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.
The minds behind SwiftKey are machines. They're constantly striving to make an already-great keyboard even better, and adding new innovative features. Today, SwiftKey hits version 4.3 in the form of a public beta, and it's a zinger – it's packed full of new, useful stuff.
The most notable difference with this new build is the marriage of the phone and tablet versions of the app. Finally – one apk to rule them all. In SwiftKey's world, anyway. As a result of this marriage, the team has dubbed this build "Layouts for Living" – a name which may not make a lot of sense at first.
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.
After about a month of beta testing and several updates, SwiftKey 4.2 has entered the Play Store for both phones and tablets. Without a doubt, the most significant feature in today's update is cloud sync that synchronizes your personal dictionaries between multiple devices.
Cloud sync uses your Google account for authentication and, in addition to syncing predictions, can also periodically download currently trending phrases as well as data from Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and RSS feeds. Multiple accounts are supported, and it only takes a single tap to set up Gmail and Facebook learning thanks to native API integration - both nice and welcomed touches.
SwiftKey needs no introduction at this point. It's widely considered by many to be the premier keyboard available for Android, if not any mobile device, for its ability to more accurately predict words by learning a user's habits. SwiftKey Cloud, on the other hand, is the new service that will sync your keyboard across multiple devices, preventing each install of SwiftKey from having to start fresh. A new beta is now available, so get it while it's hot.
The beta is available via direct download. You can head over to the SwiftKey website, or you can just pounce on the links below.
SwiftKey users spend an ample amount of time customizing their experience, adding new words and phrases to the dictionary, and the like. However, switching devices can pose a problem: the process starts all over. Being a company that is always looking for a way to improve life for its user base, SwiftKey decided to do something about that. Enter SwiftKey Cloud Beta, a new backup and sync tool that will keep your user-defined dictionary in sync across all your devices.
The idea behind Cloud Beta is simple: keep users' data backed up in the cloud, and make it available across all of their devices.
If you're in the market for a new Android virtual keyboard, you could do a lot worse than SwiftKey, especially since it's just been updated to version 4.1. In the company's ceaseless drive to improve every nook and cranny of the app they've added three shiny new themes: Regal (purple), Pitch (black) and Dusk (navy blue). In addition, both the smartphone and tablet version of the swiping, predicting, multi-language keyboard are on sale for half off. You can pick them up for just two bucks each (£1.49/€1.99) at the moment.
The themes are pretty swanky, and should make SwiftKey more attractive for those users who just have to make their keyboard match their launcher icons (you know who you are).
When it comes to aftermarket keyboards, we're big fans of SwiftKey. The prediction engine is second to none, Flow's gesture typing is full-on awesome, and you can customize it to look however you want. Honestly, what more could you want from a keyboard? It's things like this that have made SK a hit with users around the world.
Given that sort of global success, the folks at Swiftkey compiled a blog post with some fun facts about how users in different regions use the keyboard. Want to know who types the sloppiest? How about who relies on predictions the most? Which country loves Flow?
Finally! Since the first SwiftKey Flow beta hit the scene, the inability to "flow" in all texts fields has been driving me crazy. Thank God that's been fixed in the newest beta. Phew.
We're likely getting closer to a final release of Flow, so this beta appears to be more about polish and less about features – and that's a good thing. Aside from the ability to Flow anywhere, it also brings easier corrections, new languages, a new theme, and more. Here's a look at the full changelog:
Changes in this version: * Predictions (and Flow) now on in most places (exceptions: email fields, passwords, anywhere where the app doesn’t behave itself with SK, fields offering their own corrections on Android versions <= 2.2) * Easier corrections – just tap on the word and SwiftKey will offer you 3 possibilities * New languages: Thai, Vietnamese, Bosnian, Albanian, Javan, Sundanese (plus those added in 3.1) * Features from SwiftKey 3.1: Berry theme, split layout in landscape on phones, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Hindi, Hinglish, Irish, Macedonian, Spanish (Latin America) and Tagalog * New layouts for Hindi and Russian * Ukrainian landscape layout fixed * Backspacing on to the final word of a multi word prediction (Flow through space) will now give better alternatives * Typing style now inferred rather than a setting * Long press delete accelerates after the first word
Bugs fixed: * Flowing off shift no longer triggers a change in shift state * Flow no longer gets stuck when you flow off the bottom of a page * Quick period working after single letter words * Arrow key repeats * Learning when sending messages or tabbing between fields with the enter key fixed * Azeri capital i behavior corrected * Estonian will now predict words containing ö * Fixed force close on Beta predictions * Flow trace no longer left behind after flowing * Mounting an SD card will turn predictions off only if SwiftKey language packs are stored on that SD card * Keyclick sounds no longer doubled * Haptic duration made consistent with flow on and off