SwiftKey Keyboard

TouchType has announced its SwiftKey keyboard hit the 100,000-download milestone in it's first week of availability on the Android Market, making it the most downloaded app of the past week.  For those of us using it, it comes as no surprise.  I've been a fan of SwiftKey for a while now, ever since the developers (great group of people BTW) shot us a preview for our Keyboard Roundup, and don't know how I'd get by without it!  We also talked about SwiftKey a little last week when we announced that it was coming to the Market, and from the comments it sounds like many of you guys were trying it out, give a yell in the comments and let us know how it's working for you.  We've got the full press release after the jump, where you can get the details and see what the buzz around the web has to say about SwiftKey.


*Innovative text prediction app **exceeds 100,000 downloads in first

*LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM* —* *An innovative text prediction app that
takes the strain out of touchscreen typing has exceeded 100,000
downloads in its first week on Google’s Android™ Market, its
developers said Wednesday.

SwiftKey™, created by British start-up company TouchType, was the
most downloaded Android™ app last week according to the popular blog
‘Android and Me’. It was also chosen as a top Android pick by
several other major tech sites, including Gizmodo, Tech Radar and
Brothersoft Mobile.

“The last week has been phenomenal,” said Jon Reynolds,
TouchType’s co-founder and CEO. “We started TouchType because we
knew there must be a better way to type on a touchscreen phone. As
well as exceeding all download expectations, we have been overwhelmed
by the positive feedback about SwiftKey™. It has already established
itself as a market-leading text entry solution.”

Tech blog Engadget heralded SwiftKey™’s launch as the introduction
of “world class predictive text” for Android phones, saying the
app has “an uncanny ability to guess what your next word will be…
In our early tests, we're pretty darn impressed.”

TechRadar named SwiftKey™ as the best keyboard app on Android™.
Placing SwiftKey™ at the top of its Android™ apps of the week,
Gizmodo said: “The star feature of SwiftKey™ is its predictive
text – it literally learns the way you type.”

What makes SwiftKey™ revolutionary is TouchType’s patent-pending
language technology, which understands how words are combined within
sentences and continually learns as a user writes.

“We’ve analysed over 50 billion words in nine major languages to
build the models that drive our prediction engine,” said Ben
Medlock, TouchType’s Chief Technical Officer. “SwiftKey™ is the
first text entry app on the market to harness the incredible power of
statistical language processing. It takes predictive text to a whole
new level, resulting in an unparalleled user experience.”

TouchType says the user feedback it has received so far has been
incredibly positive. “I think this is the best way to text ever
invented,” one user said. “SwiftKey Beta is probably the best
thing that happened to Android in recent times,” commented another.

The beta is currently available to all smartphones running the Google
Android™ platform. TouchType says it is working hard to make a
series of enhancements in response to beta feedback before a full paid
launch later in the year. The first update to the beta was released


Reader comments

SwiftKey beta sees 100k downloads, most of any app on Android Market last week


I've been using it since I read that article. There were times when it would predict the entire sentence correctly for me with just inputting the first word. but I got tired of having to watch up top to see if my word came up. Plus, you can't just hit space again to add the center word. You have to reach up and press the word. It would've been nice to see that feature. Overall, it has a lot of potential, but I just don't have the patience right now to train it.

Quote: Plus, you can't just hit space again to add the center word.

Yes you can. Read my post below.

A great deal of frustration with SwiftKey can be avoided by setting AutoComplete ON and AutoAccept OFF.

(This may not be the best setting for physical keyboard phones).

AutoAccept ON, any attempt to hit a space bar will start inserting random words, invariably typing "I am a beautiful person" over and over.

With AutoAccept off it still works as described other than it will not arbitrarily throw in a word if you double space, and you have to tap the suggested word (center suggestion) above they keyboard to get started.

(For virtual keyboards, the center suggestion is just as easy to hit as the space bar), and it gets you in the habit of tapping there, which makes it routine to go for the left or right suggestion if they are more appropriate.

This thing CRIES OUT for a mic button. If they fix that its perfect.

Its word prediction is absolute uncanny.

Other keyboards suggest words when you type a few letters. This one knows what words are next in your brain BEFORE you type any letters.

It's okay.

It's really good for short messages and such... really good for heavy texters.

However, I found that in some senses it can be tougher to use for bigger words and whatnot.

However, I'm giving it another go.

Honestly, doesn't it bother anyone that not only does SwiftKey have internet access, it does a scan of your entire text message database to "learn how you type"? GEESH! "Hi, may I scan all your personal text messages and transmit them to my big huge database to keep and look over? ...er, I mean to 'help us learn how u type'". I'm not the paranoid type, but this is just a little much for me. Also, the prediction is fantastic, but the time I save by it predicting for me is lost because you have to do a lot of watching the predictions and mentally processing the selections. I dunno...my SmartKeyboard works pretty well. And, Swype is still the fastest; once u get the hang of it. I think SwiftKey needs more work till ready for primetime.

It doesn't transmit them. It does it lcally.

And scanning is optional. I chose not to do it, because my SMS messages might be full of crap spelling which is the last thing I want Swiftkey to learn.

It sends NONE OF THAT INFO to their servers.

Read the FAQ before you post FUD:


Now, apologize for slandering their name!! ;-)

Upon a second inspection of my post, I see nothing incorrect or slanderous. It does have internet access and it can scan your text message database. I just state what could happen... And, whose to say their posted object code is what is actually generated from any source code they may post... Folks just don't understand how sensitive a keyboard app really is from a security standpoint, especially when it has the above two abilities. I just hope they don't all of the sudden want access to our Google credentials, to "learn our sentence structure based upon our email conversations". ;-)

And you STILL haven't read their FAQ?

There is no add on keyboard that does not contain the same warnings.
Get used to it.

There is a LOT incorrect in your post:

It does not send your messages to their servers. It evaluates them locally in your phone

Their faq clearly states what EVERY keyboard has to state, that it is intercepting your keystrokes (BECAUSE IT IS A KEYBOARD!!!). It does not send keystrokes to their servers either. Your SmartKeyboard also had those warnings. Swipe had the same warnings. Somehow you don't get your tinfoil had on for those. Why is that?

It has internet access to download language modules.

It watches what you type and learns your pattern IN THE PHONE, not by sending it to their servers.

AGAIN, your post was the perfect definition of FUD. You STILL show no evidence of reading the FAQ so its uneducated FUD too boot.

Read the FAQ just now. Actually did read it back when I installed the app. Problem is my tinfoil hat keeps falling down over my eyes and I missed parts of it. My point is...Can u believe what they say?? Just because it's written, doesn't mean it's true. I'm just playing the skeptic. I'm looking forward to the headline next month..."100k user's text msg data stolen via SwiftKey frauduent app." Now wouldn't that be exciting! Imagine...u create this nifty little keyboard app, put it out there, and scan up folks private info. It's the perfect conspiracy theorist's dream! Actually, @icebike, I'm really just having fun here...not adding much to the thread I suppose. I'm sure SwiftKey is on the up-and-up and all's good. Sorry to get ur g-string jacked up... ;-)

This looks bad for Android. The most downloaded app is a keyboard because so many people hate the stock Android one.

Good Point. If one has looked at all keyboard apps available, certain key points emerge. Simply: good text completion/prediction (most keyboards have this now), arrow keys (to move around fast), speech-to-text (critical), some space between the key buttons (like an iPhone keyboard), a calibration routine (like the HTC keyboard), no lag (critical), and a good collection of little customizations (like SmartKeyboard has; single or double-space after a period, etc). If Swype incorporates this list, they will be untouchable.

? Or it shows that with Android you have a choice to use whatever keyboard you would like. Don't fool yourself into thinking that SwiftKey or Swype wouldn't be a huge hit on every other platform if they were able to change system applications so easily.

This is obviously a better point.

I mean I have--
-Droid X Multitouch keyboard
-Smart Keyboard Pro

I switch around a lot. I can't imagine being stuck to one keyboard.
For short messages, swype+swiftkey do the job. For longer messages, SMP or DX or HTC Ime do the job.

I think it's great for Android - it's a testament to the flexibility of the platform that independent developers can release enhancements for such a core piece of the Android OS.

That said, I'm happier with the stock Android keyboard than I was with the iPhone keyboard, so that might influence my take on it.

It only looks bad if open source and the power of thousands of developers scares you. You might be happier in a walled garden?

This is one sick nasty keyboard. I downloaded it like 5 minutes ago and as soon as you figure out to click the predicitve center words instead of your space bar, this thing makes typing a breeze. half the time it just straight up guessed my next word and I didn't even have to type one letter. That is insane. I thought swype was my keyboard of choice, but this one takes the cake.

I've been using Swiftkey since the first Alpha and still love it. I'll happily pay for it if they charge when it is out of beta. It one me over from Smartkeyboard Pro.

For those who don't care for swipey keyboards, Swiftkey is the way to go for now imo.

For me it simply didn't work. No predictive text. So I uninstaleld it and I figure I'll try again when its finished.

I tried it and thought it was nothing special. Unless it is a very long word, it takes longer to look at the predictive text boxes then it does to actually type out the word.

I'm amazed how good it is at predicting my next word. I installed it when it first came out last week and loved it immediately. A few days ago, my wife installed it on her phone as well. Although she was suspicious at first, she loves it now. Evo

I love this keyboard! I haven't even thought about switching back to stock. Voice command is nice though... I'd pay for an upgrade...

I just downloaded this and I think its pretty damn good! All it needs is the mic for speech to text and i think it might be perfect

I've got this keyboard and an HTC installed, but I prefer the stock Android keyboard. I think it is personal preference. They all have decent features and its nice to have options, but the stock keyboard works well.

I'm not a fan of how much of my screen the thing takes up - almost 2/3 of my screen after suggestions pop up. I would like an implementation for the suggestions that is closer to the Sense UI keyboard - where the suggestions show in a popup-like thing that disappears.

After giving it a try for a few minutes here are my impressions:

-Punctuation behavior is smart if you pressed the space bar then added a period, the period snaps back to the last word you typed
-I LOVE the swipe right to left over the keyboard gesture to delete the last word

NOT multi-touch (AFAIK), this makes it really difficult to type quickly with 2 thumbs.

Conclusion: The lack of multi-touch really kills this swiftkey for me. I'm grown accustomed to swype, and htc keyboard isn't a bad back up.

Fun fact: If SwiftKey is your active keyboard and you start using a physical keyboard, SwiftKey's predictive text will pop up and give you suggestions. The devs think of everything!

I tried it out. As a keyboard, it's a good keyboard. I'm not sure I liked the word prediction because it would predict the incorrect word and I would have to waste time correcting its mistakes.

I deleted it and went back to the stock keyboard which works just fine for me.

Just to clear this one up...the devs have stated clearly that they are replacing he 'Setup' button with speech-to-text.

I liked the predictive text but no access to voice commands so I uninstalled it. Vlingo also has a beta keyboard with predictive text with the the mic button for voice command.

Swype is much better. You dont have to pick your head up to look at the word. All you have to do is pick your finger up to insert a space and then keep going. Swiftkey has me pausing at every word to look.

I don't see what all the fuss is about, I mean yeah its neat and all but I way prefer the stock sense keyboard on my incredible. The main thing I don't like and didn't understand was the lack of a hide keyboard button, which makes for some pretty awkward situations. A few times I literally couldn't enter text in certain fields because the keyboard was stuck on the screen. Also the long press for numbers, symbols, and punctuation is just awkward as well since you have to long press then tap which one you wanted.

A downward swipe hides the keyboard (just like every other keyboard).

If you don't want to long press numbers press the #!? / 123 key and do it the slow way.

This is my keyboard of choice. Swype was cool too, but there's almost no learning curve on swiftkey, and it gets faster as time goes by. Now that's a good product IMO.

All I have to say is that this keyboard can provide for some seriously well constructed sentences such as "all of my friends email him back to the following areas of science and Christianity involves blind faith and no one is a cell group of friends and family and friends were that I have to do it so easy to remember that. "

I like, I was using big key keyboard, but this one seems better. Owning a hero I too do not have voice option, but I can live with that

It's all about the Swype.

Swiftkey works great in landscape, but it takes a while for the prediction to be fast. Plus the input method is predictive, which means you type half words, and then look to see if its going to predict your word correctly, which I find to be interruptive. Swype is crazy fast in portrait mode, which I use most of the time. And you don't even have to be that accurate - I'm close to 40 words per minute with Swype.

SwiftKey - Where oh where is your Mic button? Gotta have that mic button for voice-to-text. At the very least have one of the other buttons - like the Settings (wrench) button do a switch to voice input upon long press.

I like your KB, but No Mic button = No Sale. Gotta have it.