The day is finally here, SwiftKey users – the all new SK 4 is live in the Play Store! No longer a beta, this version includes SwiftKey's take on gesture typing, Flow. Flow is unique in that, unlike other gesture-based keyboards, it allows you to continuously swipe through entire sentences without ever lifting your finger - the company calls it Flow Through Space. If you've been using any of the beta versions, then you already know what a fantastic feature it is, and now it's finally mature. Not only that, but Flow is part of SwiftKey 4, which is a free upgrade to existing SwiftKey users.

That's not the only feature v4 brings, though – there's a veritable ton of new things in this build. Take a look:

  • SwiftKey Flow: World’s most accurate gesture input. Write by gliding your finger on the keyboard.
  • Multimodal - SwiftKey Flow can be mixed with tap input, with switching mid-word.
  • Mid-word completion: when you see the word you want just lift your finger off and the word will be inserted.
  • Flow Through Space: Gesture multiple words without lifting a finger, just by sliding your finger down to the space bar between words
  • Flow with next-word prediction: when you finish flowing a word, SwiftKey immediately shows you its best guesses for your next word
  • Three SwiftKey Flow candidates: tap backspace after completion of a flow to see three potential words
  • Easier corrections: Tap anywhere on any word to choose an alternative from SwiftKey’s three best guesses, based on the context and on your input
  • Better personalization: More thorough learning of your language and typing style - size of personal language profile increased in SwiftKey’s real-time prediction engine.
  • SwiftKey automatically detects writing style - SwiftKey predictions will tend towards completing your word or correcting your mistyping depending on your behavior - no need to select “rapid” or “precise” as in previous versions
  • Better predictions: Enhanced language engine, predictions in more text fields (as requested by our users)
  • 60 languages: Now including Albanian, Bosnian, Javanese, Sundanese, Thai, Vietnamese
  • Improved layouts for Russian and Korean.
  • Multi-colored ink: The on screen ‘ink’ that shows progress of a flow uses a multi-layered effect to show the beginning and end of a ‘flow’. Ink color complements the keyboard theme selected
  • Hold to delete: Long-press the delete key to remove the whole word. Deletion accelerates as you continue to hold. Slide to delete gesture can only be used when SwiftKey Flow is disabled.
  • Update by Artem: Something that wasn't mentioned in the changelog - I noticed v4 finally lets me write [email protected] correctly without spacing after the period. Hallelujah!

It's worth noting that v4 will inherit your dictionary and some other settings from SwiftKey 3 by default. If you have the Flow beta installed and would like for SK4 to pull its info from that instead, simply uninstall SK3. Likewise, if you'd rather it pull from v3, go ahead and uninstall the Flow beta just to be safe.

While SwiftKey 4 may be a free upgrade for existing users, newcomers to the keyboard can get it for a promo price of just $2 (normally $5) for either smartphones or tablets. You'll find widgets for both versions – as well as their trial-based counterparts – below. Happy Flowing!

Update: Note that it may take a bit for everything, including the sale, to propagate. Please be patient if you're not seeing v4 just yet - it's definitely getting there:

image image

Update #2: SwiftKey just put up a blog post welcoming everyone to v4 as well.

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.

  • http://raydere2.tumblr.com/ Raydere

    Update isn't showing for me; it still shows "SwiftKey 3". Maybe I just have to wait it out for a few hours.

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

      Wait just a bit - it's already live for me.

      • http://twitter.com/richfreestone Richard Freestone

        It didn't show for me, until I went into the actual app on the android play store, and it said update. Flow rocks :D

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

      I'm seeing this:

      App Version:

      Size: 7.7M

      What's in this version:SwiftKey Flow: World’s most accurate gesture input, with next word prediction
      Flow Through Space: Gesture multiple words without lifting a finger
      Personalization: More thorough learning of your language and typing style
      Better predictions: Enhanced language engine, predictions in more text fields
      Easier corrections: Tap anywhere on a word to choose an alternative
      60 languages: Now including Albanian, Bosnian, Javanese, Sundanese, Thai, Vietnamese

  • Athishay

    I'm thinking this is the foundation of Swype's grave.

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

      You don't think Swype never having left beta and never going on the Play Store wasn't already digging the hole? After Nuance bought it, I think the gravestone was put in place and Swype is now laying in the hole, just waiting for Nuance to shovel some dirt on top.

      Hmm... Overused the metaphor....

      • bl0wf1sh

        I kind of liked Swype until I realized they were real pricks (they probably had been all along). At one point, after having got a new phone and wanting to install Swype, there was some mess-up with the installer, and it refused to download anything. This was highlighted in their forums several times, but the answer coming from the company was basically "we're working on a new version for our corporate clients, so we don't have time for this. We will get around to fixing it eventually though. Suck it up in the meantime."
        So went with Touchpal for a while, but this is a million times better!
        I never understood why Swype did not want to make some extra money selling it through the Play Store. Maybe because their service sucked, though.

    • Owen Finn

      I disagree - I find Swype's actual "swiping" to be much better than Flow, and their voice recognition is also better and faster.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii
    • MacMan156

      YES! That's been one the most annoying things.

    • Bariman43

      YeeeeeeEEEESSSSSSS. This right here. THIS RIGHT HERE was my only problem with SwiftKey. I'm gonna have so much more enjoyment with it now.

    • Athishay

      Artem, on swype you can glide through the period and the @ if you've saved your email address and it inputs the address.
      The two places where swype beats swiftkey are its shortcuts, just like a PC keyboard, swipe from the Swype key to A to select all, Swype to C for copy, X for Cut, and from Swype to T for twitter!
      Also, the edit keyboard on swype! It's unmatched. If swiftkey implements something similar or better, I'll shift, else I'm sticking with Swype.

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

        See, I don't care about swiping. I care far more about the prediction engine which SwiftKey nails. Nobody else can touch it. I can mash out random characters blindly, and it'll still figure out what I'm talking about.

        • Athishay

          Talking about figuring out, have any of you been able to figure out how to replace the smiley/emoticon key with enter/return on the SMS app? Or add contact names to the user dictionary?

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

            Isn't that the feature of the SMS app? I.e. it makes keyboards behave this way.

        • PhilNelwyn

          You mean auto-correction, right?
          Isnt' prediction guessing the following word rather than dealing with your mistyping?

          Yeah, if you only type, SwiftKey's hardly beatable.
          But see, since I started swiping with one hand as fast as I type with two, I haven't care about any keyboard's typing prowess.
          And Swype's gesture auto-correction, contrary to what I've read in an article by Mr. Amadeo, is excellent. You can swipe from the R to the Z to the S to the N to the O to the L to the W, for example, it'll spell the word correctly.

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

            You just got me pull out my phone to try that out. Well played, sir.

            I tried playing with that pattern on the stock 4.2 keyboard. It produced 8 different words in a row without repeating once. I'm not sure if that might be intentional, perhaps detecting that the user didn't want one word so it's trying another. Either way, it's surprising that it didn't get the correct word.

            I also tested the two words that refuse to work for me with gesture typing on the stock keyboard, 'pretty' and 'sucks'. With the stock keyboard, I always have to type those out manually before I get back to gesturing. They both work perfectly with SwiftKey Flow. I think I might have to make the switch.

          • PhilNelwyn

            The problem I have with Swiftkey Flow is that I use several languages, and it mixes them, messing up auto-correction.
            When I'm not precise enough, it gives me words in other languages, that's frustrating.

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

            I use the term interchangeably. To me the next word prediction is the same as the current word auto-correction - they're both cases of predicting what I'm trying to say.

          • PhilNelwyn

            Nostradamus is turning over in his grave. :)

      • wickets

        swype is terrible just for having such a short space bar

        • PhilNelwyn

          Swype was made for swiping.
          No need of a huge space bar when you hardly ever use it...

    • Matthew Fry

      If you put in your email address enough it suggests the entire email address through flow. Not a bad way to go about it.

    • Ray

      BUT.. it still can't do [email protected].

      I gave up with SwiftKey a while a go because of basic stuff like this. I don't want it to automatically stick spaces in for me - I want to type the way I would on a computer keyboard - not have it predict where spaces may or may not go because more often then not.. it's wrong!

      What's worse is they seem to care more about themes then functionality and efficiency.

      ThumbKeyboard Pro for me - never fails. It's prediction isn't as great as SwiftKey (I'll admit that) but I'd rather slightly less accurate predictions and the ability to type "exactly" what I want, when I want, without the prediction engine getting in the way.


  • http://twitter.com/skinggzyq リン

    So I just purchase Swiftkey 3 Keyboard and it'll update itself to 4? Cos the widgets still direct me to 3.

    • wickets

      update from play store must have some kind of delay....i just went and installed directly from the play store instead of waiting for the update to be pushed

  • MacMan156

    Yay :) Been using the flow beta and it's been great. I think swype made fade into obsolescence now

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

    I'm really happy with v4, but I am keeping Flow disabled because I use swipe-to-delete and it's now embedded permanently in my brain.

    I tried to long-press backspace, but I just can't do it, plus I then need to visually find it versus swiping left anywhere without looking.

    I wish the two could be combined, but SwiftKey tells us it's not possible at the moment.

    Anyone else keeping Flow disabled or am I alone here?

    • http://profiles.google.com/tim.glaser Tim Glaser

      I was very close to not using flow for the swipe to delete gesture, but in the end, I liked the swipe typing too much.

      What the need is an area where if you swipe, you get a delete.

    • Mama Norton

      Nope. Flow is just tremendous. Swype is dead.

      Sorry, Swype, you had your chance. You've lost completely.

      • PhilNelwyn

        If Flow gets better than Swype one day, I'll gladly switch.
        It's still not there.
        (Did this version bring compound words support?)

      • Zak Taccardi

        why do you think flow is better than swype (the latest beta, not other versions)?

    • Daniel

      I wish so badly you could swipe from the backspace across to delete

    • wickets

      i get the whole flow thing, but i much prefer typing and so i have flow disabled too

      • numpty

        You can still type normally with Flow enabled, and swap between the two methods as you wish. (Though as others have said, if you use some of the old gestures, it may get sticky -- I didn't, so I don't know.)

    • Sootie

      Yep completely agree if I could just have that swipe to delete back I would mash up between the two I find flow quicker for long words but tapping quicker for lots of small short ones but not having that swipe to delete gesture just means I cant use enable flow at all

  • http://www.facebook.com/suthan.aravinthan Suthan Aravinthan

    Yeah, same here. Muscle memory defaults to swiping for backspace. Could never get used to using flow because of that. One side effect of Swiftkey, I keep expecting my typing errors to get automatically fixed where I'm typing, even in Chrome. *facepalm*

  • oemon

    Still with SwiftKey3 on my Play Store priced at $5

  • ntcongit

    I had Swiftkey Tablet because somehow Swiftkey Phone version cannot install in my phone (i9000 running CM10.1), showing incompatible device. Funny thing is I can install Tablet version both on my phone and tablet.

  • http://twitter.com/pertzepzioa Aditya Krishnan

    Finally!! best keyboard ever

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

    If the update isn't showing up for you, try stopping your Play Store using Settings -> Apps and restarting it, then going to My Apps and clicking on SwiftKey. That did the trick on my phone since the web Play Store was showing the update while the phone wasn't.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

    The beta (apk file from SwiftKey's website) had this annoying habit of putting a space between my last word and a colon ":" - it really should function like a period does and remove the space. Does v4 change this behaviour?

    • Sean

      I'm pretty certain that behavior is by design, for smileys and such. I've just gotten into the habit of hitting backspace before the colon if need be.

  • woj_tek

    " it allows you to continuously swipe through entire sentences without ever lifting your finger" - most of the time it turns out to cancelled whole sentence input in the middle of the sentence swipe... unreliable... (speaking from beta perspective)

  • primalxconvoy

    This never worked for my phone. The swipe feature just never worked...

  • http://profiles.google.com/kwillsrepsbk Kevin Williams

    This was the best 25cents I've ever spent.

    • EH101

      You obviously never bought a tootsie pop for 25 cents that had an Indian shooting a star which entitled you to another tootsie pop for free. Then, that tootsie pop also had an Indian shooting a star too! All said and done, I got 7 tootsie pops that day for 25 cents.

      This was back in the 90's; I never thought I'd miss the 90's.

      • Andrew

        I just remembered the Indian tootsie pops! Apparently it's an urban legend, but some stores were cool and actually gave out free pops anyway: http://www.snopes.com/business/redeem/tootsie.asp

        • EH101

          Interesting, I had never known it was an urban legend. Thanks for that.

          Both convenience stores in my small town (about 3000 population) growing up sold the tootsie pops and honored the Indian star deal/thing. It really was a great marketing scheme thinking back on it. Though we only bought one or two tootsie pops a month and won even less that we bought, being kids we were unable to fight the impulse that made us leave with other candy and/or soft drinks if we had the money for it. So, while they lost a few cents here and there, I'm sure they came out well on top.

  • Jazli Aziz

    For some reason, the tablet version is "incompatible" with my Nexus 7, but compatible with my One X.

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

      There seems to be a launch bug that is causing this, which they said they are working on.

  • Wayne Randall

    Hrm, Tablet version incompatible with my N7.. Swiftfail. Guess I'll stick with Kii.

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

      Just wait for them to fix this compatibility issue - it's a known bug.

    • username_already_exists_error

      does kii have a proper privacy policy in place? i don't trust any keyboard with internet access without any clear privacy policy.

  • http://jesuiscontentducontent.tumblr.com/ Yod-b

    All else I'd like to see is syncing between devices like Swype does. It would be great if my tablet and phone was on the same level all the time :)

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

      This, right here!

      I've complained about this a few times. It's a must have for anybody with a few devices and especially if they flash any of them frequently.

  • Michael Schaap

    Also for me, incompatible with my Nexus 7, both phone and tablet versions, but works fine on my Galaxy Nexus.
    Question: I've always used the phone version of Swiftkey 3 on both Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 (I'm too cheap to buy two versions), which is working perfectly well. Is there any advantage to upgrading to the tablet version?

  • nickmorgs

    I'm new to the Android scene, my first device being a Nexus 4 picked up a few weeks ago.

    I've noticed that Swiftkey is consistently at the top of the charts but every time I take a look, I don't see the real need for it. Am I missing something or is it just that the keyboard in 4.2.2 is good enough ?

    ps. Should also mention i've since also bought a Nexus 7 !

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

      The features match up very closely. People even joke that Google builds features into the stock keyboard based on what SwiftKey is doing.

      I personally love gesture typing, so SwiftKey wasn't really useful to me before. With the 4.2 keyboard, I ditched the other gesture keyboard I used and went stock. Now I'm giving Flow a try (I was too lazy to play with the betas), but I haven't seen anything groundbreaking yet.

      Most of what you're seeing is based on people's feelings from before 4.2 (or they don't have 4.2 on their phone yet). I'd advise giving the trial a couple of days, then swing for the full version if you decide that it's giving you anything more than you had with the stock keyboard.

      • nickmorgs

        Cody, thanks. It's what I had assumed but I'll give the trial a go.

    • Adrian

      Generally speaking, it's very similar to the stock 4.2 keyboard for a casual user, using the english language. But, in my experience, it has a much, much better autocorrect in my native language than any other keyboard on Android. And believe me when I say that's tremendously difficult for any software of this type, as I've seen in the past (or you could just learn romanian and see for yourself).
      Bottom line: If you use english there is a benefit but not groundbreaking, and if you use any other language, well... this is the ONLY android keyboard worth having. By a long shot.

      • nickmorgs

        Adrian. Thanks for the advice. I'll skip trying to learn Romanian though !

  • prashant

    New SwiftKey Tablet Keyboard is not compatible with Nexus 7. Seriously?

  • Itaré Victor Galvêas Garrute

    High ram memory usage on background...

  • http://www.facebook.com/bron84 Bronislav Shtrom

    so i am the only one who finds this update useless? i do not use swype.

    all i want are the old separate ./, and ?/! back. to this day i cannot get used to the single punctuation key

  • V.Sathishkumar

    Cool....... I just love it by typing using swift key. It's really interesting

  • UniBroW

    showing up as incompatible with Infinity running yesterday's latest CM nightly. I'm sure this is just an error...

  • frank

    Am I the only one who FCs on step 2 (setting SwiftKey as default input)? I am on CM10.1 on my T989.

    • Christopher Bement

      You can manually set defaults and enable through settings > input and keyboard

  • http://www.vinsonimages.com yamaha83

    this is the best FREE app of the day i have gotten from Amazon!!

    • Matthew Fry

      Ah man. Don't use the Amazon App Store. :-P I put forth the ~15 bucks I saved by using it and have never missed it. Of course, if you're on a Kindle Fire I'm sure it works brilliantly,

  • didibus

    I would have paid for the upgrade, but it's nice of them to give it for free. I sometime wonder how they make money, PC software always had you pay for a full version upgrade, but phone apps reversed that trend and charge way less for the app. I think good apps should charge and devs deserves to be paid, I just hope the way it is now they make good money of their hard work.

  • Leland Stedge

    Update is available in the Amazon App Store, right now, just updated

  • Matthew Fry

    Awww crap. I still have the beta installed. Did it import the database or not?

  • Slighter

    updated on Amazon, where I originally got it as the faotd, on the same day as Play, yeah

  • Vunglay

    It don't work on Nexus 10 : Vietnamese keyboard keys are gone crazy typing wrong letters even delete key - space bar - return key typing letter. When set Enghlish keyboard, the prediction words are Vietnamese words. Zoom screen got big problem : All keys are typing wrong letters. Email address : first letter is always low letter but SwiftKey can not do it. I bough SwiftKey tablet keyboard for my Nexus 10.