Swype may have just gained new split and mini keyboard options, but the SwiftKey folks have been sitting on something even more visionary for quite a while now. Their "Layouts for Living" program adds many layout options - split keyboards, movable pop-up keyboards, etc. - to what is already one of the most popular Android keyboards out there.

The video above highlights thumb, compact, and full layout options. Since all three options are movable, they each make it easier to type one-handed, with two thumbs, or with the device resting in your lap. The idea is that the keyboard not only molds to your device, it molds to your position. After all, we don't always hold a device the same way twice.

SwiftKey1 SwiftKey2 SwiftKey3


The new layouts steal the show, but they are not all that's changed in the latest release. SwiftKey has gained a new theme, new arrow key and numpad options, and more.

What's new:

  • Multiple layouts for easy typing on all screen sizes
  • Innovative keyboard layouts and modes for a better experience for all users across all screen sizes
  • Full keyboard including Extended layout for tablets, Thumb keyboard for two-handed typing and Compact layouts for one-handed use
  • All three layouts can be resized and undocked so you can choose their position on the screen
  • Canadian English language model
  • Choose from 5 sizes to get your keyboard the perfect size for you
  • Undock your keyboard and position it where you choose on your screen
  • Rearranged and optimized secondary (123) and tertiary (symbols) layout, based on extensive user testing
  • A new theme: previously SwiftKey and SwiftKey Tablet had two different themes called “Dark”. Both are now available on phones and tablets, with the tablet “Dark” renamed as “Forest”
  • Extended layout for tablets, including left and right cursor keys
  • All 4 cursor keys (up, down, left, right) are now available on the secondary (123) layout on tablets – phone users can still choose to have cursor keys on the main layout
  • 10-inch tablets can choose to have a central numpad in the thumb layout in landscape
  • Combined phone and tablet app to give a seamless experience across all device sizes

If the traditional virtual keyboard just doesn't work for you, now's a good time to hit up the Play Store. Your options have seemingly doubled overnight.

Source: SwiftKey

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • TheSparks

    The only thing keeping me from buying this keyboard is the lack of shortcuts. Even the stock keyboard has this, under Personal Dictionary.

    • Roberto Stefanini

      That's actually one thing i really want too, but the other improvements trumps the stock keyboard by far

  • Chris

    With all these keyboards available, you'd figure someone by now would have added an optional numbers only row.

    The only one that I've seen with a numbers row standard is the Samsung keyboard on my Note 2. The screen is big enough to have a dedicated line!

  • http://benignthoughts.com/ Louis C.

    Too bad it's so damn slow compared to Google Keyboard and Swype.

    • enoch861

      I don't know what phone you have, but since my Note 2, they've been pretty much on par. Although nothing beats Swype at swiping smoothness.

      • http://benignthoughts.com/ Louis C.

        I'm on a Galaxy Nexus which only has 1gb of RAM. Swiftkey is horrible in low memory situations.

        • enoch861

          Ah, that expains it.
          Time for the Nexus 5! :P

        • Nomaan

          Do you really think it is because of RAM? Try swype and see the difference.

          • http://benignthoughts.com/ Louis C.

            Swype is what I use.

  • Shantanu Joshi

    Why can't they add a extra row for numbers, only thing which is keeping me from using it.

  • anmolm97

    Swype vs SwiftKey vs Stock. What do you use? Why?

    • http://www.livefromthepromisedland.com siniux

      It has "swype left" to delete. The lack of that option, for me, is a deal breaker.
      Also, the Portuguese dictionary is very good.

    • j-

      Swiftkey. Just for the ability to use multiple languages at the same time.

      • andy_o

        Swype just added this today. It's even better, cause I didn't like it on SK because it wasn't as accurate for me at least. Swype gives you a choice now.

    • brkshr

      Swype because it's the best at swiping and they give you 5 word replacement options and with a quick swipe to the right there are 5 more options. Swype also allows you to swipe in ANY field, unlike Google's keyboard.

  • TomRowly

    I the video in this article starts at the 28 second mark. Might wanna change that.

  • Nehrou

    All I want is a good looking pitch black theme for my amoled screen.

    • Roberto Stefanini

      They do have that theme.

    • r0xp0x

      You could always try the theme named "Pitch".

  • eilegz

    still no emoji support sigh....

  • IrishSid

    I love the Samsung keyboard a lot. Dedicated number row, and resizing when in multi window. This is the first iteration of a 3rd party keyboard that I've been wiling to test out (apart from things like minum?*)
    But, this resizing, and one handed mode looks and works great, the single click for a number pad isn't the end of the world, but would really like a dedicated number row.
    It doesn't feel as accurate as the Samsung one, but I think I just need to get used to it.
    And the themes are a nice touch. I have a light theme going on, so it's nice to have a light keyboard.
    I bought this keyboard aaages ago, and it's nice to see it's paying off! Great job swiftkey team!

  • Michael Fontenot

    The worst thing about SwiftKey is its so good that I will never be satisfied using another keyboard.

  • faddy

    I hate the way they have changed the position of the 123 number keys. They should include emoji since google has included in kitkat now

  • mustbepbs

    What about Layouts for Dead?

  • Simon Belmont

    They merged the tablet and phone SwiftKey apps into one. So, I can see the tablet version in my Google Play Store list, but it won't update to the 4.3 version, and it's not otherwise searchable anymore.

    I hope that SwiftKey would throw us a bone and give us SwiftKey tablet keyboard users updates to the consolidated keyboard. I guess we'll see what happens.

    • AugustusGlump

      How-to at Swiftkey FAQ...

      No mention of a refund for those of us that bought both versions.

      • Simon Belmont

        Thanks. That's exactly what I was looking for.

        Ironically, I was going to check the FAQ later, but you beat me to it. Thanks, again.

    • Andrew

      The tablet version updated just fine for me. In fact, I was able to install it on my Nexus 5 too.

      • Simon Belmont

        You're right. I should have updated my OP.

        After a couple hours, it showed up as being able to be updated. Works fine now.

  • johnforamerica

    Ladies and gentleman, xkcd on swiftkey: http://xkcd.com/1284/

  • johnforamerica

    Ladies & gentleman, "xkcd on swiftkey users":

  • Aa

    That is a thing alright

  • Guest

    born awesome

  • Alphajoe

    I just hate it that they ignore the repeated requests for implementing an option to make Backspace undo the last correction. It shouldn't be too hard to do. It's lack can however be a real PITA.

    If you're with me vote here: http://support.swiftkey.net/forums/116689-1-ideas-and-suggestions/suggestions/1878663-backspace-should-return-to-previous-word-undo-fun

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

    1.) They still haven't made a decent Holo/Good theme

    2.) Where's the number row?

    These are top two requested features, every time, every update. Why aren't they listening or acknowledging?

  • Luik

    I'm running a HTC One S with CM10.1 stable, flashed it a few days ago. And SwiftKey is terribly slow for me, at times it takes up to 5 seconds before the text appears that I ticked. A friend of mine who's running the official ROM on his Samsung Galaxy S3 has the same issue, but with a little less lag.

    Anyone else experiencing terrible performance in SwiftKey lately? What's causing it? I'm lost here.... I switched back to the default keyboard because of the lag in SwiftKey.. :(


      If you used a guide to root your One S, can you send me the link? I thought about doing it, i've done it to my Nook HD Plus, but idk if it's any different or not.

  • Ray

    All these fancy updates from SwiftKey and it pisses me off something shocking that they can't add a simple option to disable the auto-spacing up a full-stop/other punctuation etc.

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

    The update broke dictation mode for me, at least on the Nexus 5. Now it uses the old ICS-style dictate, wait, pop up with several choices mode. Anyone notice that?

  • Fellwalker

    Broken on the nexus 5 android 4.4. Enabling the arrow keys means it only shows the suggested words! Bug thread active search for extended.