Have you grown tired of the stock Android keyboard or are just looking to try something new? By now you have probably noticed that there are more keyboard replacements out there than you can shake a stick at (and believe me, I’ve tried). A little over a week ago, the competition for keyboard replacement apps got a lot stiffer, as SwiftKey beta was launched on the Android market. The SwiftKey beta seems to be an instant hit, as in its first week of existence it was downloaded over 100,000 times, which easily propelled SwiftKey to the top of our weekly download charts. But, how good is SwiftKey? I have spent the last couple of days with SwiftKey, and what follows are the impressions I’ve had thus far.
SwiftKey is truly a revolutionary new way to input text on your Android phone. When you initially set up SwiftKey, you are prompted to download one of dozens of language packs. Then, SwiftKey gives you the option to allow it to scan your SMS messages to get a feel for your typing style which customizes the word predictions it suggests to you going forward.
Where SwiftKey obviously shines is its word prediction feature. Up to 1/3 of the time, it accurately guesses what word you’re going to type next based on what you’ve typed up until that point. I was actually dumbfounded at the accuracy of SwiftKey. I posted a few Twitter messages and Facebook status updates using SwiftKey, and the word prediction seemed to be right even more than 1/3 of the time, and even if it wasn’t, typing only a few letters of the word I wanted would usually bring it up in the bubble so I could tap it and insert the word I wanted.
SwiftKey by and large looks and feels like the HTC_IME keyboard that comes preloaded on many HTC Sense devices, which is definitely a good thing. SwiftKey just feels more slick and attractive than the stock keyboard.
Though I know several of you differ on this, but in my opinion Swype has set the gold standard for on screen text-entry and is my keyboard of choice. That being said, I feel SwiftKey is the best non-swipe-to-type keyboard out there, and is easily worth downloading to see if it is enough to replace the stock keyboard, or whatever other keyboard replacement app you happen to be using. Because SwiftKey is still in beta, it is only going to get better before its final release.
- HTC_IME look and feel
- Able to predict words with incredible accuracy, even before you’ve typed a single letter
- Long-press numbers and punctuation marks so you don’t have to switch between input modes
- Ability to use SwiftKey in multiple languages
- Swiftkey learns your style and gets better at prediction as time goes on
- The only think I’ve found that I don’t like to date is the font on the keyboard itself. Just seems a little weird to me
SwiftKey has reached 100,000 downloads in just one week of being on the market for good reason; it is one of the best keyboard replacement applications out there, and I would strongly encourage you to download SwiftKey to check it out for yourself.
For more information on SwiftKey, head over to their website and/or check out the promo video below.