SwiftKey 3

SwiftKey -- the Android Central 2011 keyboard of the year -- has declared war on the spacebar. Never mind that its April Fool's joke actually was to introduce the world's longest spacebar. The latest update to SwiftKey -- dubbed SwiftKey 3 -- introduces, among other features, Smart Space.  

Traditionally, Android keyboards use the spacebar as a means to select a suggested word. Or, perhaps, to put a space in a sentence. Or to insert a period at the end of a sentence. Smart Space takes advantage of SwiftKey's Fluency prediction engine and goes a step further than any other keyboard we've used. You no longer have to put spaces between words when typing. (It does still do the traditional space and punctuation thing, though.) 

OK, so that's nottosayyouwantotypelikethisforanextendedperiodoftime. But for small groups of words, SwiftKey 3 can take something like "jerryistheneckbeardking" and turn it into "Jerry is the neckbeard king," all without you having to do anything but type the letters. We've been using SwiftKey 3 for several weeks now, and the results really are remarkable. 

Other additions in SwiftKey 3 are two new themes. There's "Cobalt," which matches SwiftKey's redesign, and "Holo," which was voted on by its VIP community. And we're only half-joking about getting rid of the spacebar. It's actually been made a little bigger in this release. Punctuation has been moved around, too, with the comma, period, question mark and exclamation point all sharing a key. (Some of us aren't too thrilled with that move.) Seven more languages have been added -- Korean, Estonia, Farsi, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian and Serbian -- for a total of 42.

You've really got to try this one out to believe it. One slight catch here -- SwiftKey 3's still in beta, and you can only get it through their VIP community. So hit the link below and give it a shot. It's available for tablets and smartphones. Demo video's after the break.

Download: SwiftKey VIP community


Reader comments

SwiftKey 3 beta starts to make the spacebar obsolete


This is something that Swype has always done and as long as you're writing a continuous phrase (not going back) you don't have to use the spacebar, not just a few words at a time, but ever.

I really liked Swiftkey but I noticed when used with the Ice Cream Sandwich Swiftkey reverted to the old speech to text input of Gingerbread which was a deal breaker for me.

I contacted Swiftkey at the time and they said that using the new Ice Cream Sandwich voice recognition might be a feature at a later date.

Does anyone know if this has been fixed yet?

What I haven't liked about Swiftkey in the past is that they use their own version of the voice input instead of just using the default Android one. Since the upgrade to real time dictation in ICS, I'm curious if this new keyboard works with the dictation better than the Swiftkey X. I'll be downloading as soon as their VIP page opens, very slow at the moment.

That's one of my favorite things on the iOS keyboard. Every prediction keyboard should try to predict spaces.

If you're using the predicted words, I say no way is it faster on a keyboard typing out the full words.

I see a lot of complaints (not on this post, but in general) regarding Swiftkey updates for themes and features. But when updates are released, in Beta or official releases, the updates are huge and near perfect. I'd rather have a less updated app with few bugs than a regularly updated app with updates to patch updates. Great job and looking forward to the Beta.

Their site must not be prepared for the amount of traffic they're receiving. I've been trying to log on for about 30 minutes with no luck.

I finally got in and installed it, this is fantastic. I've been on Thumb Keyboard since getting my Nexus simply because SwiftKey didn't have a holo theme (dumb reason, I know) but I'm really glad to be back.

I am actually a huge fan of the stock keyboard on my G-Nex. Used Swiftkey on my Droid X but didn't care for it on the G-Nex.

***Just downloaded as well.

Hacker's keyboard, on Google Play,
Is the only qwerty keyboard I could find,

Thumb Keyboard has layouts with dedicated number row or pad. Pretty good if you can get used to the crazy split layout in portrait mode.

"Punctuation has been moved around, too, with the comma, period, question mark and exclamation point all sharing a key."

I'm keeping an open mind because Swiftkey X has always been amazing, but that doesn't sound good. But we'll see how it performs in real-world use!


Is there a way to go back to the old version if you don't like the update?? Don't like the sound of the punctuation key placement.. AND don't like the voice recognition either but it's the only keyboard I use

I actually stopped using swiftkey X in favor of the ics keyboard on my nexus. I found that I was constantly not hitting the space bar and having to delete the section of grouped words took way too long. I really liked the ability for ics to recognize that.

Needless to say, I'm stoked about this!

While I really want to get this beta, I like my separate ",.?" keys. I'm fine waiting for them to implement the ics voice but I realllly do not want the same key for punctuation.

At first glance, the punctuation key looks like it would be a bit awkward. But when you realize how it works, it's actually quite useful. You just touch the punctuation key, then slide left to the punctuation you need. It's actually pretty rapid.

The auto space is a little buggy but it seems to work okay. I get a bitloflagwhrnitypefastguessishouldturnoffhapticfeedback. This post was entirely typed with swift key three

Can't get it to learn from my Gmail account. Tried numerous times, but keep getting the failed message. Anyone else have this problem?

I'm using the beta on my Transformer Prime with no issues so far. I use the latest non-beta one on my E3D and love it so much, I was more than willing to test it out on the Prime. Yes, they have admitted to the excessive traffic on the site, but that shows the love of their products.

Yeah is laggy sometimes and the pop up letters are not working well, also the long-press duration option is gone in this beta

I just downloaded it. I'm enjoying it. I really like the new themes. It's pretty great with a few bugs. So when this goes to the Play Store will this simply update over Swiftkey X or will folks have to buy it again?

Liking it very much so far. Has anyone noticed the nag screen that pops up periodically? I assume that is part of the app being beta.

How do I download it. I know it's an apk file but I just put in my folder but where do I retrieve it on the phone itself to download?