Swype pioneered the use of gestures to enter words into our mobile devices, a feature that competitors have since picked up, including the keyboard that now ships pre-installed on Google's Nexus devices. Yet while Swype remains a champ at forming words out of our illegible squiggles, it hasn't been the fastest option for manually typing out words the old fashioned way. Now the app has received an update that the team promises significantly improves tap input.
SwiftKey's latest update won't radically alter how you type in the days ahead, but it will do its best to remind you that, baby, it's cold outside. A new winter theme is available that coats your keys in blue and covers them with snow. A cold gust of wind follows your trail as you trace over the keyboard, and the letters show up as large snowflakes as you type. The keyboard's background itself also sports a frosty design.
Google's default Android keyboard has typically emphasized simplicity over anything else, but it has picked up quite a few new nice features over the years. It now offers Swype-style gesture support out of the box, and after the latest update, you can choose what color your swipe trail and accent colors should be.
Following the Android 4.4 redesign, the Google Keyboard defaults to a subdued black and white color palette.
Alas poor QWERTY, I knew him, Horatio! A fellow of infinite texts, of most excellent data entry. Here hung those keys that I have tapped I know not how oft. Where be your Tweets now? Your emails? Your Google+ posts? Nowhere around here, that's for sure - the QWERTY slider phone has become rare in the last year or so, with only the Samsung Stratosphere II, the LG Enact, and a BlackBerry or two filling the once-swollen ranks.
SwiftKey's changing again, but don't expect anything drastic this time around. The team has altered the keyboard installation process to make it easier to follow. The new one has fewer steps, reducing how much the user is presented with out of the gate.
SwiftKey introduced several new keyboard layout options earlier this month, including the ability to split keyboards and move them around, empowering users to position the keyboard precisely where its most accessible. Unfortunately, some features were lost in transition. Today's update does its part to address these drawbacks. Now left-handed users, or people who just prefer having the option, can again move the number pad to the left side of the keyboard.
Have you noticed that sometimes your Nexus 5 reverts to the old Ice Cream Sandwich-style pop-up for voice dictation in some apps, as opposed to the less disruptive "endless dictation" on-the-keyboard style? You're not alone. Our fearless leader Artem found that his N5's microphone icon was missing from the default keyboard, and using contextual mic icons (in search boxes and other places) caused the aforesaid behavior. It was also affecting third-party keyboards like SwiftKey.
At some point in your childhood, one of your parents may have warned you against making faces - "knock it off," they said, "or your face will freeze like that." That sound advice might not actually be true, but it seems to have a pertinent application for the latest versions of the Hangouts app on Android. Reddit user Recon2012 found an app-killing bug within Hangouts relating to the new emoji functionality in the Android keyboard.
An updated version of Google Keyboard has made its way into the Play Store, taking most of the previously Nexus 5-exclusive features and expanding them out to other devices. We've covered the improvements in-depth before (and provided an APK), but in short, the swiping trail is now white, emoji are built-in, and users can swipe multiple words without having to lift up their finger. Unfortunately, some features still require KitKat, such as full-color emoji.
The SwiftKey team just rolled out a massive update to their popular Android keyboard, introducing various layouts suitable for a wide range of screen sizes. Now they're moving on to tackle other long-awaited, user-requested features. Two responses on the app's idea suggestion page show that the developers are currently working on adding support for emojis and the ability to enable a dedicated number row.
Neither of these features are particularly groundbreaking in the grand scheme of things, but that is precisely what makes the demand for them so strong.