Swiftkey Beta

SwiftKey, recipients of the prestigious 2011 Android Central Editor's Pick for third-party keyboard, today unleashed a new beta version of the SwiftKey 3 keyboard that, ahem, fixes a few things in the UI department. Most notably, the comma key has resurfaced, with the voice-to-text microphone as its secondar function, so we're not going to complain too much.

Also of note in this beta update:

  • Improved the UI: there is now a dedicated comma key, and the <123> key is now in the bottom-left corner. 
  • Refined the Smart Punctuation pop-up.
  • Reintroduced the Long-press duration setting.
  • Improved Smart Space functionality.
  • Further reduced lag on some devices.
  • Fixed a number of bugs, including the missing decimal point in the numpad and the "What's New" dialog popping up all the time.

In addition to being the 2011 Android Central Editor's Pick for third-party keyboards, SwiftKey also won a Webby this week, which is pretty close in prestige. (Note to Android Central editors: Give away gongs.)

More: SwiftKey VIP forums (registration required)


Reader comments

Latest SwiftKey beta brings back the comma, promotes voice-to-text


Its a closed beta, although sometimes they are accepting new beta testers.
Check the bottom link in Phil's post that leads to the vip forums.

This version does seem much less laggy on my Acer a500, running under ICS.
Problem is, i can't be sure the improvement is due to the keyboard or to ICS.

Anyone know if i can update from the old beta on my phone? I think Swiftkey's forums are a bit overloaded at the time being

if you are one of their VIPs...they should have sent you an e-mail announcing both their webby win, and this update...go to that e-mail on your phone, and click the download link there and it'll download...

The prediction compared to SwiftKey X is much improved in my opinion, too. The bigger spacebar is amazing, and the new punctuation is great, although I still wonder why they didn't take the tons of feedback in the forums about making the sliding effect an up, down, left, right thing. An exclamation point for up, comma on the left, period on the right, question mark on the bottom. This way, you don't have to take your eyes down to the punctuation when sliding left to see how far you need to slide to determine which punctuation you're on.

Also, besides the dedicated comma key on the left being brought back, the long-press duration was the second-largest most-wanted feature brought back lol. I'm so glad it's back.

There is no mention of any prediction fixes, and I haven't noticed any.

It might just be a side effect of detritus building up in your prediction database on the production release. It seems to me that this beta is starting from a clean slate. (I never train these by letting them browse my outgoing mail).

I's seeing a significant speed improvement on my Acer.

Long-press duration and the comma are absolutely critical. I can't possibly imagine whatever influenced them to change that in the first place. The sliding suggestion is great too. Hopefully they'll listen to it.

I've had Swiftkey since I got my android phone and I love it. Whenever I've had an issue or question, they've gotten back to me promptly with the info I needed. These Brits are on the ball! They listen! I'm sure all suggestions are being considered. That's how they got to be the best.

so glad to hear about this. The last beta was sooooo terrible. I was going to remove it, but haven't gotten around to it. Definitely going to try this when I get home.

If they would integrate Google Voice Transcription (for ICS), this would replace the stock keyboard on my phone.

+1. I have Swiftkey X v. on board and my keyboard looks just like JoeyJoeJo's. Is this post in reference only to the beta releases and the dropping of the comma key happened there but was never pushed to the general public?

When my phone had GB, I bought this keyboard in the play store. My phone got ICS update (Nexus S4G) and I switched to the built in keyboard, and I like the ICS keyboard better. Text prediction is not as good as SwiftKey, but typing is much better for me (less errors).
Questions for those that have the beta and the ICS kb. What do you see being different and better/worse?

the beta is great. I have been using it for 2 month. I tried to update the beta but it turns into an evaluation version that expires in a month.

Once I got Ice Cream Sandwich I switched to the standard Android keyboard due to the amazing voice to text improvements. Anyone know if they are going to incorporate Ice Cream Sandwich text recognition into a future addition?

One other thing, when I switched from SwiftKey X to the new SwiftKey 3 beta I thought the text prediction quality went way down.

The problem with the word predictions coming up every now and then is still here

When I reply to a text sometimes the word predictions doesn't come up I have to open and close the text app and start retyping for it to work

I'm on the photon

I'm glad that the comma is back, although I didn't find the longpress-comma to be nearly as obnoxious as I initially expected it to be. Good job listening to your beta testers, SwiftKey team!

I find it works pretty good. It is a little bit laggy compared to the standard Swiftkey X, but nothing that makes it unusable. I love the new function of not having to press the spacebar for everything. The Autospace is great!

New to the app and tried the demo and they keyboards layout are not to my liking. The one in the pic above is great. Is that only in the beta/new version coming out?

I'm a big fan of Swype but decided to give this a try anyway. I must say I'm impressed with how well this keyboard works. I like the fact that it gives suggestions and you can actually form a complete sentence from those suggestions; with this feature it becomes faster than Swype. I'm going to need more time testing this to see if I really want to make the change but so far so good.