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Microsoft acquired SwiftKey about four years ago, and apart from some additions like optional Microsoft accounts, Bing, and the company's translate feature, it didn't change too much about the popular third-party keyboard. Earlier this year, though, Microsoft's name got more prominent in the app's settings, and now, the Redmond giant has decided it's about time to make it even more obvious whose keyboard you're using. Following a beta test run, the latest stable version of SwiftKey is now called "Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard" and comes with a refreshed logo. On the feature front, it only offers new emoji for Android 10 users.
SwiftKey has only recently received an update that made many of its fans unhappy with changes to the toolbar. A new release to the beta channel doesn't mitigate these issues, but it packs some much-needed improvements: SwiftKey's settings have been completely redesigned with a more conventional interface that now also supports Android 10's dark mode. The keyboard itself doesn't switch themes automatically yet, though — baby steps.
One way or another, people will find new ways to express their thoughts or ideas using all the tools that developers like to cook up. When it comes to the world of animated three-dimensional avatars, for example, we have Apple's Animoji, Samsung's AR Emoji, and a bunch of other OEM-proprietary solutions that look interesting. But what if your phone's manufacturer failed to include this new and important feature, don't worry! Microsoft's cross-platform keyboard app, SwiftKey, has taken up the mantle to create Puppets, now available in beta.
Most Android users I know stick with Gboard nowadays, but there are some of you out there who still use third-party keyboards. The most popular one on the Play Store is SwiftKey, and now, the beta version has been updated to color the navigation bar with your keyboard's primary theme color.
Picture this: you have national security level web browsing to do, and fire up Incognito mode. However, unless you also remember to toggle your keyboard over to Incognito, it's still studying what you type to add words to its dictionary. If you can already see a potentially embarrassing situation brewing, worry no more, as the newest SwiftKey Beta picks up the ability to automatically switch itself to Incognito mode.
Text translation seems like an obvious feature for a phone keyboard. It eliminates the hassle of having to swap between apps, copying and pasting when you want to say something in a language you don't speak (however infrequent that need may be). SwiftKey seems to agree, as the latest update of the keyboard's Beta version comes with Microsoft Translator integration.
The latest SwiftKey Beta fixed an annoying bug that made typing in comment forms like Disqus in Chrome a headache. Well, it turns out that the update brought a few new features, including an expandable toolbar that sits atop the prediction bar and stickers. If you're the creative type, you'll be happy to know that you can even make your own stickers within the keyboard.
SwiftKey remains the keyboard of choice for many Android users, myself included. While the app is undoubtedly bloated, its autocorrect and next-word prediction are tops. Sadly, those strengths have gone to crap lately when using SwiftKey to type in comment forms like Disqus in Chrome. The latest SwiftKey Beta appears to fix the issue.
One of SwiftKey's many virtues is its abundance of themes, which are all free to users. By my count – I hand-counted them twice for you, dear reader – the Microsoft-owned keyboard has 125 themes available to download. That number officially jumps to infinity with the latest SwiftKey Beta thanks to a new feature called Photo Themes, which allows you to use any image you want to create a custom keyboard theme.
Today is the 30th anniversary of the first GIF, and it looks like SwiftKey knows it. The Swiftkey Beta on Google Play was updated today with GIF support. Other new features include hashtag predictions and transliteration support for some new languages, as well as a few bug fixes. So if you need to insert a GIF in your transliterated Punjabi or Bangla messages, well, now you can.