Late yesterday, the Financial Times reported that SwiftKey was in talks with Microsoft about a potential acquisition that could be officially announced during the week. The report was right and this morning both Microsoft and SwiftKey have made the news official on their respective blogs.
The financial details of the acquisition weren't disclosed, but yesterday's report mentioned a $250 Million figure — or about a quarter Instagram if you want. The rest of the deal's terms aren't perfectly transparent either, but SwiftKey's co-founders Jon and Ben made it clear that the keyboard will continue to be developed for Android and iOS.
Our number one focus has always been to build the best possible products for our users.
It's no secret that we at Android Police are huge fans of AirDroid. A big part of that is because the developer is constantly updating the app with new features. So it is with the latest version, 3.2, which adds a handful of new goodies to the remote management tool. Some of these require use with an updated version of the dedicated desktop app (instead of the more popular browser version).
The coolest addition to the program is the ability to type directly into input fields on your phone with your computer's keyboard, which is now the best possible solution for typing on Android until someone releases a mechanical keyboard five inches wide. Read More
Partnerships between keyboard makers and smartphone manufacturers aren't new — we all remember when Samsung started using Swype's technology on its keyboard a few years ago. So it isn't a surprise to see Fleksy striking a deal with an OEM of its own, as a way to extend its reach and installation base and as a benefit to the manufacturer who won't have to waste time and resources trying to develop a fast and reliable input method.
The deal in question is with Chinese manufacturer ZTE who will start bundling Fleksy with its smartphones. This includes Fleksy's fast keyboard and correction engine as well as its recently added rich content (GIFs, stickers, and emojis) and customization features (keyboard photos, colors, and effects). Read More
SwiftKey — the company behind the eponymous keyboard app — has just released SwiftKey Symbols, an app designed to make it easier for non-verbal individuals to communicate. The picture-based keyboard was developed by a small team at SwiftKey that wanted to make it easier for children with autism or other speaking difficulties to express themselves, and is especially geared towards those individuals.
The app lets users construct entire sentences by picking an image from several categories, such as people, actions, and colors, or from the smart suggestion bar. By harnessing the prediction engine of the SwiftKey SDK, SwiftKey Symbols can more accurately guess at what words or expressions to suggest next. Read More
You've waited, and now it's here. The Pixel C has found its way into the Google Store. There it's available for the starting price of $499.99 for the 32GB model or $599.99 for 64GB. Read More
We've checked out the BlackBerry Priv, and it's pretty good - Android fans who have been begging for years for a high-end phone with a QWERTY keyboard will love it. But what comes next? According to CrackBerry, it's the phone you see above, codenamed the "Vienna." It's similar in style and layout to the Priv, but with a keyboard that's fixed in place as opposed to the slider mechanism on the Priv. There's no original source for the images, so we'll classify them as rumors for the time being.
That said, a more conventional BlackBerry design, presumably with a cheaper price point thanks to simpler hardware, makes a lot of sense. Read More
Every once in a while, we get a sneak peek into the new technology that companies are creating that will ultimately make something better, faster, or [adjective here]. Swiftkey recently launched the latest project from Swiftkey Greenhouse: Swiftkey Neural Alpha. This is the first keyboard on a smartphone that uses artificial neural networks to fix mistakes and predict words. Swiftkey currently utilizes n-gram technology to do this by looking for patterns and common phrases.
Neural Network Clusters
While n-gram technology does use context to create predictions, this new neural network-based engine goes one step further toward truly understanding what you mean. Swiftkey's blog post has a full rundown of how the technology works, and there are many videos explaining neural networks and machine learning. Read More
About a year ago Microsoft released a Bluetooth keyboard designed to work seamlessly across Android, iOS, and Windows. More importantly, this thing shipped without a Windows key in the bottom left corner. In its place we were instead treated to a generic home button, a neutral icon that looks at home regardless of your mobile operating system. Read More
Show of hands: how many Android Police readers are still using Android 2.3 or lower on a phone or tablet? According to the latest distribution numbers, it's under one in twenty of Android users worldwide - the rest have upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) or later. (We don't talk about the whole Honeycomb thing anymore.) That being the case, it's understandable why the developers of SwiftKey have decided to stop supporting those older machines with the latest beta version of the custom keyboard app. Read More