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.
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.
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: