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Uniquely Android: Swiftkey 3

Uniquely Android is a series we started last month to shine the spotlight on those apps that take advantage of the unique capabilities of the platform and provide an experience that you wouldn’t find in most other phones. So far, we have featured LlamaPlug In LauncherAirDroid and Shush.

Compared to the others in the series, Swiftkey is a rockstar that just about every one of our readers has probably heard about. For that reason, a part of me wanted to go with some other app today, despite the fact that Swiftkey meets every criteria of the Uniquely Android series. With well over a million paid downloads, it has also earned the developer behind it a ton of money, and probably doesn’t need to be in the limelight.

But, one particular aspect made me want to write about it: the fact that it is arguably the best touchscreen keyboard ever. Fans of Swype might argue differently, and I was certainly hooked to it for quite a while, but Swiftkey would probably get more picks in a vote. To me, considering how important a keyboard is to the experience of a phone, each and every user should purchase it. Heck, Google should buy it and make the default Android keyboard because the one thing I wish it did was offer Google’s Speech-to-text. to ensure no other platform gets their grubby hands on it. I’m not usually a selfish, greedy person, but in the case of SwiftKey, I want it to remain Android-only.

I had previously incorrectly mentioned Swiftkey doesn’t offer Google Speech-to-text. As Evan Murphy pointed out in the comments, it certainly does, though I don’t remember in which version did they add it.

You can download Swiftkey over here. PS, do check out this XKCD comic in Swiftkey’s honor.




  • Chris Ryan

    When I first got an android phone in Sep 2010, this was the first app I bought. I have been a huge time supporter of my swiftkey as it has saved me so many strokes and it’s really accurate when you sync it up to your twitter, gmail and facebook. It was the best $1.99 I ever spent for android. Since then they gave me Swiftkey X and now 3 keys too :)

    • wickets

      Agreed; swiftkey has been my best purchased app too and ive bought a few lol

      • RitishOemraw

        Wish I could say the same, but I haven;t bought an app (no cc to my name)
        Still it was the BEST free-amazon-app-of-the-day I downloaded!!
        Thank God the amazon non-US workaround worked back then.

  • http://youtu.be/GvPlAyTG4ik?hd=1 1PhoneDoesnt.com

    Would love SwiftKey IF they would put stock Google Voice input technology rather than their say it, read over 3 choices, pick it technology. Sorry Swiftkey, since day 1 peeps have been asking for this, you keep saying you are looking into it, you keep ignoring the fact that stock voice input is simply better than your alternative :(

  • MisterMints

    I’ve tried SwiftKey but just don’t get what everyone thinks is so amazing about it. what the hell am I missing?

    • ineptone

      I agree. SwiftKey was the first keyboard app I purchased back in 2010 when I came to Android, but I’ve long since left it for FlexT9. I go back to SwiftKey with every update, but it’s just special enough to keep me using it.

    • ffolkes

      I agree, I never liked SwiftKey at all. Not to mention the creepy privacy issues that come with an app wanting access to every email and text you’ve ever written… I’ve tried just about EVERY keyboard on the market, and always come back to Smart Keyboard Pro. It is insanely customizable.

      • http://twitter.com/timmyjoe42 tim bennett

        Isn’t the access to your email and texts just to help with predictions?

        • le_lutin

          Yes it is. There’s nothing creepy about it.

      • Nora Lau

        dude, EVERY KEYBOARD will give you that warning from Android (not the app), hmm.. maybe better not to tell? (like the stock keyboard?)

  • Evan Murphy

    it does offer Google speech to text

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      Thanks for the heads up

  • ntegrit

    SwiftKey user, former Swype user (although I’d like to see swipe functionality in SwiftKey.) Didn’t care much for the cartoon, but loved the “Warning:” at the bottom of the page! Now, when will you review SwipePad?

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      Soon, very soon. Couldn’t review many suggested apps this week since the new jelly bean ROM I’m running screwed up Google Play for me. Hence choice was a touch limited this time around.

      • Evan Murphy

        Go into manage apps and uninstall the updates to the playstore and clear data… That should fix ur problem

      • http://flavors.me/sabret00the sabret00the

        Don’t bother with Swipepad. It’s customisation options are non-existent (you can’t have less than 12 items in the pad) and it slows down ICS and JB. Not to mention it doesn’t that while a decent concept, it’s implementation is awful, such as using an overlay for a swipe area thus blocking clicks in that area.

  • blest

    Until it makes a red and black theme, screw it.

  • GawkerRedesignSucks

    Double correction: It offers speech to text, but not dictation…which is the best part of Google’s new speech to text system.

  • http://www.jeroenheijster.com/ Jeroen Heijster

    I have tried WP7 and while the keyboard for it is “ok”, I really miss Swiftkey.

  • http://twitter.com/jcamachott John Camacho

    I used swiftkey for months but I prefer Swype for two reasons:
    1. Easier to capitalize a word (or change the capitalization of a word)
    2. Less steps to change a word (e.g. if you need to move the cursor and change a word you already typed)

  • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

    Tried it, but, Swype > all.

  • RitishOemraw

    Best keyboard I have used! I facctory reset my phone last week and went a few days with the stock keyboard. It had its perks, but I really missed swiftkey.Although I think if Google upped their predicting capabilities and included the swipe left to delete the last word/space (<– that is a feature I use all the time and missed the most) then I could get used to the stock keyboard even though swiftkey has other useful benefits

    • Victor Ng

      “included the swipe left to delete the last word/space”
      This is easily the selling point of swiftkeys for me… its so intuitive that i cannot use another key board without a quick delete button anymore

      • RitishOemraw

        Exactly. During my short time giving the jellybean stock keyboard a go I swiped left so many times out of habit that the extra erasing I had to do as a result of those swipes typing gibberish was what made me pause what I wanted to do on my phone till I installed amazon market and swiftkey again.

  • ilh

    I use SwiftKey and love it but at times it’s a chore to use. It can get really sluggish (e.g. typing www. in a browser takes a couple of seconds to register and only ends up putting ww) and there’s a few annoying bugs. Biggest complaints are the bug where every key including delete inserts the last few characters you’ve typed so you have to close the keyboard and also moving the cursor in browser text boxes can be wholly inaccurate and sometimes impossible so ends up in having to delete a load of text to get where I want it. Last week I got frustrated to the point of going back to stock for a couple of days and couldn’t believe the difference. While the stock browser is far far quicker in terms of pure input speed with no sluggishness and doesn’t have the annoying bugs, what SwiftKey brings is a far far greater prediction engine and actual keyboard for things like getting access to secondary characters, etc.

  • renGek

    Be aware that even if you have the paid version they want you to buy another version for tablets. I still use the non HD version on the nexus 7 but it has bugs. Offline dictation doesn’t work.

  • Mike

    I think it depends on whether you prefer two hands or one, and it also depends on your spelling ability. Swift key is going to help a lot of you can’t spell well and/or peer two handed typing. If there was a way to combine the two, that would be great.

  • Siddharth Motwani

    I’m going to stick with swipe.

    If you haven’t already, can you review Unified Remote?

    • Siddharth Motwani

      swype*

  • Itchy_Robot

    This is a must have app for Android. It is soooo much better than any other keyboard out there. Plus, its speech to text is much better than stock too.

  • bob

    Hate it! lags on my gnex like crazy! ics and jellybean stock kills swift key. don’t get why anyone would pay to use sk

  • debiandog

    I am with many of others here. I own Swiftkey, and like it, but end up coming back to Swype. It is also more “amazing” to an iPhone user. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/Mark_Lunney Mark Lunney

    Used for a while on the Gnex before it got Swype support, definitely better than the Swype alternatives out there, but still a distant #2 for me.
    I’d probably use it on a tablet where Swyping doesn’t work so well, but waiting for the Nexus 7/Chrome bugs to get sorted out first.

  • Frope01

    I switched from having iPhones for 5 years to an S3. I did not like the native keyboard. I really can’t seem to get cozy with swype either. Tried SwiftKey3 and love it. The most natural feeling to me. Helps to minimize my mistakes.