09
Oct
55

There are plenty of alternative Android keyboards, but SwiftKey is perhaps the most well-known and capable of the lot. Even this paragon of customization is not perfect, though. The newest update to SwiftKey includes a lot of bug fixes and responds to some specific user complaints.

timthumb

The changelog in the Play Store is a little light on details, but here's what SwiftKey lists on its blog:

  • Fixed the issue with your personal language being lost
  • Backup & Sync will not keep your phone awake and use all your battery
  • Reduced network usage when Trending Phrases are turned on
  • Predictions in right-to-left languages should now be displayed the right way round.
  • Fixed Evernote return key problems
  • Restored “^” as m-key secondary in Azerty layout
  • Spanish punctuation now available on Qwerty layout (if Spanish language is enabled)
  • Fixed a number of crashes, including: flowing two words together quickly, repeatedly pressing “update languages” button, and a number of others
  • Fixed some translations within the app

Both the phone and tablet version of SwiftKey have been updated, and it looks to be live for everyone. It's nothing Earth-shattering, but SwiftKey is already pretty solid. It's still nice to see the developers responding to users.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • DavidW

    I just want the keyboard to disappear faster after I dismiss it.

    • RitishOemraw

      Also appear faster when I need it

      • Matthew Fry

        The more complicated it gets the longer it will take to come out of suspend. You'll have to get a lightweight keyboard to make that happen.

        • RitishOemraw

          or they should make the keyboard load faster initially but without the masterful predictions (which you only need for long conversations/texts and thus have the time to wait for it to kick in anyway)
          so I can start tapping away whilst correcting my own spelling

          • enoch861

            I'm pretty sure a great many people would disagree with that implementation..

        • squiddy20

          What do you mean by "more complicated"?
          I swear I remember being able to open up the messaging app and have the keyboard pop up in about a second. It has usually taken about 2-5 seconds for months now (unless I've been typing recently).

          • Matthew Fry

            Just my guess, but as the prediction engine gets more complex the databases storing user input information/dictionaries likely get larger and the higher the resolution of the device, the larger the textures get for the keys. Both of those need to be kept in memory for the keyboard to function. When it comes out of suspend (or more likely, when it is killed by the memory manager and restarted) it takes longer to reload the graphics and pull the databases into memory.

          • squiddy20

            Makes as good of sense as any, I suppose.

          • Cory Wilson

            I don't think the prediction engine is the problem. I think the fact that is written to work on froyo and up is the problem. Need to start over from scrap and rebuild it on android 4.0 framework and rebase it on the AOSP keyboard

  • bL4Ck

    Nice, Swiftkey started crashing quite often lately on stock Android 4.3.

    • jibust

      I have not experienced any crashing, just more lag than in 4.2

  • Alde

    Would always pirate the ipad app. Paid for it today, the first app that i purchased. Really happy with it, Worth the money .

  • Coversnail

    They don't listen to the improvement that most user's have voted for on their site, arrow keys on the tablet keyboard. Been over two years now.

    • mydroidhaswood

      I second that.
      It's been over 2 years since some of those requests. How on earth can it take someone 2 years to consider a feature that is requested by thousands of users????

    • Matthew Fry

      This, in part, is the reason why I no longer use Swiftkey (although I own both versions). Not that Swype has been much better. Users have been requesting a customizable press duration for secondary characters for quite some time.

      • Niels

        You already have the option to customize the press duration for secondary characters... (Advanced > Long-keypress duration)
        I thought they once implemented arrow keys as well on the tablet keyboard, must have been in a beta or something because it's not present anymore indeed...

        • Matthew Fry

          My long-keypress duration complaint was with Swype, the keyboard I switched to because SwiftKey wasn't doing it for me anymore.

          edit: My point being that neither developers are particularly forthcoming with fixes to the biggest and longest standing user complaints.

          • Niels

            My bad, I misunderstood.

            I don't really keep track of the complaints since I've got practically no issues (except for SwiftKey being slow from time to time, but so is my phone.. all the time), so I can't elaborate on your point - I'm sorry.

  • testa

    Looks like a lot of these fixes are for fringe cases (i.e. Azerty layout, RTL language, etc.)

    • Defrae

      You know that near a billion people speak and write RTL languages

  • calvinnbs

    I'd just love it if they could figure out how to make it stay the default keyboard after a reboot on a GS3

    • Aborto

      If you are rooted you can freeze the stock keyboard and Swiftkey will stay as default after a reboot.

    • UtopiaNH

      My biggest issue and why I swapped to Google Keyboard.

  • splus

    Hey SwiftKey, how about stop adding a space after predictions, especially before a coma or a period? Or at least make this optional...

    And also, how about stop autocorrecting some perfectly typed common words with keyboard's own suggestions?

    • Göran Sävström

      Or how about adding the option to not have Swiftkey add a space every time I hit period? That one alone is making me think about leaving Swiftkey for something else..

      • wheineman

        Both of your suggestions can be tuned in the settings. Just add the comma, it removes the space!

        • Göran Sävström

          I'm sorry, but where would that be?
          - Can't see any options like that anywhere...

      • Hans Pedersen

        Swype has gotten that much better than both SwiftKey and Google. Though, all keyboards seems to have a weakness, Swype has decided to do its best to kill my battery in standby mode on my GS4, using up to 25% on the worst days. So, now I'm back to Google's own keyboard. It is at least lightweight and fast, probably because it lacks a ton of features. :)

        • Mend a lot

          Uninstalling and wiping Swype data has mended this problem for me.

          • Hans Pedersen

            I tried that, it even persisted after a factory reset. I sent in a few dump files to them, which they might or might not have a look at. Anyhoo, I'll stick with Google's iteration for a while...

    • Mike Harris

      Some of the autocorrecting is pretty bad - especially when swiping. I don't understand why it never guesses the word do. Even when I try to do it really slowly (which defeats the purpose of swiping) and start with d and then go to o, it still thinks I'm trying to type so. My alternatives to so are duo and dip.

      :facepalm:

    • Marco Kirk Biasin

      When I have a space and I press comma or period it jumps back and write it before the space

  • Matthew Fry

    "and use all your battery" ALL?!? That's a pretty significant issue.

  • Michael

    Good job, now plz add emoji support....

    • Daniel McDermott

      Or maybe more importantly Chinese and RTL language support. I love typing English in Swiftkey, but it pains me to have to switch to Google IME to type Chinese. Google IME has a quick switch button to switch back to Swiftkey, but Swiftkey has no such option so I have to navigate the notification bar menu to switch back.

  • follow @muvee360

    if they could just add text shortcuts then they can take my money

  • Bronislav Shtrom

    stil

    • Gandalf_Teh_Gray

      I'm fine with it.... Never really use the exclamation mark anyway. If it was just long press period for question mark that would be great since comma is on the opposite side of the space bar.

      My biggest problem is hitting N instead of Space and it keeps letting me do that.

      • Bronislav Shtrom

        I don't use exclamation point much either. My complaint is about the lack of separate buttons, 4 punctuations being combined into a single button (meanwhile comma is also on the left side), and question mark being harder to write than exclamation point. They need to put exclamation point and comma as long presses like it originally was. Remember SwiftKey 3? Left was period (default)/comma (long press) and right was question mark (default)/exclamation point (long press), or the reverse and I don't remember it but I know which punctuations were together. Wouldn't this be easier for you too? People ask questions more often than they yell. Every time I need to type a question mark I need to pretend I'm using Flow, and Flow was a useless update for me personally because I don't use Swype or any form of it.

        • Gandalf_Teh_Gray

          I didn't get it before 4 I don't think. I like the comma being its own button. I could ditch "! and ," being on the longpress it would be fine for me.

          • Bronislav Shtrom

            Ah so you don't remember how it was before. Prediction was worse, but the punctuations were better.

            I could get behind that. I don't like that ? takes longer than it should mostly. This might work good for flow, but since I don't use flow I see the time it takes to get to ? as a waste of time, and the , on the longpress is just a waste since it has it's own button as well. Let's remove , from the longpress as a start, eh?

          • Gandalf_Teh_Gray

            I don't use flow either, doesn't work fast or accurate enough for me.

          • Bronislav Shtrom

            Yup, me either, cause it can type faster than flow. The whole Flow update was all kinds of useless for me lol

  • My name is….

    Everybody has his own requests, there is no perfect keyboard guys

  • Cory Wilson

    After 2 years of use, I switched to Google Keyboard 2 weeks ago. At first it was kind of hard to use just because of the differences but now that I'm used to it, I can type nearly just as fast and a LOT more accurately. my main issue with swiftkey is how it seemed to take a turn for the worse after gingerbread, and worse with larger screens. On larger screens I seem to bump suggestions alot more and if I'm trying to type something fast, it'll sound like I'm drunk when I read it back. The suggestions are too big for the size of the screen on my Nexus 4. Also the "flow" functionality is much better on Google keyboard.

    Biggest thing however seems to be that its just not designed for Android 4.0 and up. The look is dated, even the "holo" theme looks cartoony compared to google keyboard, and on older devices like my Nexus 7 (2012), it seems to lag alot, and when using google now on it, it is almost unusable. The tablet version also just seems to be designed poor in general. I like that it puts letters near the edges so you can reach them with your thumbs, but then the suggestion bar just stretches so it's impossible to hit suggestions without repositioning your thumbs in which I usually bump the wrong one, and again, drunk typing. Finally it drives me nuts on how ics and up devices like my Vivid, Nexus 4, and Nexus 7, the keyboard takes way too long to leave the screen.

    My advice to swiftkey? Time to overhaul it. Kill gingerbread, and start anew swiftkey keyboard based on AOSP designed for Android 4.0 and up

    • Festivus Oz

      I used Swype for 2 years on older phone and it was awesome. Then got a free version of Swiftkey by chance on Amazon after upgrading as I heard it was the best keyboard on Android. I like you found it underwhelming. And I found the accuracy of flow and suggestions abysmal in comparison.
      I too switched to Google keyboard and after a running in period will not look back. Agreed Swiftkey needs a complete overhaul.

  • mrjayviper

    can someone comment on the quality of the swipe typing features of this app? I have pro version of this app but have ditch it since using swype. thank you

    • Cory Wilson

      Honestly, poor.

  • http://www.baronsofbullshit.com/ seriosbrad

    When are they going to do a proper Holo theme without the ugly corner "tails" on each button? Swype has it nailed.

    • Cory Wilson

      Yeah the holo theme really sucks, it looks too cartoony

  • fredphoesh

    SwiftKey seems to have taken a major downward turn, I am getting FAR more incorrect bogus non-word guesses from SwiftKey, even when just ONE of my keypresses was wrong, and only one key away from the right one, it can still guess some nonsense word. It NEVER used to do this, not sure what the've done in the last couple of months, but I dont like it.

    • adetogni

      I had a similar issue, SK was "forgetting" my word. I went to the forum, they suggested to uninstall and reinstall, and clean up data. Of course I lost my predictions but in a few day it went back to original and it's now much better.

  • adetogni

    SK team, if you're reading this: one of the most requested features is the ability to put the keyboard on the side, like the Note 2 keyboard. That's very useful when you have a large screen and you want to operate one-handed. When?

  • Daniel McDermott

    I would pay another $5 to support development of Chinese. There are so many features Swiftkey is lacking, yet it is still in my opinion the best keyboard out there, as long as your language is supported.

  • rebelparson

    Ever since the recent OS update mine has been crashing. It's listed as installed in Play store but doesn't show up in programs. Opening from Play store crashes it. Anyone else having this issue?