Swiftkey keyboard out of beta, autopredicts its way into the Android Market

SwiftKey has finally made its way out of beta status, and the full version is now available on the Android Market for £0.60 (about 94 cents).  I'm one of SwiftKey's biggest fans, and even after using it through all the beta versions I'm still amazed at the prediction algorithm.  In case you're unfamiliar with how it works, have a look here and you'll see why the beta hit over 100,000 downloads within a few days of its release.  It really is that good at word prediction.  The changes are available to read at SwiftKey's blog, and consist mostly killing off any bugs that crept up at the last minute.  We have the full press release from TouchType, download links, and a video of SwiftKey in action after the break.  [SwiftKey (opens in new tab)]

YouTube link for mobile viewing

Touchscreen typing app uses AI to write for you

LONDON, UK – SwiftKey™, a new keyboard app for Google Android smartphones that uses breakthrough artificial intelligence (AI) technology, launched on Thursday after receiving more than 250,000 downloads during its public beta. The app’s AI learns a user’s writing style to complete words and sentences for them, offering an unrivalled touchscreen typing experience.

About a third of words can be accurately predicted by SwiftKey before a user taps a key and the majority of remaining words only require one or two key-presses to type, speeding up SMS or email composition by up to 50%.

London-based developers TouchType Ltd launched the app following the popular beta, which saw SwiftKey become the most downloaded keyboard on the Android Market amid hundreds of positive reviews. Tech blog Gizmodo wrote, “The star feature of SwiftKey is its predictive text -- it literally learns the way you type.” Engadget said the app has “an uncanny ability” to guess your next word. “It’s like a psychic, only for less money,” wrote Mobile Crunch.

The key is TouchType’s Fluency™ prediction engine, which uses new techniques to analyze billions of sentences of background text to understand how words combine. The technology can also learn from users’ message archives and their typing over time to provide eerily accurate personalization.

“We were overwhelmed by the success of SwiftKey’s beta launch, the response from users and the positive reviews,” TouchType CEO Jon Reynolds said. “SwiftKey is already one of the most popular keyboards on Android. We hope to continue that trend now with our enhanced full version.”

The new app supports voice dictation and multi-touch, has a new keyboard layout including a numpad and arrow keys, and can make simultaneous predictions in two languages. To celebrate the launch, TouchType is giving SwiftKey away for just $0.99 for the next week on the Android Market, a three-dollar discount.

Dr. Ben Medlock, TouchType’s CTO, said, “Not only is SwiftKey the first keyboard app to harness the incredible power of statistical language processing; it’s now the first keyboard to offer multiple-language prediction – an amazing breakthrough for bilingual smartphone users.”

Medlock said these innovations are just the beginning. “We’re developing new techniques based on machine learning that will blow away today’s keyboard technology. Watch this space.”

SwiftKey offers predictions in US English, UK English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch and Swedish, with many new languages coming shortly.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • Im really excited about trying this out for the first time!
  • The more you use it, the better it gets. It's scary sometimes. For short txts that you send fairly often, you only have to type a letter or two and it fills in the rest of the sentence :)
  • This is a great keyboard. Made sure to buy it as soon as it hit the market as a final release.
  • Been using this since it was first announced and I find it predicts about half of the words in a sentence with only one or two letters entered. Often suggesting the next word with no input at all. It also had arrow keys on the number part to assist in corrections or editing. Great for phones without a track ball. The key to speed with Swiftkey is to watch the prediction bar, and tap whole words rather than typing each letter. Get it quickly because its going up to four dollars at the end of the month.
  • Thanks for the heads up. Bought.
  • I can only find the Beta Version for the Droid X
  • I had Swype and it made too many mistakes. This could be a hair slower but I rarely have to correct anything. Sticking with Swiftkey. EVO
  • I feel the same way. I gave Swype a 2-3 week chance and I'm getting way too many mistakes still. Back to SwiftKey is is for me.
  • Had to do the build.prop modification to see the full version and buy it for my Droid X 2.2 OTA
  • yeah, had to fool the market into thinking my DX was a D2 because I did a full wipe of data/cache when 2.2 was installed. :/
  • One word "NICE"
  • Be nice if I could actually get my hands on the released version. I've been using the beta and really would like to buy the full version, but every time I try to upgrade, even using your barcode, the Market can't find it. Hopefully it will be fixed by the time I get back from camping this week, because Swiftkey is really one of the best keyboards out there. Someone said it was scary just how good it is at predicting and they said it as well as it could be said. If you haven't tried Swiftkey, you really should.
  • It takes a lot for me to purchase an app, especially after using its beta version for so long.
    That being said, I purchased SwiftKey and would again in a week if I had to pay 3.99.
    I used Swype and swore by it until the first day I used SwiftKey.
    I find it faster and more accurate than any phone keyboard I've used.
    It reminds me alot of the SureType keyboard I used on my Pearl forever. This is the closest keyboard I've found to that, and will probably be what I use from here on out.
    SwiftKey is the shit.
  • Is it still sluggish on the evo?
  • Not at all
  • What version are you running?
  • Way better that Swype and SlideIt! It's so good that it even finished my sentences by itself! Lol
  • Working nicely on my N1. Only issue is the feedback volume control fools you into thinking it's independently controlled from the Media Volume...but it's not :-( This is my only and top grip with Android, the lack of independent volume options.
  • Fu¢k swype and it's constant expiring betas. This is the one!
  • I can't find it either on my droid x either. Any suggestions?
  • I just downloaded the beta of swiftkey and will give it at few days. Unfortunatly I couldnt finfind the full version in the market.
  • bought the full version for my Captivate - love it
  • tried it and ehhhhh.....waiting patiently for blindtype.
  • i like the beta as well, but am in the same boat as other DX users - I can click 'install' on the appbrain site on my laptop, but can't download it on my phone. lack of access to paid apps on the market is the only real issue i've had since Froyo-ing my DX yesterday, but it's a real pain in the...
  • Tried this. Hated it! Smart Keyboard Pro is soooooo much better. When I type the word do and it automatically inserts don't, im done. I will stick with Smart Keyboard!!!
  • You just need to turn off Auto Complete and Auto Space in the settings, then hitting the space bar doesn't automatically use the middle word.
  • I tried Swiftkey keyboard on my EVO. The only thing I don't like is that on the stock keyboard, there is a "keyboard" icon. If I press that, keyboard disappears, however, I don't think there is such thing on the Swiftkey keyboard. Or I am missing something?
  • They have made a lot of nice tweaks in the final version and they are all improvements in my opinion. You can now just swipe downward in the keyboard region and it disappears and you can swipe right to left and delete your last word. I started using the beta when it came out and had a love/hate relationship with it the last month and the final version def removed all the hate.
  • Is it only in the final version which you can swipe downward to hide the keyboard? I just tried on my beta and it didn't do it.
  • Yes it only works in the final release. But holding the menu button for a second works too. Hold it again and it brings the keyboard back. Don't know if it works in every application but I use it when texting and also in the browser.
  • Swipe top to bottom on the keyboard.
  • Does it still lag horribly when you're typing to the point that it misses half your letters? It works perfectly if I type about .25 seconds between presses, but if I type as fast as I do on stock or the iphone, it misses half the letters, then highlights the word, then deletes everything I typed.. it's weird. I'll probably get it in anyway, because for whatever dumb reason, Swype has gotten worse and worse with every release. Bormal, really? You want Bormal, not normal? I never even put that word in there before.
  • Turn off sound and shorten vibrator feedback to 25 or less. This version is multi touch and much faster.
  • I would like it if I could just use SwiftKey with my keyboard and use swype on screen keyboard. Now that's the best of both worlds. Edit: I can switch between text entries by holding down text area. A option to switch input method pops up. It's not to time consuming but I wish it was a setting to set up keyboard different from onscreen keyboard. Maybe I just want it all.
  • I bought it. I hated the initial Beta, but the final release has sold me over so far, now that it includes voice input and bi-lingual support (this is really cool). The only bug I noticed is that in Landscape mode, it doesn't auto-suggest contacts in the "To:" field in messaging or Gmail. I posted it over in the bugs forum on their site. It does auto-suggest in Portrait mode. not a big deal but kind of annoying to have to rotate the phone just to complete an action.
  • Love this keyboard so far but wish the keys highlighted green to match the rest of the Android UI. I sent them an email to ask for the option to do that.
  • Swiftkey is OK, the autopredict and correction are its best strength, the layout is ugly and hard to see even on a 3.7" screen. I like Smart Keyboard & Vlingo keyboard better.
  • I wanted to like it, but it made me a little crazy. I found I typed slower than I would on the stock keyboard (using Incredible) because I spent all this time looking at the suggested word waiting for it to be the correct one, as opposed to just banging out my sentence. Now if I was typing a sentence I had typed many times before it was faster because it knew what the next word was, but if I was typing something new it wasn't. THEN, once the it started to noticeably lag I was done with it and went back to stock...and have been happy since. I want to try Swype to compare.
  • If you saw lag you were not using the final release. The time you spend looking saves typing and it's quicker overall.
  • Droid X users (and X10) can't buy this app; the FAQ says that's because these phone don't support copy-protected apps. So they want us to wait until "licensing issues" are resolved, which means they want us to wait until we have to pay full price for it. Thanks for nothing.
  • Yup. I was thinking the same thing. They get us hooked, then tease us by offering it for $.94 for one week, oh but wait, you can't have it! Why can't the X support copy-protected apps anyway. LAME all the way around! I guess we spoke to soon! It's now available for X users and I grabbed it. Some changes (i.e. numbers on left instead of across top of KB) but looks good. Glad to see quick responses from them!
  • I tried out a number of "input methods" when I got my EVO but settled on Swype and Vlingo. However, wanted to try out the release version of Swiftkey. In short, it's a keeper. The feature that I love (reasonable minds can differ) is the voice input option. This brings up Google's voice-to-text but when the text is accepted, Swiftkey formats it correctly. Capitals at the start of sentences etc. BTW, I too had problems downloading. The weird suggestion on the website (re-enter credit card info on google market) worked. For some reason, that bothers me....
  • Wow! I am amazed. Typing just got a whole lot faster and easier!
  • are you able to add words on this? i have a set of "emoticons" and words i use all the time in texts and so far only swype has been able to let me use such emoticons with ease (without having to use too many key shifts/clicks/etc.)
  • Ok, this is still flawed. If you start typing with any amount of speed, it trips up, somehow highlights what you've typed, and actually removes most of the letters of the word. I don't know why all of a sudden 3-4 letters into a word it highlights the word and then the next letter overwrites all of that (kind of like how if you selected text with your mouse, typed, the new letter would replace it all). If I go slow, this doesn't happen. Swiftkey also states they have multitouch, which they clearly don't. They also need to fix their grammar. I typed the start of a question "Did everything.." and the next word should have been go, as in "Did everything go well?" It wanted it to be goes so when I was just typing G O (space) of course it picked the incorrect "Goes" which was annoying. I guess I'll keep it, because I don't want them to finally get their crap together and have to pay $4 for it.
  • Sure seems like one nifty app.
  • I personnally don't see much difference between Swiftkey and the stock Samsung keboard on my Captivate. Samsung's also does good prediction and next word completion. I'll try it a little longer before going back. Swiftkey would be better if the keyboard and characters had more contrast. It's harder to read. And the keys seem narrower in vertical mode. I also noticed it did not suggest addresses in vertical mode. Both the stock Android and Samsung keyboards suggest addresses. Oh, one more thing. Swiftkey does not have a ".com" key! What's up with that? Edit: The width of the keys are the same. I do like the long-press for alternate keys.
  • I installed it on the Droid and like it so far BUTI lost the autocomplete of my email addresses. Am I missing something here..?
  • ok...was working with it in the landscape mode, rotated the phone and the addresses were there. Kinda sucky but workable
  • Yeah, I don't like this keyboard. Keys are squished in there and the auto correct is horrible. Doesn't even change "dont" into "don't".
  • I actually bought this twice. I bought it for my work phone (Eris) and my Evo. I liked the last updated beta. However, they've changed the secondary layout with the numbers and superscript characters. Not sure if I like that. Also I wished it remembered the words that were added from the beta.
  • Okay... I downloaded the application and when I tried to use it, it warned me that it might collect my text messages, credit card number and other data. Does anybody mind using this application with that type of private data collection from Swiftkey? I quickly got my refund and uninstalled it.
  • Same permissions the stock keyboard has. It has to take the input from your fingers and xfer it to the text box.
  • I'm confused, (btw I'm new to Android) why would they warned you about something like that? its obvious that when you use a keyboard is to be able to type. It threw me off.
  • For whatever reason, this isn't working like it did in beta. It no longer predicts words with apostrophes, such as she'll, he'll, I'd, we'd, they'd, etc. VERY annoying. And, it won't learn them when I enter them manually. The next time I begin to type she'll, the word shell comes up--not the option she'll.
    I put in a bug report.
  • Tried the beta for a couple of days. I really gave it an honest go. Didn't like it at all. Back to my Shapewriter!!