SwiftKey 5

SwiftKey's move to drop the price tag of its keyboard offering in Google Play from $3.99 to free was a popular one among would-be users, and it turns out a good number went ahead and made the install after the price drop. Since going free back in June, SwiftKey has seen a 54 percent boost in monthly users, something that just wouldn't have happened at this point in its life if it had kept the paid-only model around.

What's more, the keyboard's marketplace for both free and paid themes has seen over 12 million downloads since it launched alongside the price drop — it turns out people really do want to customize their keyboards that much. We still maintain that SwiftKey is one of the go-to replacement keyboards on Android (even when it was $3.99), and it seems even more people agree with us now.

Source: VentureBeat

 

Reader comments

SwiftKey monthly users jump 54% after popular keyboard goes free

124 Comments

The users number is interesting. But I'm more curious how their revenue numbers have changed since they threw the freemium switch.

You can do some sort of math on these numbers. I'm guessing a theme is around $1, or 1/4 of the paid app. So 12 million (if all were paid) would be about 3 million sales. So all things considered I think they are doing quite well =)

If you have a paid app that everyone already has, how do you make money when new sales grind to a halt?

You make you app free and charge for customizations.

Posted via the LG G2 Android Central App

I don't think it is safe to assume more than 5% of theme downloads are paid, and I expect even that would be too high, it may well be less than one 1%.

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah, but even at 1% it's $30 000 and even half a percent would bring in $15 000. And the userbase grows, soon even to iPhones, which brings with it the potential for more sales.

Edit
Sorry, it was sales I calculated before. So 30 000 sales or $120 000 :-)

Hmmm I'm personally stuck with the stock keyboard. I tried swiftkey but it didn't really satisfied me at all even though it's beautiful with the new themes
Posted via Android Central App

Totally agree! I used to swear by it a few years ago but now I feel like the stock keyboard is faster and more intuitive so I stick with that. I tried it again when it went freemium but it didn't even last 2 days. Google Keyboard all the way

Yup, Google Keyboard feels smoother and faster to type with. SwiftKey has always been laggy for me, and I'm using a Nexus 5, which of course isn't such an old device.

Posted via Android Central App

Android L Keyboard is my current "go to" for keyboard.... :) Paid for SwiftKey, hasn't seen light of day on my device in over a year.

I AGREE, I tried the "free stock version", & it looks pretty cool but I deleted it as I wasn't as impressed after a while. Sure enough, the " extras" that really amp up the app cost$$$%

Has anyone else had this same experience with the "TRUE CALLER" caller I.d. app, EVERYTIME there's an incoming call it does 1of 2 things, either shows all calls coming from same location, or not showing any info??Please post , thanks.

54% hike isn't surprising. Anyway, I was one of the many who downloaded Swift Key after it went free, but really I didn't like it that much. It has its nuances that bugged me a bit. Of course I can't remember the particular ones now, but they bugged me enough to make me want to switch back to the Google Keyboard. Now I'm using the Google Android L Keyboard

I've never been able to get used to any other keyboards other than googles. And I'm now using the android L one as well, and love it.

Posted via Android Central App

For me it is. There is a delay in opening the Swiftkey keyboard compared to the stock or any other keyboard on my MOTO G

I know! That bugs the crap out of me. Mostly happens the first time you use the keyboard after restarting your phone. Also, the emoji pages scroll kinda laggy at times. Google Keyboard is quite light on its feet and while I admit, I've been a Swiftkey user for a long time, I've been using GK for the past couple of weeks. SK needs to trim the fat.

The emoji drawer was ALWAYS laggy for me when I tried it, and I use emojis a lot, so I switched back to stock google keyboard.

Posted via Android Central App

Right. As much as I like switching stuff up, Google's keyboard just works for me the best

Posted via Android Central App

I don't know...I've never experienced the laggy problems. I'm on the Note 3, but it surprises me that other phones like the Nexus 5 or the Moto G have lag issues. I honestly only notice a difference of fractions of a second when opening SwiftKey vs the Google Keyboard or the Android L Keyboard. Also, being able to change the size of the keyboard for one-handed operation actually makes a big difference for me. I didn't think being able to add the number row was a big deal, but it has become very convenient. I think I shied away from it because I had been trying it on beta, which had issues at one point and I went back to the stock Swiftkey. I like the themes, but only really use a few and I have found one the really pops for me, especially in bright sunlight. I see the smoothness of the Google Keyboard; however, it is light (in my opinion) because it does not have the features I like in SwiftKey. I have tried so many other keyboards and keep coming back to Swiftkey. Having used it for so long and having it learn how I write probably keep other keyboards at a disadvantage.

I have used swype as well as SwiftKey but the prediction of SwiftKey is less than swype. I don't know how they claim it a mind reading keyboard. Might be that would be for English speaking people. But people whose primary language is not English like mine, it's prediction is not that good. There is only one reason for me to use SwiftKey that is because swype's current version lags alot. But other than that it (swype) just recognise whatever I wanna type even if I mis spell

I would use it but I can't undo. After typing a paragraph and accidentally deleting it I need to be able to undo.

Posted via Android Central App

I haven't tried it, but if the function exists, you could do a Ctrl-Z using Hacker's Keyboard. I like that one because of the arrow keys.

Yeah when it went free, caused me to look into what else there was. Android L for me now and loving it

Posted via Android Central App

I love Swift but I think my phone (Moto X) is too slow for it, because there is a slight annoying lag when I hit text field before the keyboard comes up. The Google keyboard is considerably faster. I suppose that's not the case on higher spec flagships.

Posted via Android Central App

I've got a Moto X and stopped using swiftkey for the same reason... It's the only keyboard that lags on that phone. They have acknowledged the new version can lag and say they are working on performance enhancement so I keep it installed and wait....

Tried SwiftKey but didn't like it much. Android L keyboard is the way to go

Posted via my A0002, M9, XT912, N910, G906, D6653, D870, or D900

There's one big issue I have with the android keyboard and it's access to secondary keys on longpress... not much there. Also, punctuations: ? and ! are so much faster to hit on swiftkey.. just swipe. But the recent SwiftKey slow down has been quite annoying.

I've tried every keyboard on the market and I always come back to SwiftKey my 2nd keyboard of choice is Google keyboard

Posted via Android Central App

Once it went free I downloaded it, and after typing a few text messages I uninstalled it. I can't really explain why, but I just don't like it. I REALLY don't like that it doesn't fit in with the general design of the operating system. I've just been using the Google Keyboard that came as stock on my Moto X, and I've never had an issue. The Android L keyboard is great too.

Posted via Android Central App

While the themes are nice, I don't think they're very good. The beat looking ones take away from the functionality of the keyboard unless you have the keyboard shortcuts memorized.

Posted via Android Central App

He said that the design doesn't fit in and my reply to him was to simply change the theme then. I think there is a hold theme. I don't find the beat ones very functional either. I think the one I'm using is called nickel. The nickel theme works much better than those if you haven't memorized the keyboard. That's what I like about SwiftKey, the choice.

I put it on my Nexus 7 and I don't like it because certain keys are no longer available without using the long press and I find that highly annoying.

Posted via Android Central App

Yes true everything looks big. For me the swype keyboard is perfect in term of auto correction. But it's current version I don't like that's why using SwiftKey for now

What's wrong with the current version of Swype? I don't recall any significant changes recently (or am I just being forgetful?).

I don't find Swype's autocorrect to be perfect, but it was a lot better at swiping than Swiftkey the last time I gave that a try, though I am due to give Swiftkey another go.

Posted via Android Central App

If "everything looks big" was your problem then try the "resize" option under settings, there are 5 different keyboard sizes to choose from.

I've had it since free and love it i just tried to go back to stock lg keyboard but couldn't do it went right back.

Posted via Android Central App

I don't know how anyone can use the stock keyboard. The fact that you can't even see the symbols on the keys is enough to make me wanna throw my phone against the damn wall.

Posted via my Huawei Ascend Mate 2 :)

The Samsung keyboard is OK, but it just looks so ugly imo

Posted via my A0002, M9, XT912, N910, G906, D6653, D870, or D900

Its ok, I just hate the lag when scrolling through emoji on my S4. It's unacceptable

Posted via Android Central App

I downloaded it when it went free. It's cute, but Swype still feels like the best keyboard android has to me.

Posted via Android Central App

I've been using swift key for a while now, far before it was free and I have to say that I like it a lot. I could never get used to the Google keyboard. It just doesn't provide enough flexibility. I like being able to place a number row on top (was released a little while ago in the betas before becoming an official fearure) and the arrow keys (also a little whilI ago). Now I can also resize the keyboard. There are just far too many features for me to go back to stock.

Been using it for a long time.... Now stuck waiting for Amazon to update so I can check out the new themes. Wish Amazon would stop slacking!!!

Posted via Android Central App

I don't know how anybody can like the stock keyboard. It's so clumsy and ugly. SwiftKey is the best keyboard for my Note III.

Posted via Android Central App

I like swiftkey. Its kinda cool. Ive noticed every time i change themes my typing slows down. Lol. So ive just got to choose one and just leave it alone. Ive chosen holo.

Fix the lag on the emoji screen and I might use it. Holding off until this is adjusted. It's unacceptable; Google Keyboard has 0 lag on my S4 and does the same things.

I still prefer the Swiftkey keyboard (I paid for it over a year ago) over the stock keyboard. But some of the predictions it throws in just make no sense. On many occasions, it has replaced a real word I typed in properly, with one that doesn't exist, and capitalizes it like it's a name. i typed in "nice" and it replaced it with "Bice". Who the F is Bice?
It also lags horribly anymore when I bring it up to type, but that is more likely my 18 mo old GS3's fault. But it's still the closest thing I could find to the excellent WP7 keyboard I used to have on my Focus.
Perhaps this switch to free is why I had a notification after the update to claim my "free gift" when I went into the theme selection.

Yeah its happening the same to me, all since the latest update to "free". Just the fact that they made the same app from paid to free is most lame, although the fact that its lagging now and has poorer predictions than before is even more annoying...

Glad to see I'm not the only one. I wish Google would buy them out, and replace their keyboard with this one. As long as they make it more reliable. Since the stock keyboard pulls up faster, I'm assuming Swiftkey would too, if it was stock.

Actually i have bought the tablet version of it some time ago too, before they discontinued it too... Though its still on the market and if i install that one on my phone it comes up way faster than the new free one, as well as the predictions are way more accurate. As well as the saved/cloud predictions actually work unlike in the free one...

I'll have to try the tablet version, I have it on my Note 10.1, so it's already paid for. Thanks for the tip!

I experienced the lag on both my Nexus devices N5,7. I like the keyboard fine, but to get the full benefit i.e. numbers row and cursor arrows it just took up to much screen real estate on the phone. I still use it on the tablet; only because I couldn't get the L keyboard on the tablet. The ads stopped after I turned off notifications.

I added the numbers row to mine, then just shrunk it down, since that's an option now. Though it does cause me to mis-type sometimes with a number in the middle, it usually has the right word as an option to tap. I also run it on my Note 10.1, and it pops up much faster, like crnkoj said. I'll have to try to install that version on my phone and see what happens! Especially if it allows you to undock it, that may be interesting...

It's good to hear that swift is doing so well. I can't wait until they come out with a minimized version.

Posted via Android Central App

Every keyboard capable of learning predictions asks for same permissions. Disable then enable one of your other keyboards to see.

Posted via Android Central App

Used on many devices since purchased many moons ago. Very fast on my N5 and N7. I like the darker themes.

Posted via Nexus 5 with SwiftKey

I don't download apps nor do I come here all that often due to the s***** "journalism" that Jerry and others put out so I missed the announcement the first time. Glad to have this keyboard though, it's fantastic!

You don't have to come here if you think the AC writers' journalism is shitty.

Posted via my A0002, M9, XT912, N910, G906, D6653, D870, or D900

Yup! My Xperia keyboard was good enough. But I decided to give SwiftKey a test drive.
But lo! I am a loyal user now...

Not only did I start using it, but I also had most of my friends with Android phones switch to SwiftKey...

Awesome app. Happy that they decided to go free

Is it just me, or did the app get substantially buggier after the 'free' update? Delay in appearing when I click on a text box, sometimes doesn't go away when I exit a text box or exit an app back to home screen, big delay in rotating with the phone, etc.

yes, very much so! I mentioned this above, and someone else recommended installing the tablet version, which seems faster.

I've had to stop using the keyboard since it went free because it no longer works on my HTC One X. :(
It just crashes whenever I try to open it.

Never considered a third party keyboard but went for it. So much better than HTC's keyboard. So much.

Posted via Android Central App

I paid for it, used it and then found Google Keyboard felt like better fit for me. Wasn't cheap, now just feel stupid for ever paying for it - especially now that it's free :)

I first experienced these types of keyboards on Samsung Note 2, then tried swift key when they had a special offer, but found the aggressive auto complete was annoying, so I bought the full version of Swype which I've stuck with ever since.
The only thing Swype lacks for me is a number row.
The keyboard comes with lots of themes and is easily tweaked to suit your style.

Am I the only person who thinks swift key is rubbish? It never predicts any useful next words for me, even after using it for months. And it's swiping recognition is awful too. Swype is miles better predicting I find, just a shame it doesn't have emoticons.
Posted via Android Central App

I've bought and used swift key for ever is seems but I'm actually thinking about ditching it because it has started popping up notifications reminding me to explorer new "premium themes, connect to other apps like Facebook and such. I did find the disable notifications box (which is enabled by default) but I'm afraid it's well on its way to becoming a incomplete product (now with in app purchases) at the least or even worse another adware bloated unusable app.