There are no shortage of keyboard replacements on the market. Between SwiftKey, Swype, and the various manufacturer-skinned versions, you can't help but have three or four options on your phone. Today's latest entrant, iKnowU, still manages to stand out with the ability to predict entire phrases and highlighting of the next letters it thinks you're going to type. Pretty impressive.


Of course, the feature that catches our eye most of all is phrase prediction. SwiftKey is widely known for its next-word anticipation engine that aims to guess what you want to write next. iKnowU take this one step further, recognizing that words are just one building block of language. Phrases, such as "give me a call" or "from time to time" as demonstrated in the video above, can be predicted and easily entered, instead of having to input them on an individual basis. Of course, as you use the keyboard, it will learn what phrases you use frequently. So, by the end of this paragraph, of course, it will have learned that I use "of course" way more often than Artem would like, and offer to fill it in automatically.

iknou1 iknou2 iknou3

There are plenty more features to play around with on this one. The key highlighting may not seem terribly interesting to an avid typist, but for your aunt's first smartphone, or someone who was trained to type without looking all their lives, the glowing predictions could help ease the transition into the touchscreen world. You can also long-press on the spacebar to gesture through predicted words, offering one more option for moving from word to word. Also, there is an option (buried in a menu, oddly) to sync your customizations between devices so that once iKnowU learns your typing style, it's learned it forever.

iKnowU is available for free on the Play Store and promises that, despite it's mildly creepy name, isn't going to follow you home from work.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Kenny O

    I don't see mic key, do you know how this integrates with voice typing?

  • Joo

    Swiftkey compatitor?
    What do you think?

    • Kenny O

      I've been playing with it for the last few minutes, I like Swiftkey a lot better. I'm sure it would get better after learning my word usage, but I'm used to just hitting the space bar to enter the next suggested word and this keyboard doesn't have that feature. The other big feature Swiftkey has that I like is when you slightly mess up a word it (like hitting the letter next to the one you meant to) it auto corrects you, this keyboard doesn't seem to do that. I also have yet to find a mic key. But that's just my two sense in using this for all of 10 minutes. It is free though......

  • xnadax

    "This item cannot be installed in your device's country." :(

  • Sven Andresen

    Bah... not available in DK. Would be nice to try it...

  • aruna sena

    it`s funny that the app is not available for us outside of the States (from Malaysia with love here). Is there a way you fine folks could get in touch with the developers and highlight this?

  • Kaero

    I rarely use these word autoprediction things simply because rather than spending the time watching for the word I'm typing to pop up it's just faster to finish typing the word out. And the next word prediction in Swiftkey is just terrible, rarely gives me the next word I intend on typing.

    • Freak4Dell

      This. I always turn off any sort of prediction crap. I can type my own sentences, thank you very much.

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

      Word prediction is amazing in Swiftkey if you use it this way: just start mashing things on the keyboard really quickly. The context-aware prediction should figure out the gibberish as you type for the most part - that's the strength of Swiftkey. I never use it to just have it predict the next word without typing parts of it.

  • HomerSp

    Here's the apk if anyone wants to give it a try: http://ubuntuone.com/5W8EXBV8PhO1cF5RE9LNcB

    • tony

      It's on the play store, why would we download from your ubuntu one?

      • HomerSp

        Because a moment ago it was only available in the US. They seem to have opened it up for other countries now though.

        • Himmat Singh

          I guess it is still US only. Shows as "cannot be installed in your device's country" for me right now.

          • taysider

            Installed in the UK

    • http://profiles.google.com/grantbarker.com Grant Barker

      Cheers. I'll add it to my Android Keyboards page later today. http://www.grantbarker.com/android-keyboards.html

  • Al McDowall

    Just a quickie to point it out it is free for a 30 day trial - $1.99 after that.
    This would explain why it was not available outside the US (finally bit the bullet and rooted my GNex and added market enabler!)

    Have to say, prior to the GNex, I was an avid user of Swype. Love it love it love it. Unfortunately it won't work on JB with my phone, so I have been forced to use the stock keyboard. I am VERY impressed with the text prediction. Ordinarily I wouldn't use it but to be honest, I sometimes take the time to just see how close it can get to my next word with only a couple of letters. I am amazed by the accuracy.

    Going to try this new one out and see if it surpasses the already excellent stock option.

    • xnadax

      How does the fact that it is a trial explain that it is unavailable outside the US?

  • Fifth313ment

    Are there any keyboards or voice control apps that can do punctuation like the iPhone can? The iPhone can do parenthesis and all cap words, etc. My friend wants to come back to Android but he needs the voice control options of iPhone right now. Thanks in advance. :)

  • toshistation

    For me, the biggest thing on a keyboard is a dedicated comma key (which this and Swifkey both have, so kudos for that), but nothing so far has been able to compete with Swiftkey 3's punctuation button.