SwiftKey 4.3

New 'thumb,' 'compact' and undocked modes make it easier to type on larger screens

The team behind popular third-party keyboard SwiftKey has announced a new version of the app today — SwiftKey 4.3. Dubbed "layouts for living," the new version of SwiftKey introduces a host of new layout options designed to make it easier to type on all kinds of Android devices, from smartphones to tablets and everything in between.

There are three main layout modes to choose from in SwiftKey 4.3, all accessible by pressing long-pressing the SwiftKey menu button. "Full" is the regular SwiftKey layout existing users will already be familiar with. "Compact" gives you a smaller keyboard aligned to the left or right side, depending on which hand you want to use. And "thumb" mode gives you a split keyboard for easier two-handed thumb-typing, best suited for tablet users.

More after the break.

SwiftKey beta. SwiftKey beta. SwiftKey beta. SwiftKey beta.

There's another layer of customization through the size and docking controls, with five sizes to choose from, and the ability to undock the keyboard and move it around the screen. The undocked keyboard remembers which mode it's in, allowing you to have a floating compact or thumb-friendly layout if you want. When used with the full-sized keyboard, the resizing options control give you control over the height of your keys.

We've been playing with SwiftKey 4.3 for the past few days, and we've found the new layouts to be really useful when typing on larger phones and tablets. In particular, oversized phones like the Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max are an ideal fit for compact mode, and the keyboard size controls allow users to tailor the keyboard to their own thumb's reach.

SwiftKey 4.3 launches today in public beta, and from now on there's just a single app for all devices download, unifying the smartphone and tablet branches of the app. Check below for our hands-on video, along with the all-important download link.

The public beta is available from beta.swiftkey.net

 
There are 73 comments

DirkBelig says:

I love how SwiftKey keeps adding new and useful features rather than standing pat. I've used it since the original beta in 2010 and every time it's on sale or a free app from Amazon I implore my FaceSpace friends to pick it up.

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Xader says:

Spot on.

Adaptation is absolutely essential in the tech industry. Many of the tech giants have discovered it the hard way (see: RIM/BB), and some may learn it soon (Apple).

SwiftKey definitely understands, and they're doing a great job keeping pace with the changing mobile environment.

With the shift to phablets, most keyboards are simply getting stretched. While that's fine for those like mye with long thumbs, the option to split the keyboard is very welcome for the ability for my wife to use my device easily and on the fly.

Kudos, SwiftKey!

axllebeer says:

Yep this is the 1st Beta I've tried on SwiftKey. Looking really good. Think I'm just going to keep running the beta.

sidds18 says:

How do you register for beta? do you have to be a developer? Ive recently shifted from BB to Andriod.There anybody could sign up for beta .Is it same with Android too? Thank you

They have a forum that you're supposed to be a member of but really it doesn't seem to be absolutely required anymore. I followed the link above and download and install the new beta and didn't need to sign in (though I am a registered beta user)

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

This is a public beta, so you don't have to register. Just hit the link and download it.

smotrs says:

I picked it up for free on Amazon the last time around. I still find myself using another more often then not. Will have to give this new version a shot and see how the changes pan out.

anthonok says:

Nice. Much better fit one handed use on the Note 3

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Tysonsaurus says:

I agree.

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oguti85 says:

Would be cool if keyboard was transparent when undocked

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jhilker says:

I like this idea!

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TheLegoman says:

This is so awesome! One handed typing is greatly improved. Now I can type comfortably without stretching across the screen.

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SpookDroid says:

Now add the number row at least on big-screened phones and it will be perfect. :)

YEs!! Add top row of numbers. OTherwise this Beta is great!

NovaWiz says:

Long press the top letter row for numbers not good enough for you?

SpookDroid says:

Nope, it gets in the way... Of course it's a matter of taste, but I grew accustomed to it from the Samsung Keyboard and now dearly miss it when using SwiftKey (or any other keyboard for that matter).

Deke218 says:

Exactly. I want a dedicated number row. The Samsung keyboard on the Note 2 and 3 have spoiled me.

Posted via Android Central App on my Note 3.

Note3Passion says:

Yup... Its just amazing! :-D
I sooooooo love SwiftKey!

Comineeyeaha says:

As someone who owns both the phone and tablet versions of this app, I have to wonder if the latter will become redundant after this update. Anybody know?

estockda says:

I was wondering the same thing... anybody?

vansmack says:

From the article, it looks like that is true:

"SwiftKey 4.3 launches today in public beta, and from now on there's just a single app for all devices download, unifying the smartphone and tablet branches of the app."

Gadgetjq says:

Quote from the story " from now on there's just a single app for all devices ". So, thanks to all the options mentioned there should be a size and layout for every device. I agree with others that a number row (replacing the long press for digits) would be another welcome option.

And still years later no different themes, SMH Swiftkey-let us customize the look of the keyboard

codiusprime says:

"Sorry, to busy adding actual features." - SwiftKey Devs

They just added some like six months ago, I'd rather them work on stuff like this and cloud sync than adding yet another theme.

cmandd says:

+1

zhecht says:

What are you talking about? There are a dozen different themes to choose from. Just go to Settings->Theme & Layout->Theme. I'm using Neon currently.

strikeIII says:

Is there an option to have a separate number row up top? I've grown accustomed to it on the LG and Samsung devices.

Kenta Wilson says:

Exactly, until Google or someone else makes this happen, I'm sticking with Samsung stock keyboard.

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JTIII says:

Google has this built-in for all stock Jelly Bean keyboards (including the version you download from Google Play). You simply have to add the "PC" layout in "custom input styles," and you'll have a full qwerty keyboard.

sequoia462 says:

Learned something new! Thanks

dplane says:

Love swiftkey but stopped using it for stock sense 5 keyboard bc I was getting tired of it's occasional delays..it's almost as if the app became a tad too bloated. Hope that ll be fixed.

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codiusprime says:

I find the sense keyboard to be atrocious, not sure how you made that switch. I would like them to work on some of the lag though as it definitely isn't as smooth and quick as it could be.

XavierMatt says:

Yea I don't use the Sense 5 kb either

Editor in chief of Futureproff.com

NoNexus says:

I have to agree.

I like Sense overall but the Keyboard is terrible

dplane says:

Not sure what's so terrible about.just gotta remember to turn on prediction. Love the black theme .

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impulse101 says:

Well if you use Swiftkey and go back to Sense you will realize how shit it is

ncfanboy says:

Love SwiftKey keyboard one of the best purchases I have made on the play store love new innovative features like this. If I go for a bigger screen next year this will be a great.

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enma no hana says:

still want a "sure type/compact qwerty" layout which is smart and fast (i mean good prediction and autocorrect).

rmkilc says:

You didn't cover the most important part, the part about tablet and phone apps being unified into one app. http://support.swiftkey.net/forums/116689-1-ideas-and-suggestions/sugges...

vansmack says:

Except in the article:

"SwiftKey 4.3 launches today in public beta, and from now on there's just a single app for all devices download, unifying the smartphone and tablet branches of the app."

dplane says:

Sweet so I don't have to rebuy it for my tablet. Glad I held off on that.

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alexlam24 says:

Swype ftw #Swype2014

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carraser891 says:

add emojis! lol

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packhead says:

Add emojis

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GothBoyUK says:

You mean like the ones available from the notification icon that appears when SwiftKey is opened?

Edit: Using them appears to cause the site to go into apoplexy and delete the rest of the post. :l

NoNexus says:

ok I have to get in on the beta program. Swiftkey is the absolute best keyboard out there right now.

Anyone got a link for a lazy old fart?

cmandd says:

It's at the end of the article.

NoNexus says:

wow, I just dialed lazy up to 11 and missed it entirely.

Thanks!

bigjay1641 says:

I'm loving this update

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MarkSeven says:

But I already paid $3.99 for a separate version like a week ago :-/

eahinrichsen says:

No worries. You'll get to upgrade to this version once it hits the play store. I bought SwiftKey before they released SwiftKey X, and I've gotten each upgrade free of charge since.

Argh says:

Oh no! You'll have to miss a cup of coffee to make up for it!

I thought the same thing when I bought it on Play Store, then it was free on Amazon App Store shortly after.

We'll live through it :)

BB_Bmore says:

I just want a blank and neon green themed keyboard, I like to think I'm a pro at flow.

Sent from my Motorola side view pager 4-5683-968

Finally! I have the phone version, but refused to pay for it for my tablet, so I use the stock keyboard. Making my way to the beta now...

BB_Bmore says:

Oohh new forest theme is black green and white! Love love love it! Perfect!

Sent from my Motorola side view pager 4-5683-968

hallda01 says:

It would be really cool if there could be a gesture to switch between compact and full. I'm generally a two thumb typer (as are a lot of fellow BlackBerry converts) but occasionally have to do things one handed. If I could just swipe the keyboard or something and change it to compact mode to use it with one hand it would be really useful.

its good however theres one thing missing still the spaced out keys would be a good addition for bigger screens as well

Posted via ACA on LG G2

alfiej says:

Google should gobble these guys up. Sheesh this is cool.

I have only used Swiftkey on my phone since 2010. I've used all betas and features as they are released. I will NEVER understand why there is not emoji support. I mean rather than a floating undockable keyboard, couldn't we expand our technology into 2001? Please Swiftkey . . . from someone who has bought the tablet version and phone version, someone who talks you up to anyone that I come across, PLEASE add emoji.

Nreeldeep says:

2001? You consider adding smiley faces an example of expanding technology?

rlb says:

It would be nice if they fixed they fixed the paid version which reverts back to the Samsung default keyboard after reboot.

NewAge says:

Love the new beta. I have used every version but never really liked it. This however is awesome! Love the new options and themes. Looks like I'll be buying it once it's released.

_X_ says:

I so loving this new keyboard!

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endaugust says:

Finally! I've been waiting for this - one-hand operation for SwiftKey. About time! I've been abandoning SwiftKey for the Samsung one hand keyboard. Now reuniting with SwiftKey! The thumb keyboard is a nice innovation too!

Linh321 says:

SwiftKey keyboard never ceases to amaze me! I love using it every day! Every update just makes it easier to use and better than anything else that is out there on the market! It's my preferred choice for an on screen keyboard

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votdfak says:

Give me SwiftKey with Google native keyboard. I miss the spacing...

bogdaryl says:

Ok love the new one hand keyboard but if it could be adjusted just a tiny bit larger.But the new forest theme is great.

jeffhesser says:

Surprised there is no mention of TouchPalx.... That free keyboard that started doing this a few months back has been awesome for me. I moved away from my paid version of this in favor of touchpal for that exact feature. I'll certainly load this back up and see how it compares but touchpal has been so lightning fast that it's going to be hard to go back to the slightly laggy swiftkey.

stevovr says:

Been using this for a few days.all ready have phone and tablet full versions.not bad but find it laggy at times.type 2 or 3 words only to see it still on the first one. often find 4 or more words strung together as if the space key hasn't registered. although i'm in the minority, for speed and accuracy i much prefer a physical keyboard.

MobileNick says:

Is anyone else missing the arrow keys on the Beta version vs the standard SwiftKey? I'm not talking about the checkbox option that gives arrows below the keyboard. I'm talking about the arrow keys on the third level keyboard (after pressing the number key and then the symbol key.

Nik Popa says:

They moved the " % " off the 123... (If that makes sence) Which is a pain for me... But my arrow keys are intact..

Nik Popa says:

They moved the " % " off the 123... (If that makes sence) Which is a pain for me... But my arrow keys are intact.. Oop.. Sorry... Yes... Those are gone.... AWOL..

Chondog says:

Loved Swiftkey prior to my G2, but had the occasional lag. The stock keyboard on the G2 offers most of this (plus dedicated number row at the top) without any lag. Just another great G2 tool that replaces a third party app.