Jun 21 AT 2:37 PM Dustin Earley 39 Comments

SwiftKey 3: out of beta, into awesome

swiftkey 3

I’ve spent a healthy amount of time with just about every software keyboard imaginable. From dozens of alternatives on Android (some as good as Swype, and some as different as 8pen), to other operating systems like Windows Phone and iOS. And none of them come close to my absolute favorite, SwiftKey. Why bring this up now? Because SwiftKey 3 has just come out of it’s beta phase, and is available now on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, where it’s half off for a limited time.

If you haven’t used SwiftKey in the past, the keyboard’s main selling point is that it not only predicts the text you’re currently typing, but what will come next. SwiftKey learns your typing habits from your Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, RSS and text messages to provide customized suggestions.

A lot of work has gone into making SwiftKey the best version yet. It’s faster, more refined, has a handful of new customization options and boasts a long list of new features, including several suggestions from users who were involved in the SwiftKey 3 beta:

  • Smart Space — adding to SwiftKey’s already cutting edge correction, Smart Space detects mistyped or omitted spaces across strings of sloppily typed words in real-time.
  • Two new themes — a new theme, ‘Cobalt’, to match SwiftKey’s new look and feel, and an Ice Cream Sandwich-styled ‘Holo’ theme, as voted for by you.
  • An enhanced UI — a much larger space bar and smart punctuation key help improve accuracy and make it quick and easy to access common punctuation.
  • Additional languages — SwiftKey 3 now offers support for an additional seven languages, bringing the total up to 42. The new languages are Korean, Estonian, Farsi, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian and Serbian.
  • A dedicated comma key, and the 123 key in the bottom-left corner.
  • A refined Smart Punctuation pop-up for better, more consistent behavior.
  • An improved Smart Space functionality for easier email addresses and URL entry.
  • Reduced lag on some devices for a more responsive experience.
  • A reintroduction of the long-press duration setting by popular request.
  • Further improved prediction algorithms for even more accurate next word suggestions.
  • Refined gestures for a smoother experience.

To try SwiftKey 3 for yourself, click below to get it from Google Play or head over to the Amazon Appstore (where the discount is not available yet) where you can buy it now for just $1.99.


Once you give it a shot, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below.

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • guyb99

    Love me some Swiftkey – especially the Neon skin, very ICS

  • Dee

    I was using the beta and when i saw it went official i went to the market and got a free install even though i would have happily payed for it. the smart space feature is god. seriously.
    i only wish you could have your own customization to the keyboard in terms of color and key placement but this keyboard rocks and Google should definitely look into getting a hold of they’re technology or even outright buying them and implementing this on every android.

    • Dustin Earley

      I’d like user themes. But the Holo theme is good enough for now.

  • LukeT32

    I would love to download it except VZW’s network is down…….. again.

  • dreamdoggy22

    Swiftkey 3 is a free upgrade for owners of Swiftkey X. For those of you who have never pulled the trigger on a replacement keyboard, now is the time with the half price sale$$. If you have never tried a different keyboard, they have a free trial version. That is how I got hooked, and I’ll never go back to stock.

    • Michael

      Do you know the differences between SwiftKey 3 and SwiftKeyX?

      • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

        ^^ Read the blog post.

        • Michael

          The blog post did not mention Swift Key X…unless X is also known as the beta version? I thought that X was different than the original Swift Key.

          • dreamdoggy22

            It is different. Swiftkey X is now the previous version where Swiftkey 3 just moved out of beta into full release. There are differences. Go check out the Swiftkey website. I think it is Swiftkey.net, but not positive. Read the new features of 3 to get an idea, but if you never tried X it won’t give you much to go on. X was awesome, 3 is even more refined. Get the trial and test it, but you better hurry because the sale will be over soon. It is $1.99 right now and well worth it. If you use stock keyboard now then I suggest to just go ahead and buy it. If you already paid for X, then it is free upgrade.

  • Se7en2

    I see that it’s available in the Amazon Store, but when it doesn’t offer me the update button, just the Open button. In its description, it says version 3.0 and on my phone, it’s 2.2, so I’m not sure how I’m supposed to update it. :-/

    • dreamdoggy22

      I have heard that from others. I purchased X from Google Play, and 3 has an install button on it’s description rather than a purchase button. Does that make sense? I just confused myself lol.

  • Kamikaze

    Uninstall and then re install should update it for you, or use the web version of Google Play store after uninstalling it to reinstall it. :)

  • rashad360

    Swiftkey has actually made text input kind of fun, I barely have to fully spell out anything. I highly recommend it.

  • amgala

    SwiftKey is my #1 keyboard choice! I tell all of my fellow Androiders to get it, and it is worth every penny (even more so since it is on sale).

  • Se7en2

    @Kamikaze Thanks, that did the trick.

  • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

    SwiftKey is always among the first apps I install after any data wipe or new device.

    • Steve Barry

      I agree 100%. I got this a while back on the free app of the day through Amazon. Just upgraded to SwiftKey 3 this morning, and yes…that smart space function is FANTASTIC. That was always my one complaint about X was how small the space bar was and how often I missed it. I never thought they would actually get smart enough to realize that “seebyou soon” really is “see you soon”. These guys rock!

  • dVyper

    Genuinely there’s just too much choice! Some days I like SwiftKey, some I like Swype and some I even like just the ‘Gingerbread Keyboard’ (from the Play store). I’m loving the fact I can type in whatever way I feel when the mood takes me :D

  • Nathan D.

    Yes! and the phone app version is free and tablet version on sale, this made swiftkey more awesome!

    • dreamdoggy22

      It is only free if you bought Swiftkey X, otherwise it is on sale for $1.99. The trial versions are free.

  • SCdF

    I kind of wished they’d left the layout the same as previous.

    It’s a nice update, it looks prettier, but moving stuff means I have to relearn all that muscle memory I built up over hundreds of hours of use.

    Interesting change of priority in some of the keypresses too. ‘?’ has been moved into a secondary position, which is interesting on a phone, where most of my communication is asking questions (‘Where are you?”, “When’s the movie?”, “How’s your day?” etc).

    • dreamdoggy22

      I agree, but now all you have to do is swipe the punctuation button right for ? and swipe left for ! I find it very handy. Try it, you’ll see.

      • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

        Additional clarification that I just learned yesterday: you don’t have to long-press and swipe it either, just swipe it. The long-press is there to help you learn which way selects which punctuation.

  • alexanderharri3

    This keyboard is fantastic, even without giving them access to gmail, facebook, etc to learn. Using anything else (hello stock, Thumb Keyboard) is just frustrating.

    Huge props for the “miss a space” corrections – saves even more time fixing those!

  • CJ

    While the new Swiftkey is amazing I’m still going to stick with Swype out of pure preference. Nuance is trying it’s best to keep up with Swiftkey and with the latest version of Swype they’re not doing too bad of a job. Nuance just needs to buy this so they can all be integrated into the best keyboard ever! Sure it would be a keyboard monopoly but we would love it!

    • Chris Hordley

      Yes, please, Swype action is easier on the fingers and the edit layer is good and I was a fan from outset. Trying to give Nuance a chance with beta and next word prediction but Swift prediction is unbeatable. So, Swype swift please. Only fault why does swiping left give me a, not! on the. key?

  • Derek

    Not so sure about all of that “This is the best keyboard ever…” stuff. I had an original iPhone 2G from initial launch. Used it 2.5 years then bought the AT&T Captivate on it’s initial launch day and been android every since, now currently have a rezound. But I have tried every android software keyboard out there and have yet to find on that is as accurate or as smooth as the iphone one. It makes the predicted next letter’s area bigger, but doesnt show up on the screen. I have used android keyboards that did that but they made the actual key larger and that took time so it lagged really bad, by the time I had already hit the next letter the keyboard was just making that key larger and I was already on to the next key. I think a lot of that comes from the fact that iOS keyboard runs as native code and android keyboards run as byte code. there is a just a small delay inherent in everything about android. Just the way it is and it’ll never be fixed until Android ditches the java virtual machine concept and goes to a more “standard” OS concept like iOS or true linux. I think the easiest would be to ditch the virtual machine and just run a gui frontend on the linux kernel the same way that ubuntu does, android already has a linux kernel at its heart. that way every app would be written and compiled in C. It would be at least 10 times faster than the garbage we have to deal with now, writing in craptastic java.

    • dreamdoggy22

      You need to try Swiftkey again if you have been away for a while. Far better than it was two to three years ago. I’m just saying. Give a try. You might change your mind.

  • Really?

    Lol i phone keyboard is crap

  • Adrien C.

    Ever heard about Native Code on Android? Is this ‘standard’ OS think you’re saying.
    Most of games and audio apps are almost entirely or entirely done using it for performance reasons.
    You can read more here: http://developer.android.com/tools/sdk/ndk/overview.html

    iOS keyboard is really good, but Swiftkey improved a lot on this version. I’d go with Swiftkey.
    What is a massive difference between platforms is the touch response.
    On iOS the touchscreen is marvellous, and the only time I had something similar was on HTC HD2 and Galaxy Nexus. While on Motorola’s I just wanted to crack the screen. But on the other hand, I can’t work with iOS prediction. In english is OK, but kinda dumb, need to correct a lot it’s corrections or turn off. In pt-br, it just sucks.
    This is where Swiftkey excels. Although I like more the tweakability of Smart Keyboard Pro and it’s layout options, the prediction and dictionaries are not even close to what Swiftkey offers.
    It used to be painfully slow sometimes, even on overclocked nexus, but now with 3, it seems to be working butter smooth.

  • kwills88

    I got this keyboard when it was on sale for 25cents and it has been the best 25cents ever spent, it has been my default keyboard ever since, love this thing

  • dreamdoggy22

    If your autocorrect is wrong, you probably have incorrect words saved to the word bank (for lack of a better word). When you see an incorrect word pop up in predictions, long press it and select delete. Hope this helps.

  • A.Woodbury

    Swiftkey is my absolute favorite keyboard. Got it when it was first in beta and I love seeing updates this this one to see the best just get better

  • perlowin

    I’ve been using Swiftkey for a year or so and this new version is uncanny! It seems to read my mind as I type! The next word prediction is GREAT! The auto-correction also works like a champ — I can type a lot faster now and not worry (too much) about spelling mistakes. Haven’t seen the new “auto space” in action yet…

  • Animate

    few days were better than the one where I got Swiftkey X for free from Amazon.

    Liking 3 so far after the update.

  • Chris Hordley

    As a convert from Swype to Swift they have not won me back because of the excellent next word prediction. Trying the new Swype beta but not in same league. It is surely what a computer was invented for! I want it on my laptop but guess I will just get a tablet. Ergonomically speaking, I think, because of the hard surface, sliding is better and I do use my phone a hello of a lot more than my laptop.

  • Daniel Smedegaard Buus

    I think that the cons outweigh the pros in this release. Now, SwiftKey continually suggests I split compound words (which isn’t legal in Danish) rather than just write them like they’re supposed to be written (compounded).

    The preference for suggesting alternate (wrong) spellings for exactly written (correct) spellings containing locale-specific letters is also still an issue (like “hør” (listen) written exactly being auto-replaced by “hor” (fornicate) by SwiftKey).

    All-in-all, still an app with serious problems. And basically, a waste of money to me.