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SwiftKey Keyboard BetaSwiftKey Keyboard Beta

SwiftKey, one of our favorite keyboards, just added a much-wanted feature that many popular third-party keyboards lack: speech to text. The microphone gets a dedicated button in its familiar spot to the left of the space bar, but the implementation is slightly different from what most of us are used to.

Pressing it brings up a blank screen with the "Speak now" dialog rather than staying on the screen you're actually entering text on. While slightly jarring, this may be due to one other tweak--after speaking, a popup lets you select what you meant to say. Will this alleviate the frustration of the speech-to-text engine constantly misunderstanding you, or just add another step?

The app description now also promises the "full app out soon." Their beta release added a lot of polish compared to the alpha, so we may be in for a treat in the near future. Download link and another screenshot after the break

SwiftKey Keyboard Beta

 

Reader comments

SwiftKey Keyboard gains speech-to-text

21 Comments

YES!. this was the only feature that kept me switching between swype and swiftkey.. and now its swiftkey all the way!!!.. well until blindtype is released :)
DX

Yep. The lack of a microphone button was what kept me from trying it. I'm using Swiftkey to write this and its so much more efficient its not even funny. Amazing technology.

It's working now.. Yaaayyy!!!
This is now the best app on my phone. Doesn't seem to work in address fields though. I love my EVO..

Speech to text works well on my EVO, however, there are no navigation keys. Very difficult to get somewhere in the text to make a correction.

Love my Nexus One track ball...

As phone makers realize people type more and more on these devices I predict track ball or track sensor (link Dinc) will make a comeback.

Maybe I'm missing something...but where is the enter key!? On my EVO is just had a stupid smiley face option. Unless that's just for SMS?

You don't get an enter key on all screens. Things that do not accept carriage return / line feed don't offer the enter key.

Twitter, text messages etc don't show enter keys.

This is not unusual with any keyboard.

Also compare what they did to the key layout:

New keyboard: has wider key spacing and better spacing between buttons.

It seems less error prone.

Those media inclusion buttons in the shot above are not there normally.

The other thing it's missing (prior to the update at least) is the carrot key ( ^ ) which is above the six on a pc keyboard. Anyone else notice this or am I overlooking it?

It's a small thing, but I really like the swipe up for caps/extended characters

Now if they would just add a translucent skin like I use on better keyboard I'd be all set.
JAson

May be a dumb question but if I install this Keyboard will it automatically replace the stock keyboard? And if I dont like it and Uninstall the App will the Stock keyboard just come back? it seems great from reading all your guys comments !! Thank You !

You have to enable it by long pressing on a text entry field and selecting Input Method. It should give you a choice of keyboards. Once you uninstall it, it will revert to the stock keyboard as there are no other options to choose from.

Very good keyboard, but when enabled it breaks multi-touch on my Desire (with Android 2.2) so I can't use it... :/