SwiftKey – The best keyboard EVER!
I’ve been using an Android App for the past couple of months and just had to share it with everyone out there. Calling it an “App” is a bit misleading. It’s actually a replacement input method, i.e. Keyboard, for Android, and it’s nothing less than AWESOME!!
I’ve got the HTC Desire, running Android 2.2 (aka Froyo) and all is fine and dandy, in fact, HTC’s stock keyboard is amongst the better of them out there in Android land, but compared to SwiftKey, it’s like going from a hammer and chisel to a Macbook keyboard (I LOVE the keyboard on the Macbook, so that’s a good thing, if you don’t, replace the word Macbook with a keyboard you really like!).
Ok, so why is SwiftKey soo good, well, not only does it predict what word you are currently typing, it actually learns from the messages you’ve sent in the past and predicts the word you’re going to type next! It’s freaky some times. I’ve actually sent whole messages with out even pressing a letter on the keyboard. It correctly predicted every word I wanted to say! I know this sounds weird, and while it took a day or so to get used to, once you do, there’s no going back!
SwiftKey say that it enables you to write up to 50% faster and gets about 1/3 of next word predicted. According to the stats in my phone, I’ve saved nearly 24,000 keystrokes, thus making me over 20% more efficient!
Here’s what SwiftKey have to say about their Next Word Prediction Technology – Fluency™ :
“SwiftKey offers intelligent next-word prediction by analysing the context of a user’s sentence and input behaviour. This is accomplished through TouchType’s Fluency™ prediction engine, which employs statistical language models generated by analysing billions of words of background text. In our tests, around a third of next words are correctly predicted without any characters being entered and roughly 80% are predicted within two or fewer character prompts.”
The keyboard its self is a really nice, well spaced and clearly labeled. In the most recent beta, Multitouch has been enabled, which has worked really well and again helped speed up my typing on the phone.
The App is currently in Beta and free to download from the Android Marketplace, on Thursday coming (23rd Sept), the Full version will be released! It’s going to be priced at 99c for the first week and then 3.99 there after, but honestly, having used it now and know how good it is, I don’t think I could go back to “stock” keyboards and would pay double that just to have it on my phone. I’m hoping that we start seeing this inbuilt to the phones SOON. For those of us who still don’t have paid apps available in our Android Marketplaces (HEY GOOGLE, Get the thumb out already and sort that out, it’s becoming a bit of a joke at this stage), the guys and girls at SwiftKey have assured me there will be an off marketplace purchase option fairly soon, but in the mean time, you won’t have to go without, as there’ll be a “trial” version that should see you through. Once this goes on sale, if there’s one App you should pay for, it has to be this one!
I’m gonna give it an A++ rating for being just soo dammed awesome!
SwiftKey Site: http://www.swiftkey.net/index.html
How to Dowoload: http://www.swiftkey.net/download.html
Here’s a video comparing Swiftkey to the Stock Android Keyboard. (note this video was shot early on, and it’s even more awesome now!)