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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.