with a dictionary to provide the same level of prediction same the stock keyboard.

        I think thats something to consider.

        I have had to correct this almost a dozen times.

        Why does the word why need to be completed as suggestions? Why does to need to beach corrected from the predictive completion of top? Why does be become beach?

        My first experience with swiftkey had no magic.

        This thing is going to have some adoption challenges if the user is expected to REPEATEDLY correct the predictions. Thats not even mentioning the feeling of uncertaintuncertaintu uncertaintu uncertainty i have about had prodictions i have missed.

        Look stock what i went through to type uncertainty. When i realised My u for y typo and quickly backspaced to correct it i got the awrful suggestion of the typo. But it pasted the suggestion in the midst of the word. And now i have awrful overriding awful. I just had to correct now from being predicted as blanket.

        Typed using swiftkey

        • Chris ponciano

          Exactly, if your sitting there plugging in words hoping its going to correct your shitty english mixed with slang and web speak so you can just click the correct word you might as well use speech input. That's what hated about that stock evo keyboard it kept trying to correct and change my words, swype gets annoying too, but it feels better so far.

  • http://www.iandowens.com Ian

    I've been using this keyboard on my Incredible for 2 days now and I'm absolutely sold.

    The prediction of what I'm going to type next is eerily accurate and saves many keystrokes.

  • Chris ponciano

    I'm loving swype so far and am using it to type this much faster than I would have manually, but I'll give swift a try, i think coming from 12+ years on a desktop keyboard its easier to use swype since I have the keys embedded I'm my mine and dont need to look at the screen as much when I'm poking away with the stock keyboards. It asked my brian to think ahead instead of stoppingevery other word to make sure my fat fingers touched the right key.

  • Nem_Zero

    This is pretty cool. I think Swype is best for me though. The main thing swype needs is to learn inputted words that differ from it's word bank. It kind of has one (drawing from the stock board's learned words prior to using it), but it's not consistant. Also, a voice input button would too.

  • usn.mustanger

    No voice input key? On Android? Are you kidding me? We'll see who's first to the table with it--Swype or Swiftkey.
    As for now, I'll stick with swype. I tried swiftkey, and it's predictive ability are pretty fantastic, but I've had pretty good luck with Swype's predictive ability, so I'm gonna stick with a keyboard that is just infinitely more fluid and natural (to me at least).

  • ArionKrause

    Personally I prefer SlideIT, it offers the same (as far as I can tell) features as Swype, plus a button to change input language (In my case, I use English and Portuguese, and change between them often). Ah, there's a Voice Input button as well.

    Concerning Swiftkey, if it supports foreign languages as SlideIT do, I'll give it a try.

  • Paula

    Wow. If that guy went any slower using Swype he might be able to keep up with a snail. I love Swype - I type a lot for work - but smartphone keyboards are just too small for me to use with any speed. But I'll take a look at Swiftkey and see what I think.

  • Jesus Urrabieta

    No, it's not.

    It is good. And I bought it and keep it as my second keyboard (better when I need to type codes or other not natural language words).

    But swype still is the best and easiest way to type in Android for me.