If you're in the market for a new Android virtual keyboard, you could do a lot worse than SwiftKey, especially since it's just been updated to version 4.1. In the company's ceaseless drive to improve every nook and cranny of the app they've added three shiny new themes: Regal (purple), Pitch (black) and Dusk (navy blue). In addition, both the smartphone and tablet version of the swiping, predicting, multi-language keyboard are on sale for half off. You can pick them up for just two bucks each (£1.49/€1.99) at the moment.

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The themes are pretty swanky, and should make SwiftKey more attractive for those users who just have to make their keyboard match their launcher icons (you know who you are). The blog post also said that the Pitch theme could help AMOLED phones save battery life, though no empirical evidence of efficiency was given. Other additions to SwiftKey 4.1 include tweaks for smoother operation on the Facebook and Opera apps, a fix for issues with the "?", Backspace, and Space keys, and they've finally sorted out the ".com" shortcut key in Chrome for Android.

If two dollars is still too cheap for you, remember that SwiftKey also has a free trial version available. The app descriptions don't say how long the sale will last.

SwiftKey - Three new themes – and a sale to celebrate!

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • YBinnenweg

    Finally a fix for the "?" problem, it was really annoying me! Other than that the black theme is nice as well on my GNex, might conserve a little bit of battery. Good release!

  • IrishSid

    Does SwiftKey have a separate row of numbers like the Samsung keyboard yet? It's the only reason I've stuck with it, I need my number row! (A pic is attached for those that don't know what the Samsung keyboard is like.

    • IrishSid

      It didn't attach above, here it is. .

    • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

      I don't think you can enable a dedicated number row (at least on the phone version), but they are all long-presses behind the top qwerty row. However, you can enable arrow keys which I find even more helpful, personally.

    • mauric

      There is not an option for a seperate row. You can however adjust the long press duration and set it to 200ms which is quite fast numbering.

  • IrishSid

    U srs? You can't think of anything else it can be used on? ... okaaay... lel.

  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    long-time fan, but nothing beats the holo theme yet

    • RitishOemraw

      Holo white theme would be nice though.......(I am currently trying to switch to holo white for my entire phone experience....:D)

      • fixxmyhead

        nah the pitch black looks sick on my nexus 4. matches the bezels

  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    Did the voice recognition key go missing for anybody else?

  • anzensepp1987

    Otherwise it could be for Smartphones ONLY or for Tablets ONLY... just my two cents...

    • http://www.facebook.com/duckofdeath Hans Pedersen

      The grammar nazi is correct though, they're missing a "both" in the headline.

  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    I have to say, I often find myself wanting the text prediction and autocorrect of Swiftkey on my computer.

    • http://www.facebook.com/duckofdeath Hans Pedersen

      It's not a critical feature on a PC, as you don't have to look at every key you press while you read what you're writing if you have a physical keyboard. Auto-corrections often mess things up instead. Though, there are ways to enable the Office auto-correction system-wide, with 3rd party utilities.

      • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

        yeah, not exactly critical, but i can't tell you how often i transpose a couple letters or miss one while typing, and think "eh, it'll just autocorrect". not to mention, the one-click prediction could be really helpful if you're responding the same way to emails several times a day

      • spydie

        Auto correcting is automatic and selectable on all Apple computers

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

    Tried the trial version but wasn't impressed enough to buy.

    I think my preference is for swiping on the phone form factor, and Swype is miles ahead of SK in that respect. On tablets the stock AOSP keyboard gets the job done pretty well. So I don't have any great need to spend cash on another keyboard app at this time.

    If a 10c sale comes again though...

    • RitishOemraw

      the best aspect of SK imo is how its prediction improves over time the more you use it. So I think a trial doesn't really cut it to base a judgement on.
      Unless you have boatloads of texts it can learn from (SMS, facebook, gmail)
      That could speed up the process, but those are just my 10cts

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

        That's a very good point.

        Maybe I should just start texting my friends all day for no reason!

        • squiddy20

          No need to. Just go to Swiftkey>Personalization and tap "Learn from SMS". It processes all your messages to pick out your writing "style" (short text speak vs full sentences spelled out, and probably a few of your most used words)

    • umataro42

      I agree that Swype is much better with gesture typing, and I also just use stock keyboard on my tablet, mostly to save space. If Swype added an arrow keys option to the main keyboard (not just the number one) I would switch back from SlideIT.

  • lantis

    they still haven't add 'don't automatically insert space' option.

    even when lot of people requesting it:

    uninstalled and going back to Swype.

    • Mother Theresa

      Yeah. I hate that f...cking space...

    • http://twitter.com/SilverRubicon SilverRubicon

      Thanks for the heads up. Saved me an install. That's why I moved to Kii.

    • Matthew Fry

      The annoying thing is the Flow beta did fix it and when they released it to the public it reverted back. There were several things about the beta that I liked better than Swiftkey proper.

  • RitishOemraw

    At the time of posting this, the update is not yet live in amazon appstore

    • squiddy20

      Good luck with that. It'll probably be days before you see an update there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1660901409 Steve Coller

    I still find myself switching back to Thumb Keyboard.

    • Mother Theresa

      Oh, Steve... You're just saying that to look old and stuborn.

      • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

        Lol. I have to admit, I still default to Thumb Keyboard on my tablet

  • http://twitter.com/Xeratun Xeratun

    What is the difference between the regular and tablet versions? They are both compatible with phones and tablets.

    • umataro42

      And the tablet version doesn't include the option to add arrow keys. When I was using SK, I just used the phone version on both.

      • http://twitter.com/Xeratun Xeratun

        Interesting. I bought it for phone back when it was on sale once, but I don't use it. I didn't realize until today it actually does work on tablets without the tablet app. Thanks for the info.

  • http://twitter.com/Konahamarue ElementalXTC

    When will SK make a phablet version? I'm trying to enjoy it but using two hands to type a message sucks

  • Lasse P. Norup

    Im from Denmark and I would love to be able to switch the .com to .dk

  • Roger

    It still doesn`t provide a mechanism to manually select the current language!
    SW is not suitable if you have two or more languages enabled.

    For example, Suppose that you are writing a text in English, but you also have Spanish and Portuguese languages enabled.
    During the typing in English this keyboard suggest you words in Spanish or
    Portuguese that doesn`t make sense in the text. It is obvious that a
    option to chose the current typing language is needed!

    So I had to unistall it, as it is terrible to handle text typing with more than one language enabled.

    So unfortunately, Whatever language I swipe in, SK unfortunately keeps suggesting words
    from my other active languages, which makes it useless for me.

  • spydie

    My only complaint is lack of dedicated number row (selectable for those people that don't want it). I kept going back to Ultra Keyboard because of it, but have just learned to live without it because I like SK so much. Maybe someday they'll make a "useful" upgrade instead of just eye-candy.

  • Harsha

    I don't know why it's showing as 50 INR (0.99$) for me!

  • pnj

    Swype keyboard is lot better than swiftkey

  • Sqube

    I've been waiting for a black and white keyboard for a while. Glad to finally see it.

  • tbonefsg

    It's $2 per color option? Wow, glad I got Swype for $1, with about 8 options. Too bad I would have paid $2 for all three.

  • Pax

    I wish they added Emoji support...that'd be nice.

  • tenax it

    the best aspect of SK imo is how its prediction improves over time the more you use it. So I think a trial doesn't really cut it to base a judgement on.
    Unless you tenax it boatloads of texts it can learn from (SMS, facebook, gmail)

    That could speed up the process, but those are just my 10cts

  • sorinnn

    is there anyway to remove the prediction bar?

    thanks in advance!