Oct 17 AT 4:28 PM Brooks Barnard 9 Comments

New SwiftKey beta available, merges phone and tablet layouts

SwiftKey Beta

Android’s favorite keyboard, SwifKey, announced today a new beta keyboard available for you to test right now. They’ve decided to call this latest keyboard version, “Layouts for Living.” The developers at SwiftKey have been listening and heard our cry in regards to so many different Android devices coming in so many different sizes and shapes. This new SwiftKey 4.3 version merges the phone and tablet layouts as well as allows the keyboard to be resized and moved anywhere on the screen, allowing you to be able to type however you want. Follow the source link below to download the keyboard and start using it now.

I think this is a pretty cool direction that SwiftKey is taking with their keyboard. I can definitely see the merit in being able to one-hand my tablet if I need/want to. This could also be a really big deal for you phablet users. So I’m excited about that. However, how many of you have paid for both the phone and tablet version of SwiftKey like I have? Should I feel annoyed that these two apps seem like they’ll be merging or just happy for innovation? What do you think? Let us know your thoughts on SwiftKey’s move and how you like the new options by commenting below!

Show Press Release

New custom keyboard layouts adapt to any situation

San Francisco, CA, October 17, 2013 – SwiftKey, the leading Android keyboard app, today announced public beta access to its latest version, dubbed ‘Layouts for Living’. The SwiftKey 4.3 update provides users with new keyboard layouts that can be resized and moved anywhere on a device, empowering people to type however they want to, regardless of screen size.

Through extensive user experience (UX) testing and feedback, SwiftKey recognized that an increasing lack of distinction between the phone and tablet form factor means users are demanding more flexibility when they type. For example, commuters in cramped trains may want to type one-handed with their left thumb, while a professional writing a document on a tablet may want to type with both thumbs. SwiftKey’s latest update aims to adapt to everyday situations such as these as well as any number of others — it’s up to each user. With Layouts for Living, SwiftKey liberates users with a huge variety of layouts.

“Allowing people to manipulate the location, size and layout of the keyboard not only makes it easier to type — it gives our users a more personalized way to interact with their technology and each other,” said co-founder and CTO Ben Medlock.

“We are committed to creating world-class user experiences that marry our powerful language technology with interfaces that learn and adapt to each user’s needs.”

In addition to being able to size and place the keyboard anywhere on the device, version 4.3 of SwiftKey also includes three preset keyboard modes:

Compact: On many larger phones it can be difficult to enter text and hold the phone with just one hand. This new feature minimizes the width of the keyboard and allows for easier typing with one hand or gesture typing using SwiftKey Flow. It also frees up more of the screen estate on tablets.

Full: Users with large screens can now opt for a full-width keyboard with left-right cursor control keys and a backspace key above the “Enter” key. By placing the keys closer together, this new layout mimics the experience of two-handed typing on a physical keyboard.

Thumb: For people typing on tablets in landscape and with wide phones in portrait the keyboard can be split into two sections, enabling fast, comfortable typing with both thumbs.

Consistent Experience

As devices of varying sizes continue to enter the market and the line between tablets and phones blur, a consistent SwiftKey experience is an ongoing priority for our fans. Responding to your feedback, SwiftKey has merged the phone and tablet apps to give a seamless experience across all device sizes.

With SwiftKey Layouts for Living, current and future customers can use one unified SwiftKey app across all Android devices. Leveraging SwiftKey Cloud, which was introduced in SwiftKey 4.2, the app also creates a cloud-based hub for each user’s personal language profile to be shared with any phone or device. SwiftKey Layouts for Living offers a beautiful user experience for all users, across all of their devices no matter the screen size.

The SwiftKey Layouts for Living beta is available to the public now and can be downloaded at http://beta.swiftkey.net.

Source: SwiftKey

Brooks is an engineer living in the Bay Area recently dislocated from the Great Northwest. He's an Android enthusiast who decided to start doing something (productive?) with his countless hours surfing the interwebz and addictive ROM flashing and began writing. He has a hot wife, is a father of two, an avid F1 fan, and enjoys watching sports when he can. His current devices include the Nexus 5 and 7 (2103) both running stock roms rooted and modded with Xposed Framework (but this is subject to change). You can follow Brooks on Twitter @Brooks_Barnard.

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