23
Jul
swiftkey

SwiftKey users spend an ample amount of time customizing their experience, adding new words and phrases to the dictionary, and the like. However, switching devices can pose a problem: the process starts all over. Being a company that is always looking for a way to improve life for its user base, SwiftKey decided to do something about that. Enter SwiftKey Cloud Beta, a new backup and sync tool that will keep your user-defined dictionary in sync across all your devices.

The idea behind Cloud Beta is simple: keep users' data backed up in the cloud, and make it available across all of their devices. It doesn't stop there, however; CB also pulls trending information and current events from across the web to quickly provide suggestions for words you may be typing. For example, if you type "Zim" in Cloud Beta, the word "Zimmerman" will be the first suggestion, because of the recent verdict found in last week's trial. Likewise, if you type "royal," the following suggestion will be "baby," because the entire world's talking about William and Kate's bundle of joy. Basically, if it's a hot topic in the news and people are talking about it, SwiftKey Cloud Beta will know and make those words easily available to you – similar to Swype's Living Language.

Screenshot_2013-07-23-09-12-07 Screenshot_2013-07-23-09-13-00

While the existing SK builds can pull info from your Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and SMS to custom-tailor suggestions, Cloud Beta can also gather information from your Yahoo! Mail. This is, of course, completely optional, you must give it permission, and it is a one-time-only data sync. You can, however, have it re-"learn" by tapping the option (in settings > SwiftKey Cloud > Personalization) again.

It's more than just words, though. Cloud Beta predicts common phrases that you type, as well. For example, l discuss guitars, pickups, amps, and the like with my good friend Cody all the time. As a result, when I type "Di" into Cloud Beta, "DiMarzio" is the first suggested word, followed by "Crunch" and "Lab," because I'm constantly talking about the DiMarzio Crunch Lab pickup that I'm considering for one of my guitars. And of course, it does all this across every device I have Cloud Beta installed on. It's actually quite brilliant.

Screenshot_2013-07-23-09-30-57 Screenshot_2013-07-23-09-31-12 Screenshot_2013-07-23-09-36-35 

Of course, there's the question of security. Any time we're talking about an application storing user data in the cloud, the tinfoil hats [understandably] come out. After all, your private data is just that: private. Fortunately, SwiftKey has confirmed to us two very important things: A) passwords will never be stored within Cloud Beta, and 2) your personal information is stored securely on Amazon S3 in the UK. Your information is kept private, secure, and is available only to you. That's important.

SwiftKey Cloud Beta is available as a free download during its testing phase from SK's Beta site, and will come as a free upgrade to existing users once it exits beta.

Introducing SwiftKey Cloud

Backup & Sync, Enhanced Personalization and

Trending Phrases Come to Android’s Number One Paid App

San Francisco, CA, July 24, 2013 -- SwiftKey, the award-winning Android keyboard app, unveiled a suite of new services called SwiftKey Cloud as part of its latest beta release on Tuesday. SwiftKey Cloud gives users of the popular app the ability to seamlessly backup and sync their personal writing style across multiple devices, creating a cloud-based hub for each user’s personal language profile.

Using powerful language analysis of major news stories and popular events, SwiftKey Cloud also updates the keyboard’s predictions with daily Trending Phrases, letting users discuss the day’s current affairs with ease. What’s more, SwiftKey Cloud makes it easier to personalize the keyboard based on online message archives, with an enhanced management console and new support for Yahoo! Mail.

SwiftKey Cloud comes as part of SwiftKey 4.2 Beta, available as a free download at http://beta.swiftkey.net/.

Enabling SwiftKey Cloud brings these three essential features:

Backup & Sync - The words and phrases that matter to you, backed up securely and seamlessly synced across all of your devices. If your mobile or tablet is upgraded, lost or stolen,  your personal profile is kept safe in the cloud, giving you the personalized SwiftKey experience within seconds of installing the app on a new device.

Trending Phrases - SwiftKey’s technology analyzes Twitter and other news sources to sift out the most relevant daily discussions and localized trending topics. Using advanced language technology, SwiftKey captures the day’s most important phrases from the worlds of news, showbiz and sport to help you type about what’s on the agenda that day. Launch support for users of US and UK English, and 11 other languages with more coming soon.

Enhanced Personalization - SwiftKey Cloud beta makes it easier than ever to ensure your next-word predictions and auto-corrections are tailored to you. Full integration with the Gmail and Facebook APIs allows for ‘one-click’ personalization for accounts registered on your device, and Yahoo! Mail has been added alongside Twitter, RSS and SMS personalization options.

“SwiftKey Cloud represents the next step in personalized technology,” SwiftKey co-founder and CTO Ben Medlock said.  “The words and phrases that matter to you are intelligently updated across all your devices and kept safe in case you upgrade your phone or it is lost or stolen. Every day, SwiftKey will be in tune with your world, ready to offer predictions for the news events, sporting fixtures or celebrities that are getting people talking where you are. What’s more, through enhanced personalization, SwiftKey Cloud gets to know you better than ever before -- and you can enable this all with a single tap,” Medlock continued.

SwiftKey 4.2 beta also introduces a range of other features including a clearer settings menu and enhanced configuration options for devices with a built-in or Bluetooth-attached physical keyboard.

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.

  • ANex

    I think these are features from Swype? Good for Swiftkey users :)

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

      Swype indeed has the Living Language (as mentioned in the story) and cloud backup. Finally SK, my favorite keyboard, gets them too.

      • Christopher Lee

        Now all Flow needs is to copy the copy/paste keyboard shortcuts from Swype. ;)

    • ithehappy

      Lol, true. Good for SK users.

  • Jdban

    Is the beta going to use my existing keyboard data? If not, its annoying as hell.

    I'm surprised this basic feature took so long for them

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

      Pretty sure it doesn't. It installs as a separate app.

      • Jdban

        Yeah, looks that way to me too, disappointing. Guess I'll stick to non-beta for now because the feature is pointless for me if it isn't actually backing up the keyboard I've been using for months, lol.

        • TornZero

          It was actually extremely painless for me to get my keyboard data downloaded again. They really streamlined the process, and the interface for the options is definitely improved.

  • Liquidretro

    My only wish is that they were using the official Play Store Beta.

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

      This. I don't want to have two keyboards, with all their own settings.

      • Rick Fisher

        yeah, I was very upset when I started installing it and realized that it wasnt overwriting my current SK, ironically making me start over with my SK experience when the whole thing is supposed to be about never starting over

      • j

        to be fair, it will be one again when the beta is over

  • anzensepp1987

    Now give us copy&paste-gestures like Swype has... Then SK would be perfect.

  • mustbepbs

    Hey, SwiftKey, all I want is the ability to add to my dictionary.

    I have typed my last name over a thousand times and it still does not remember it and it drives me up the god damned wall.

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

      That actually sounds more like a bug. It should definitely learn new words. Just typing your name and then tapping it in the suggestion should add it to the dictionary.

      • johnforamerica

        Happens to me all the time to with usernames and email addresses. Doesn't seem to be any way to force SK to learn them (they often don't even pop up as a suggestion, even when fully typed.)

        Why not just let us manually add words?! Can't believe they worked out all this before allowing us that BASIC functionality.

      • Mike Harris

        I think that's the crucial step being missed. It doesn't just simply remember unique words you spell out (although, I thought it used to). You have to click on it AFTER it's been entered like you're doing a spelling check with the red line underneath it, and then you can add it to the dictionary.

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

          Well, that's on purpose because otherwise you'd end up with a whole bunch of garbage in your dictionary when you misspell things and press space. I prefer it this way.

          • mrjayviper

            in swype, a user is prompted for new words to be added to the dictionary. since they just copied swype's living language and cloud connect, they might as well "swype" this feature

        • mustbepbs

          I do that every time though. It still does not remember it, no matter how many times I try. It remembers a lot of other words and phrases, just not my last name.

  • Death Becomes Me

    Seems less sluggish than Swype

  • Andrew Kachaniwsky

    Been using Helium for the longest time to transfer Swiftkey databases between phones...

  • Harris H

    I've been using Swype and SwiftKey for years now. Swype during the first few months after owning a smartphone (Swype is one of the keyboards bundled in Galaxy S I9000), then about a few months (or year) later SwiftKey came out and I instantly fell in love because I can use Malay and English keyboard simultaneously, which I think is epic. I've been using SK for the longest time, I even ignored Swype Beta because their Beta testing is kinda weird. I felt that it won't ever leave Beta LOL. I was proved wrong later this year when Swype finally leaves beta. I instantly found myself using and enjoying Swype again (I bought it for $0.99) because swiping with Swype is lightyears better than SK (Flow is too buggy IMO; always misses my input). Then came this new SK Cloud Beta, I'm back to using SK. Initial testing shows that the "Flow"/glide/swipe is better than before. The competition is fierce!

  • ithehappy

    Keep trying SwiftKey, I'm still waiting for the day when you'll be able to match an accurate and fast engine like Swype, that day I'm coming back, if Swype doesn't upgrade theirs already by that time ;-)

  • SHeadius

    Do I want data I type to be stored in the cloud? How secure is it? Seems like it could end up being the mother of all keyloggers. I feel the same way about my clipboard app that added sync using their own domain.

  • Ray

    SwiftKey is hopeless IMO. I'm still really pissed off at the fact that after a number of years and one of the highest requested features still hasn't been addressed. They've focused on adding more themes instead of improving user experience and functionality. I wasted $5 on this keyboard. Most regrettable app purchase ever - and I've purchased a lot!

    I'm talking about this issue as well - http://support.swiftkey.net/forums/116689-1-ideas-and-suggestions/suggestions/1936213-option-to-disable-auto-space-after-punctuation-and

  • http://flavors.me/sabret00the sabret00the

    it's a nice update. I prefer SwiftKey for precision typing and Minuum for conversational typing. The best of both worlds in my opinion.

  • http://nurudin.jauhari.net/ Jauhari

    That I really want is Auto Text.. example I write gb will be translate into Goodbye.. any possible about it?

    • bse88

      The tecnology isnt there yet.

  • Cerberus_tm

    It's great to see the main keyboards improve and compete so fiercely! I have both (paid) versions and the Google keyboard, but swiping is still most accurate in Swype, in my experience. I have done a couple of tests, swiping the same paragraph in all three keyboards. But they improve so fast, perhaps I should do a new test...

  • http://nrajesh.com Rajesh

    Great to know it will be made available to those who already purchased. There have been some devs who just create a whole new paid app with a couple of updates over the old one. Nice to note SwiftKey isn't among them!

    The "trending phrase" concept seems interesting. I hope they make the content regional as well. For eg., people in India wouldn't care about NFL and I expect the same to be true for Cricket in the USA. Will try the beta soon.