SwiftKey 4

The folks at SwiftKey have made a hell of a good keyboard for Android phones and tablets. They've garnered numerous awards for it, from names like the GSMA, Fast Company, and our very own Editor's Choice awards for two years running. We're on record saying it's simply the best all around predictive text keyboard money can buy. There's a reason SwiftKey has sold over 2,000,000 copies and has over 70,000 5-star ratings in Google Play.

When they debuted their beta versions of SwiftKey Flow, which incorporates swiping gestures into the keyboard, folks fell in love with it all over again. It was a swiping keyboard, with great autocorrect and personalized predictions that seemed to read our minds.

SwiftKey has finalized things and they have released SwiftKey 4. It's on sale for $1.99 (it's normally a $3.99 app) if you don't already have SwiftKey, and it's a free upgrade for everybody who has already purchased. SwiftKey 4 incorporates "the flow" on top of the great features we're already using, and it just works. Ask anyone who has been using the beta builds -- you want this keyboard. Grab it from the Google Play link above, or install the tablet version from Google Play here

SwiftKey 4 Best-Selling Android App Revolutionized with Innovative ‘SwiftKey Flow’ Gesture Typing

SAN FRANCISCO -- February 20, 2013 — SwiftKey 4 launches today on Google Play with smarter features that make typing on a touchscreen faster, easier and more accurate. Available now at the promo price of $1.99 and as a free upgrade for existing users, the new release features a unique take on gesture typing called SwiftKey Flow.

SwiftKey Flow combines the mind-reading capabilities of SwiftKey’s personalized autocorrect engine with the speed of gliding your fingers across the screen. This revolutionary approach to continuous input begins predicting words from the moment a user touches the screen and goes on to predict their next word when they let go. A unique feature called ‘Flow Through Space’ also makes gesture typing more powerful than ever before by allowing users to enter entire phrases simply by gliding to the space bar between words.

SwiftKey 4 adds to everything that has made the app a bestseller since first launching in 2010. Users can still tap to type, the app constantly learns a user’s style to ease the frustration of entering long words and users can further personalize predictions by granting access to their Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, SMS or blog posts.

“Everyone’s had embarrassing autocorrect moments,” said Ben Medlock, SwiftKey co-founder and CTO. “That’s why we built SwiftKey to understand the context of words, not just their spelling. It works from the word go to adjust to you — from the phrases you write to how you touch the screen. It means you don’t have to worry about typing, it does all the hard work for you.”

The new features in SwiftKey 4 include:

  • SwiftKey Flow - blending SwiftKey’s mind-reading next-word prediction and autocorrect with the speed of gesture typing
  • Flow Through Space - lets users write entire sentences in one motion without ever having to lift their finger to add a space
  • Support for contextual prediction across 60 languages - with new support for Albanian, Bosnian, Javanese, Sundanese, Thai and Vietnamese, all with dynamic auto-correction and next word prediction
  • Easier corrections - tap on a word and SwiftKey 4 will move the cursor to the end of the word and offer two alternatives
  • Personalized typing style - whether you write inaccurately with two thumbs or more carefully using a single finger, SwiftKey 4 now automatically adapts to how users type to provide more insightful corrections and prediction

Beta versions of the app have been tested by more than 200,000 SwiftKey fans over the last 11 weeks, with more than 2.4 billion characters flowed. A No.1 best-selling app on Google Play in 38 countries, SwiftKey is available in 60 languages and counting.  For more information about SwiftKey, visit www.swiftkey.net.

About SwiftKey

SwiftKey was founded by Cambridge University graduates Jon Reynolds, CEO and Dr Ben Medlock, CTO in August 2008. With a growing team of over 90 people, the company is based in Southwark, London, UK.

The company’s technology makes typing much easier on touchscreen devices, powering the text entry experience with intelligent natural language technology. This is seen in the flagship SwiftKey keyboard app on Android, which launched in September 2010. The app understands how words work together to give much more accurate corrections and predictions than other keyboards. It can even predict a user’s next word as they type and also powerfully learns over time to make typing easier and even more accurate. Users can personalize SwiftKey using Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, SMS or their blog posts.

In the last year, SwiftKey won a People’s Voice Webby Award for Mobile Experimentation and Innovation, Most Innovative App at the GSMA awards at Mobile World Congress and has also been recently named one of the top 10 most innovative companies in the world by Fast Company. Its bespoke product for clinicians using touchscreens, SwiftKey Healthcare, is currently shortlisted for “Best Mobile Health Product or Service” at the 2013 GSMA awards and last year won the Best Enterprise Appster at the Apps World conference.

 

Reader comments

SwiftKey turns 4, brings 'flow' gesture typing to prime time

69 Comments

Just got the update. Very nice addition. I had Flow beta and liked it. I'm glad to see it was included with 4

If I don't see this spam in a thread, then I know it's just not a popular thread. How predictable this spam is.

I've had version 1 thru 3 and now it will be updated to version 4. Since I have the Note 2, I don't feel the need to replace the stock keyboard since its basically Swiftkey flow. The only thing I see missing are the themes.

I'm not sure the prediction of the stock keyboard is as good. But I can't deny that the Samsung keyboard is pretty rock solid.

Looks like they had some issues on publishing the tablet version. Mine is showing incompatible on my Nexus 7 and Tab 2 7.0. I highly doubt they dropped support for tablets in their tablet version. Probably just a glitch in the package they uploaded.

SwiftKey
Tip for anyone with an 'incompatible device' warning or can't find the update to SwiftKey 4 - empty Google Play app data/cache in settings.
42 minutes ago from TweetDeck

Me and my wife have been using beta since inception. Just downloaded the update at the play store and removed beta. It's official

thanks for the heads up on the the update to 4......i guess goog is in no hurry to push the update....had to go do a direct install!

oke I don't know why, but since I use Swype from the first time; I never fit in with SwiftKey even I got frustated, even with updated Flow feature.
Why Swype still better:
- More accurate in text swiping
- Select text, copy, cut, paste, change language; that can be activated by just swiping two buttons. In case change language sometimes it didn't work but long press spacebar did it.
- Delete whole word if mistakenly inserted with just one tap backspace.

You guys are crazy. Like I'm honestly wondering if you've been diagnosed. Or maybe you just haven't used Swype. But the flow accuracy is horrible in SKFlow - I can watch the trail move off of a letter I just hit. And the corrections suck. I really like their layout and implementation for punctuation from one key though - awesome.

I'm a little frustrated with keyboards because none of them seem to be 100% what I'm looking for: speed, reliability, layout, corrections, punctuation. They all seem to get something DIFFERENT right.

The prediction of Swiftkey is so good that swipe capability is mostly a useless toy, tossed in to take the last possible excuse for Swype away. So it doesn't matter how good or bad Swiftkey Swipe compares to Swype itself, because few will actually use it.

In fact I just turned Swiftkey Swipe off, because it removes the ability to erase entire words, or dismiss the keyboard with a downward swipe, two things I need way more often the the ability to swipe letters in.

When your next word is shown in the suggestions BEFORE you type a single letter, who needs swiping?

The prediction of Swiftkey is so good that swipe capability is mostly a useless toy, tossed in to take the last possible excuse for Swype away. So it doesn't matter how good or bad Swiftkey Swipe compares to Swype itself, because few will actually use it.

In fact I just turned Swiftkey Swipe off, because it removes the ability to erase entire words, or dismiss the keyboard with a downward swipe, two things I need way more often the the ability to swipe letters in.

When your next word is shown in the suggestions BEFORE you type a single letter, who needs swiping?

What would make this argument right is the word "BETA".
for me swype beta is the best there is. It's the only one that doesn't confuse "to" with "too". And that's mostly thanks to the loop gesture. Sure, Swype Beta, may be a little hassle to get. Sure it may not be clean and sharp. And sure it's almost 30 mb in size. But it's hell accurate, easy to use, and it simply works.
And yeah once you know to loop. It's really hard to lose it.
Right now I'm losing the habit with stock keyboard on N4. Yet there are times I crave to go back to looping. Bit I'm trying to be strong.

You can long. Press the delete button smartass :p I have the SwiftKey Flow beta, no update for my SwiftKey 3:( I do have a complaint about SwiftKey, bad words are something I use a lot, and is not available :p

As to the "bad words", just space after you type the word and it will learn it after you use it a couple of times. I also frequently use "bad words" during posts, etc. Bad boy.

They don't come in the dictionary, but you can manually add them. It's not like they're blocking them.

I bought a Note 2 a couple months back and have been using the stock android keyboard, which has its own version of Swype included. I've found that using the stylus works really well for "swype"-esque writing.

I find it to be cumbersome at times though. Of the three options available, Swype, SwiftKey, and the stock android keyboard, what is the general consensus on which works best?

I wish at least the tablet keyboard had a number row on top like Samsung's keyboards do. It would be nice on my Note. Or I guess I would accept Samsung having all the typing style options that SwiftKey does(isn't their keyboard based on SwiftKey?).

I agree 100%. I definitely prefer the prediction of SwiftKey but really miss the dedicated number row that I have on the stock Samsung keyboard. I wish Swiftkey had a layout option to offer this. I don't mind the keyboard taking up a little extra real estate (I have it to spare on my Note 2).

Maybe I'll e-mail the devs about it when I get a chance. It would be nice to have as an available option for those who want it.

Works like a dream on my Droid DNA. I've always wanted a keyboard that combines swype and the predictive prowess of Swift Key, and it appears that my dreams have come true.

I really disagree with the statement 'ask anyone who has used the beta builds'. I've been using it for a while now and their 'flow' implementation is worse then either Swype or the stock Android keyboard on the Nexus 4. I was really disappointed with its error rate (maybe 30-40%) vs. around 10% of the other keyboards.

Everything else with Swiftkey is great, just not their flow predictions. Hope the official version is better.

I haven't had this issue at all. The Flow part of the keyboard is very accurate for me. In fact, it's more accurate for me than Swype. Also, when not using the Flow option and just typing SwiftKey blows away Swype. It's not even close.

+100

It seems to be fine if you swype slowly, but it's almost like the refresh rate on its recognition is low or something. I can swype my finger around and WATCH the trail move off of the letter that I just hit.

I don't understand the glorification of word prediction when using flow. Seems to defeat the purpose of swiping if you lift your finger to select the predicted word (I realize this isn't required, but an option). I also read on Engadget that flow "melts down after a few words", and you have to lift your finger briefly to get back on track.
I've used Swype for over two years, but it does aggravate me more and more of late. Having test driven Swiftkey recently, I was extremely impressed with its ability to autocorrect when typing fast and making LOTS of mistakes.Still contemplating the purchase though...

Swype used to be so good I wouldn't consider another option but after updates where Swype wouldn't load unless you turned off new features (like syncing) I got pretty frustrated.

Once I saw the public beta I dove in and got to the point where switching back to Swype was more aggravating. So I just made the $1.99 purchase and unless something drastically changes with Swype I won't look back.

LOVE that SwiftKey has a setting for long-press duration. I still think having to long-press is for chumps when TouchPal has flicking for numbers and special characters, but being able to crank the duration up or down in SwiftKey based on user preference is a step in the right direction.

I think Swype is the much better keyboard, but their latest version is unusable for me as it force closes whenever I try to use it in a browser. I guess I'll be trying this one, though I was unimpressed with the beta builds.

Problem still not resolved for Note 2 users where it does not keep this as the default keyboard after a restart.

I have a Note 2 & don't have this problem. I even just rebooted my phone to see. Are you sure you have it properly set as the default keyboard in the "Language & Input" area of the Settings menu?

(I am running a custom ROM though, so maybe this is a known problem with the stock ROM)

There you go, it's because you're on a custom ROM; I'm on stock. This was a known problem with SK3 (blogged to death on the swiftkey site). I guess they didn't bother to address it in 4.

I have no problem with it on my phone, T-Mobile 4.1.1 Note 2. it still remember my default.

Check all apps that have keyboard function and use some kind of keyboard input, there might be a rouge app that kept resetting it

SwiftKey is great but the bug that stops the trace when I press W is annoying and I HATE HATE HATE how not every field you can input text in allows for the Flow. The fields that the Flow works on seem to be random.

So what happens to the beta users now? Will it expire or will we continue to be the beta testers for new releases?

Curious: I got Swiftkey when it was free through Amazon Appstore. It doesn't look like this latest version is in the Appstore yet...but when it is would this be a free upgrade?

I went to my apps under options and the Swiftkey flow update was available for download...Yes it was a free download

I got it through the Appstore too & the update was there for me. You probably just need to Refresh Apps in the Appstore.

Just open the Appstore, tap Menu, go to "My Apps", select the "App Updates" tab, & hit Refresh. The update will be available then.

I thought for sure this would be a new app to buy from the Play Store. Lo and behold! They changed the name from Swiftkey 3 to Swiftkey Keyboard and I don't have to buy it again. Now I guess I just need to buy the tablet version.

That is the beauty of this app. If you buy phone version of SK, it a lifetime free upgrade. I been with SK since beta before 1.0 came to the store. I got 3 free upgrade ever since. Yes you need to buy the tablet version and yes it free upgrade as well.

Current users of Swiftkey should be receiving an update notice email, if you haven't already received it. So be sure to check your emails, if you haven't already updated.

Isn't anyone annoyed that after the Jelly Bean update Swiftkey will not stay as the default keyboard? After every restart the phone will switch back to the default Samsung keyboard. Swiftkey says it is an Android/Google Play problem. It is a PIA to have to reselect Swiftkey every time the phone is restarted.

Odd, didn't have that issue on the beta, like you, I too am having the same problem with Swiftkey not staying as default after a reboot. Given that it didn't happen during the beta, i fail to see how it is a Android/ Google Play problem. I'm on stock 4.1.1 AT&T S3. back to Swype until this is fixed.

Found the answer on Swiftkey support site http://support.swiftkey.net/knowledgebase/articles/122554-default-keyboa... as to why it worked on beta, but not production .... excerpt...

"We are aware of the issue where your phone reverts to the stock keyboard on reboot and we appreciate that it is very annoying.

We are currently in contact with Google Play to see if there is anything that they can do to fix this.

The issue is that Google Play installs paid apps in a particular location on your phone and that in some versions of Android (particularly 4.1 on Samsung devices) this location is not available at the point in the boot process where keyboards are being switched on. So your phone does not know that you have SwiftKey, and it defaults back to the phone's keyboard.

We are unable to control where Google Play installs the app, and also unable to do anything about the way in which your phone boots up, so we are essentially powerless.

You can read more about the issue here http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=34880 - the issue is listed as "released", which means that it has been fixed in the code and the fixed version has been released, but we know that it can take months for a new version of Android to reach customers' phones, which is why we are trying to see if Google Play can do something about it in the shorter term.

Free apps will not be affected, and of course with most apps you just tap them to turn them on once your phone is already fully booted, so it is only with paid apps that offer services like keyboards or widgets that this problem is visible."

My big problem with SwiftKey right now is no capitalization through Flow. I have to manually type it in if I have to put a non-name capitalized word in. And of course, I can't Swype a login ID or e-mail address like I could with Swype.

My copy of SwiftKey 3 for tablet was updated to 4 on my Samsung Tab 2 7.0 with no problems. I wasn't sure it was version 4 at first because they just changed the name to SwiftKey Tablet Keyboard without the version number.

I have been playing around with the "flow" features some with the beta software and honestly prefer to use it without the "flow" option because I find its prediction works better with it turned off. I am sure it works great for others I just find in my case it is more of a nuisance that an asset.

Nice addition but until they make Flow work on all text fields like To, Username and Browser Url text fields (to name a few) I am sticking with Swype.

Worth every penny :-D
I wouldn't change it for any other...
I simple can't type on any other touch screen keyboard.

Love that keyboard
To everyone whos trying to decide which keyboard as the best prediction, swiftkey is the only one that switch prediction in different language automatically (good for me since I mix french & english constantly)