The last few SwiftKey updates have been focused on making the keyboard faster and more responsive, which has been sorely needed for some time. Whether or not that has been successful depends on who you ask, but the developers have now rolled out another update that is supposed to offer additional performance boosts. Maybe this one will do the trick.
Android L has brought a new version of the Google Keyboard with Material Design and an optional white KitKat theme, but if you're an avid fan of Swiftkey, its predictions, and themes, or any other third-party alternative, you will notice that the option to select your keyboard is now down in the right corner of the navigation bar, instead of the notification drop-down.
The new placement makes a lot more sense, because keyboard selection isn't a notification, is it?
Good news: if you've been holding out on buying the premium version of SwiftKey for some reason, it's now officially free. The former trial version is gone from the Play Store, leaving only the once-paid version of the keyboard for all to download and use.
SwiftKey told us that moving forward it's going to focus on having the release cycle halved, so oft-requested features will make it into finalized builds much faster.
The SwiftKey developers are getting ready to introduce a version of their popular third-party keyboard with Japanese input support. Prominent features should transition over just fine, with the keyboard still able to make personalized predictions and suggest emoji that it thinks may be appropriate. It will be able to switch back and forth between Japanese and English, making it useful for native Japanese speakers and friends of Japanese speakers alike.
The app is currently in beta, but it's open for anyone to download and try.
Sometime last month, the beta version of SwiftKey gained the ability to pull from Evernote and Google+ to learn which words a user's trying to say. These joined the already long list of supported sources ranging from SMS and Gmail to Facebook and Twitter. The core functionality remains the same - just permit SwiftKey to access your social accounts and let those fingers fly.
SwiftKey learns a user's typing habits by scanning through their emails and posts, ultimately improving the quality of text predictions.
Since what seems like forever, SwiftKey has been able to use SMS, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, RSS Feeds, and Yahoo to "learn" your typing style and better predict your next words. All of these options work well, and now the SK team has added a couple more choices in the latest beta: Evernote and Google+.
Evernote personalization was added "in response to the great feedback" for SwiftKey Note on iOS, the team's first offering to iOS users; Google+ personalization was added because, well, people like to use G+, basically.
SwiftKey is well-known for being one of the best third-party keyboards available for Android. What users of other keyboards may not know, however, is that the company also loves to bake little surprises into the app, especially around the holidays (like the "tilt" feature from April Fool's Day).
While the keyboard has already received a festive holiday theme with the most recent update, that's not the only wintery goodness the developers threw into the keyboard – there's a fun little easter egg, too.
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.
How often do you find that words simply cannot convey what you need to say? Probably all the time, right? Just send an emoji instead with the new SwiftKey beta. As promised, this early version is available for download and includes over 500 emoji images. On the more conventional side, there is also an optional number row, finally.
The emoji are spread across various categories like nature, people, and symbols.