SwiftKey 4.5

Keyboard adds over 500 emoji images, emoji prediction and optional number keys added in latest beta

Popular Android keyboard app SwiftKey has rolled out a new beta version today with two frequently requested features. First up is emoji support, recently enabled in Google's own keyboard in the latest Android 4.4 KitKat release. Emoji can be accessed from the smiley menu in the bottom right corner, and SwiftKey says there are over 500 to choose from. What's more, SwiftKey now supports emoji prediction — type the icon you want exactly and one of the options will be an emoji. For instance —

Emojis

And regular SwiftKey users might notice another change in the shot above. In SwiftKey 4.5 there's the option to add a dedicated number row above the standard keyboard rows — this can be activated from within the Themes & Layouts menu.

SwiftKey can also use emoji as part of its prediction engine, for instance, if you frequently use a certain icon after a word or name, you might start seeing it showing up in predictions. Emoji are only supported on KitKat and Jelly Bean — on the former, colored icons are used, while the latter has black and white icons.

The new beta, which also includes an updated installer, can be downloaded from the SwiftKey beta site.

Press Release

  • Smile! SwiftKey beta brings emoji support and optional number row
  • Support for over 500 fun emoji
  • Discover fun emoji in the prediction bar just by typing a word
  • SwiftKey learns from you to predict emoji depending on your personal use
  • Introduces optional number row by popular request

San Francisco, US and London, UK -- SwiftKey has released a new beta of its best-selling keyboard delivering two of the most requested community features to date - emoji support for over 500 fun images and an optional number row.

With SwiftKey 4.5 beta, users can choose from hundreds of emoji images including smileys, fun characters, sports images, food, animals, weather symbols, transport and traffic signs, and musical references. This latest beta will also offer up relevant emoji in the candidate bar, matching what you type. For example, if a user starts typing “pizza” they might see a tasty slice being served up on the candidate bar. Over time, SwiftKey will learn from each individual, so if someone regularly uses a particular emoji next to a specific word, such as their girlfriend’s name and a heart symbol, it will learn to suggest it in future.

Ben Medlock, co-founder and CTO, said: "SwiftKey 4.5 beta introduces two of the features most requested by our users so we're really pleased to bring them into the product. Emoji make typing and messaging so much more fun and expressive. SwiftKey understands you so it will learn to suggest the emoji most relevant to you. Plus, the optional number row brings that extra level of customization for users. We hope everyone enjoys testing out our new beta - every bit of feedback helps us make SwiftKey better."

SwiftKey 4.5 beta includes:

Classic emoji:

Choose from more than 500 emoji across five categories: people, objects, nature, places and symbols. SwiftKey 4.5 introduces a popup panel with tabs for each category so you can manually select the emoji of your choice.

Emoji word match:

As you type one of hundreds of key words, you can opt to be offered emoji predictions in the candidate bar. For example, typing “Santa” will offer you a Christmas emoji in addition to word predictions, just tap the emoji image to select. Fun examples include: “sleepy”, “pizza”, “broken”, “cheers” and “kiss”. Also, if you start typing a time of the day, such as 10pm, you may be greeted by the relevant clock symbol.

This setting can also be disabled if you prefer to always have words predicted in the candidate bar - press and hold the 123 key, select Settings and Advanced.

Emoji contextual predictions:

SwiftKey 4.5 will learn from your personal use to suggest emoji you regularly use. For example, if you regularly include an emoji after an individual’s name, SwiftKey can learn to predict it, just for you.

As is always the case, the appearance of emoji can vary between different versions of Android and different apps. Emoji are only supported on Android Jellybean and KitKat (4.1 and later) and SwiftKey uses the system emoji font which is black and white in Jellybean and color in KitKat. Some apps (including WhatsApp) render the emoji within messages with app-specific fonts, often the same as seen on Apple devices. Google Hangouts uses the same colour emoji font as KitKat. This means that although the meaning remains the same, the actual images may vary between apps and between the sending and receiving device.

Optional number row:

SwiftKey 4.5 beta introduces the option of a dedicated number row on top of the keyboard for faster access to numbers, particularly for those with larger phone sizes. Find this setting by

The release of SwiftKey 4.5 beta comes as the award-winning app completes its second year running at the top of the charts as the best-selling paid app on Google Play. 

 

Reader comments

SwiftKey 4.5 beta brings emoji support and number row option

79 Comments

Really? You can't even add something more substantive than that?

I am glad to see the changes made I have wanted both of these myself.

This is all I wanted. Well.... And a real light theme like the latest ones. No the crap one they have.

Editor in chief of Futureproff.com

FUUU I wish Android's stock keyboard had this. Seems so obvious.....and on top of that, 'bigger' phones seem to have it (ie. Note 2) while they leave 'useable' phones without it (ie Nexus 4).

The next update will switch the number row from 0-9 to 9-0, which a following update will then provide the option to switch back. ;)

Praise the Lord. Finally a number row. Wonder what took so long.

Posted via Android Central App

Although I didn't at first, I've come to really like SwiftKey's existing number layout. I always seem to need to type in ip addresses for one reason or another, and the number pad type layout is very quick for that. I'll give the row a try again, but I suspect I'll stick with the current layout.

It's great that they're offering the option though. One more reason to love SwiftKey.

Because the built in emojis in Jellybean are black and white. (I see black and white emojis in Twitter posts, for example). I still get the colour emojis for Hangouts, but I suspect that they're embedded in the application itself.

I don't know how they can't integrate the popular emoji that's on iOS, LG was able to do it on their keyboard so why can't they. And not just for a few apps but all.

When version 4.5 is officially released. Their turnaround time from beta release to official Play Store release is usually a couple weeks or so.

Running beta. When I press options, it shows as Swiftkey Beta. No number row option.
Also don't have emoji doohickies, just keyboard equivalents.

I uninstalled the regular SwiftKey app, and uninstalled and then reinstalled the beta. That got the number row to pop up as an option for me.

Lack of emoji and number row were the drawbacks in swiftkey. Now they've given me two reasons to install and buy.

Sent via the Android 5.0 MilkShake.

Cool I love this keyboard ☺ it's truly the best of the competition

Posted via Android Central App

I've learn to love the Samsung keyboard as it operates similar to swiftkey...I only start using it because colored emojis came with 4.3 update...but now swiftkey has it

Posted via Android Central App

What's the difference between regular emoticons and emoji? Or is it all the same thing and just a fancy name? Don't really do the whole emoticon thing.

I do like the number row option. When I first started using SwiftKey I had to get adjusted to the long press. Now I can just enable it.

Indeed,on my note 2 there was a number row.
On my xperia z ultra, not. I installed swype keyboard off the market (which i prefer) to swiftkey, still no number row (despite swype being bundled with samsung)

Finally! Thank you SwiftKey. The lack of a number row was one of the reasons I stuck with the Samsung Keyboard on my Note devices.

Yeah with these 5 inch plus phones and 720 or 1080 the number row should always be an option. I doubt google will follow though for whatever reason.

Looks like they are borrowing from the G2 keyboard

Posted via Android Central App using this sexy LG G2

If you send an emoji to someone who doesn't have emoji keyboard what do they get? I've never sent any emoji to anyone because I'm not sure what they will receive.

I'm not sure but I think emoji translation falls to the text app, not the keyboard... In any case, at worst they'll just get the text/symbol equivalent. So they'd see :D for a laughing face, :P for tongue sticking out, etc. Some will surely be unintelligible depending on how complex or rare, the usual ones are pretty obvious tho.

It's nice they added the option but I wonder if people have even tried the numeric keypad they've had forever. I love it and find it much faster to type numbers on than a row of numbers. I use tap and hold on the top letters for one or two numbers here and there but I switch to the secondary layout for the numeric keypad if I'm typing many numbers at all. To me the addition of a dedicated number row is a waste of screen real-estate. I'm glad it's an option and not forced on us.

I still miss the inverted T arrow keys that was on the tertiary keyboard. The arrow keys at the top or bottom take up too much room and the completely horizontal layout is a pain to use. It was so good for so long I don't understand why they dropped it and gave us characters that are never needed which could be in a tap-and-hold menu or another character.

Not sure if this was always an option and I just missed it, but I'm really glad they added an "always long press for emoji" option. But now there's a new problem. Hitting enter automatically sends messages in hangouts.
Anyone know a work-around?

I've been using SwiftKey for quite some time now. I really like the G2's keyboard though. I just wish the G2's keyboard had a larger space bar. That tiny space bar gives me headaches Haha

AT&T LG G2 :)

Number key will come in handy on my Note. Little higher but it is only taking up dead space anyway

This makes me so happy, I switched from a galaxy note 2 (after smashing it) to an htc one and really missed the number row.

Posted via Android Central App

With the Number row, I can now stop using the stock Samsung keyboard on my Note 3, Emojis are a bonus to me!

Who is doing the PR for these guys? How in the world do you justify a headline story just because you added that?
Now the number row.... Very big deal.

Posted via Android Central App

I see everyone has overlooked the emoji feature? I tried this out last night but i noticed i have the black and white emojis. How does one get the colored set as there are more detailed and easier to convey your message..