A nice perk for Android users is an array of other software keyboards. Don't like stock? Don't sweat it. There are tons of others to choose from. Depending on your typing style, there is probably one to fit your needs. Some users like Swype, which allows you to slide your fingers across the keyboard instead of tapping each letter individually. Or there's SwiftKey, which has the ability to read your mind thanks to its incredibly intuitive prediction engine.


But what if you can't decide? Maybe you want both. If you're in that camp, good news for you: SwiftKey just introduced SwiftKey Flow, its take on the gesture-based keyboard. And it looks absolutely fantastic.

Regardless of whether or not you actually like gesture-controlled keyboards, it's hard to deny: Flow is pretty.

It's built from the ground up using SwiftKey's popular prediction algorithm, so long-time SKers will feel right at home with Flow. And if you don't like the glide-style input, you don't have to use it. The transition between traditional input and gliding across the screen will be seamless. The one question here is, though - if the transition is seamless, how will the updated keyboard handle the gesture to delete the last word that is clutch in SK's current iteration?

Artem and I had a chance to speak the SwiftKey's CMO, Joe Braidwood, yesterday evening for a bit of insight into Flow's creation. Of course, we brought up the undeniable comparison to Swype, and even ask about potential patent infringement. Joe's response? The company is "confident that their technology is unique," and that they've been building this baby from the ground up for the last eight months.

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Unfortunately, the beta isn't available just yet. The SwiftKey team is putting some final touches on the alpha at the moment, to ensure a better experience for everyone who's involved with the beta. Speaking of - if you want to get in on the action, you need only sign up (VIP members will probably get a pass as soon as it's live, too) You'll get an invite once the beta's live, and-a-gliding you will go.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • nhizzat


    • LoveEngine

      Swype tries to predict, but most often fails...

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.s.gibson Stephen S Gibson

    Awesome! Love swiftkey but always opted for touchpal because it was both swiftkey/swype...and free. Now I just hope they add the option to dedicate a top row to special characters/numbers like A.I. keyboard, and to be able to change the height of the keyboard. That...that would be my dream come true :)

    • Rui Araújo

      You can already change the height of the keyboard in the settings.

  • MooseCat

    I thought Swype bought Swiftkey?

    • Himmat Singh

      Where on Earth did you hear that nonsense from?

      • MooseCat

        Hmm, I guess not. I thought I read it somewhere a couple of months back. Oh well.

    • Zak Taccardi

      Nuance Communications (Makers of Dragon voice recognition software and Flex-T9, an awful version of Swype) bought Swype

      • MooseCat

        Ah ha, that's what it was. Thanks for the clarification.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

      Swype added swift-like prediction to its Swype keyboard, but it works badly, so now Swift adds Swype feature to its keyboard, both are going the same way now :|

  • Eduardo da Silva

    Looks great!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.breszkovics Dániel Breszkovics

    Is this going to be an update or a whole new app? Either way, it seems pretty awesome.

    • Himmat Singh

      I reckon a new app. They need a new revenue stream as Swiftkey has already grown so much.

      • challenge_accepted

        Last few updates have been free.

        • Drayon

          My guess is that this will be an "unlock app" for those who would like flow.
          So that those who don't need it still can get their updates for free.

      • nhizzat

        That's what I'm thinking. I'm buying if they're selling, but I'll take a free update from Swiftkey 3 and Swiftkey 3 Tablet.

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

        It's going to be a free update.

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

      We couldn't get a straight answer out of them, but I'm more inclined to think that it'll be an update at this point.

  • Himmat Singh

    This is awesome. Can't wait for the Beta!

  • http://twitter.com/DarthShawner Shawn Smith

    This looks amazing and I can't wait to throw money at them again for another great keyboard!

  • Kenny O

    I've been wanting this for a while.

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    I've actually always been with swiftkey but I admit I've "cheated" with swype every once in a while but I always came back. With this new update I don't think I'll need or want to ever go to swype again.

    • nhizzat

      I can't wait until that day comes. The swipe function of Swype is fantastic but their predictions are awful, keyboard layout is illogical, and getting updates is a hassle.

      Free update or not, this will be on my phones and tablets.

      • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

        yes, Good job swiftkey

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        I've been using SlideIT and I feel the same way about them. Great function, but the predictions are terrible. I used to use FlexT9 (by Nuance), which had better predictions but was sorta buggy. FlexT9 was also abandoned when Nuance bought Swype, which became clear right about the time that I gave up the Amazon App Store, so I was faced with buying a dead app or moving...SlideIT won.

        If SwiftKey can get the gesture prediction and word prediction even slightly better than SlideIT (can't see how they won't), it'll be huge. I dare say, the one keyboard to bind us all :)

    • http://twitter.com/louiedog louiedog

      I'm the opposite. I can't leave swype because I'm a one thumb typist and it's about 50x faster. Every once in awhile I go back to SwiftKey, bask in the glory of its precognitive abilities, and sigh. I will say that the Swype beta keeps getting better and better and it's doing a great job now, but this might get me to switch permanently.

  • Karthik Kumar

    Bye Bye Swype??? I got both on my phone, but guess can boot it out once this comes. Hope this is a free upgrade to people who own Swiftkey 3.

    • Chahk Noir

      I'm not holding my breath for it being an upgrade.

  • GeForceFX

    Swype or Flow should be mandatory.

  • Sebastian

    What about TouchPal V5?
    The latest version works prety good

  • TheS

    Do want, but they should fix when you write word, there's no space:
    "something" <- ok

    "something " < bad (space)

    Swiftkey didn't fixed it I've writed to them but they don't answer.

    There is no such problems with swype!

  • http://twitter.com/mxpwr4 Steve Bennet

    awesome! i love swiftkey's prediction but can't live without the swiping action in TouchPal. now i can have both

  • Éclair

    Now if only Swiftkey would finally support Chinese & Japanese keyboards it'd be perfect...

  • fixxmyhead

    "unique" uhmm swype has been doing this for a while now but nonetheless im eager to try it out. im digging that pinkish-purple glow trail, tired of seeing the orange one

    • s427

      From what you can read on their website, it's somewhat different from Swype because it is combined with the predictive capacity of Swiftkey. I'm not sure what this means exactly for the user, but I'm quite curious to test it.

  • Himmat Singh

    Actually, the best thing about this is that it combines SwiftKey's scarily smart engine with Swype's functionality. PLUS, you get a cool purple-blue-green trail, which notches up the coolness factor by a 1000!

    That being said, it would only work well on a phone. I never liked Swype on my 10 inch tablet. If this is everything like Swiftkey today + Flow, then that would be an instant overkill. Though I doubt because they will still want a differentiating factor for their flagship virtual keyboard, so some features may be missing.

  • http://twitter.com/PCSievers P.C. Sievers

    Take my money asap.

  • Aku

    I switch between touchpal and swift key from time to time. I prefer the swiping motion for touchpal - so it will be a good add on to Swiftkey. Personally I find touchpal way better than Swype.

  • tinky1

    Register for beta here http://swiftkey.net/flow

  • Jason

    What I want to know is how will Flow work with the swipe to delete words?

  • JG

    Nice... The lack of the swipe function has been the main drawback keeping me from using SwiftKey after buying it for a dime back during the last major sell... Hopefully it turns out better than what I've been hearing about Swype's updates...

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    Truth be told we Swiftkey users have been asking this for freaking ages. Though we are still missing out on accent input.

  • Pablo Mojica

    I keep throwing money at my screen but I still can't get it.