[Discussion] Is the new Jelly Bean keyboard every bit as good as SwiftKey?


One of the features of Jelly Bean that really stood out for me, at the time of the announcement, was the new keyboard. From the sound of it, Google seems to have packed every major feature of Swiftkey which several people consider as the pinnacle of touchscreen mobile keyboards. Unfortunately, I’m not on Jelly Bean yet and will have to wait to try it out, but I’d love to hear the opinions of those who have had the opportunity, particularly those who have had the opportunity to compare it against Swiftkey.

Raveesh Bhalla

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  1. I woudnt know. I’m on ICS.

    1. I tried it for a week. While it is quite improved from ICS not as good as Swiftkey. The prediction from Swiftkey is simply amazing. So good sometimes its a bit scary.

      1. Same reason I haven’t moved on from SwiftKey, too easy to insert predicted words to save time.

      2. Agreed. Sometimes I can just type the first word and I’ll be able to get the rest of my sentence just by clicking the prediction.

      3. One thing that keeps me on Swype and away from Swiftkey is that when I’m typing I know what I want to write and I write it. With Swiftkey I’m faced with making a decision with every word – is the word I want there or not? If it is then select it, if not carry on typing. This is just horribly slow and unintuitive for me. Swype (Beta) has now introduced a prediction function as well, but even when it suggests every single word right, it’s still much slower for me than just writing it.

        1. Same thing for me. I type way faster when using just the autocorrect feature. It gets me confused all the time.

    2. nice of you to tell us. thanks.

    3. Install it from the Play Store, I have.

    4. I gave Verizon most of this month to push JB to the galaxy nexus. I just said screw it. I am tired of waiting so today I decided to unlock, root, and flash a JB ROM onto my Gnex. I had never rooted before, but the program I used made it so easy andit was fool proof. I am now running 4.1.1 and everything runs perfectly, it is really like using a new phone. The keyboard is much better than the ICS version. Swift key x is great, but I’ll keep the stock keyboard for a while and see if it grows on me. Try rooting and flashing a JB ROM. If you succeed (I don’t know why you wouldn’t) you will be very happy that you did.

      1. Welcome to a whole new experience!

      2. What ROM did you use?

  2. I tested for a day and went back to SwiftKey. I really love the slide delete word feature and the 250ms long press delay.

    1. I’ve been using swiftkey for awhile and didn’t know that…thanks!

  3. not close JB keyboard needs more work. I wish we could use the emojis for the swiftkey

  4. I tried jb keyboard for about 1 minute and then switched right back to SwiftKey! Google should just buy SwiftKey! Haha

    1. Same here. Went with JB for about a day before going back to SK. Oh, and no long-press numbers and symbols. You have to switch to numbers or symbols view to use those with JB keyboard.

      1. Yea, if anything JB keyboard feels like a regression from Gingerbread, which at least had long press numbers.
        I’m using touchpal. Free and much better than JB.

        1. JB keyboard has long press numbers and symbols… What are you talking about?

          1. No, it doesn’t. I’m typing on it right now on the Nexus 7 with Android 4.1.
            Have to press the number/symbol key below the shift key to get numbers.

      2. Long press top-row letters for numbers 1-0. Long press period for the 16 most common symbols, and drag to select.

        1. Good catch. Would’ve been nice if JB included some visual cues for that. Since there were no recessed numbers up top, I assumed the capability had been scrapped.

          1. Really? Long pressing top row does nothing on my nexus 7 keyboard, neither does long pressing full stop

          2. Interesting… long-pressing on the top row (with numbers) should give the option for numbers or any accent-related characters with the vowels…

          3. It gives the accent characters but no numbers

    2. My experience is like most others. I tried to give the JB keyboard a chance but after 4 days I went back to SwiftKey.

    3. Prefer swiftkey. However, on the N7 I am unable to do offline voice dictation. I’m not even sure if JB keyboard is configurable. Also its missing arrow keys and having to constantly switch to numeric is annoying.

  5. It’s prediction engine is nowhere near SwiftKey’s yet. Nor its auto correct. SwiftKey FTW :p

    1. Not even close. I’ve been on jelly bean for a week now and I tried to us the jb keyboard for like 3 days. It doesn’t even come close to the predictions and auto correct capabilities provided by SwiftKey. Also it looks wayyy better than just stock. I just spelled this sentence totally wrong it automatically corrected all my mistake ;-). On thing miss from the stock keyboard is the word by word voice dictation.

    2. Other than me missing the voice to text the stock keyboard has, swiftkey has it all. I especially cant live without the swipe to delete the last word gesture.

  6. I have been using the JB keyboard since release. being an old swype guy, this speaks volumes!!! I love the jelly bean keyboard. I have also tried swift key and like it a lot I just want to experience a full stock experience for a while!

  7. Just installed SwiftKey trial. Not bad.

  8. What ever happened to BlindType which Google bought out a couple months ago. Their demo of their keyboard at the time was out if this world. Maybe Google has something cooking up their sleeves for later.

    1. “a couple months ago” – Try “years”.

  9. I used SwiftKey for a while but I don’t know if I messed up some setting u can’t find or if it’s a bug. If I miss the first letter of a word it will never predict the right word or even offer it as a choice. I used SwiftKey for a long time but Jellybean broke mine.

  10. I tried it for a day and went back to SwiftKey. Mainly because of the predictions. Sometimes it can predict almost all of the words. It is hard to beat.

  11. No one has mentioned the prediction that swype uses now. It’s pretty accurate AND gives you the flexibility of tapping or swiping. Their voice to text opens very fast and is accurate. SK uses Google voice to text.
    I still switch between that and SwiftKey.

  12. tried using the stock jb keyboard on my nexus 7 for 5 days but SwiftKey is still the better keyboard out if the two.

  13. I HATE Swiftkey

  14. not a soul mentioned it by I use FlexT9 keyboard … (swype like function) great predictive and the voice recognition has been pretty spot on … last error was I said I did fine … it typed I did find … but that stuff is going to happen

  15. Only thing i miss from the ICS keyboard is the symbols suggestion. In order to see them, one must turn off the prediction which also turns off auto correction. Meaning if i misspell a word and hit the space key, it stays misspelled unless i choose the correct spelled word. It bugs me because im a punctuation nerd. See how I’m stayed at im?

  16. I like the stock keyboard better. It is simple and less cluttered. Plus, the voice function works better, as it does not block my view as I am dictating. Prediction is better in swiftkey than stock but I barely use it and I find it slower to use. I rather type the whole thing and have the autocorrect fix any spelling errors.

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