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.