Dec 12th, 2013

SwiftKey fans are in for yet another big treat today, as a new beta update is now available for those who like being on cutting edge software. This is version 4.5, bringing with it over 500 new emojis for users to sink their teeth into. Almost anything you could think of will be represented here, and it’ll be accessible to you in a way that only SwiftKey could bring it.

SwiftKey Layouts for Living 2

They’ve leveraged their powerful suggestion and prediction engine to help you find the emoji you need, when you need it. For instance, when you’re typing the word “pizza” in, a pizza slice emoji will show up in the suggestion box, allowing you to insert it right there if you want to express your thought in a more fun way.

  • Classic emoji: Choose from more than 500 emoji across five categories: people, objects, nature, places and symbols.
  • Emoji word match:  As you type one of hundreds of key words, you can opt to be offered emoji predictions in the candidate bar. For example, typing “Santa” will offer you a Christmas emoji in addition to word predictions.
  • Emoji contextual predictions: SwiftKey 4.5 will learn from your personal use to suggest emoji you regularly use. For example, if you regularly include an emoji after an individual’s name, SwiftKey can learn to predict it, just for you.

SwiftKey offers up the following warning for folks, as different devices might produce different results:

As is always the case, the appearance of emoji can vary between different versions of Android and different apps. Emoji are only supported on Android Jellybean and KitKat (4.1 and later) and SwiftKey uses the system emoji font which is black and white in Jellybean and color in KitKat.

Some apps (including WhatsApp) render the emoji within messages with app-specific fonts, often the same as seen on Apple devices. Google Hangouts uses the same colour emoji font as KitKat. This means that although the meaning remains the same, the actual images may vary between apps and between the sending and receiving device.

Beyond all that, SwiftKey now offers an optional, dedicated number row for folks on bigger devices, so you won’t have to hunt and peck just to type in a number or two anymore.

All these settings are optional, so if you aren’t an emoji person you won’t have to be bombarded with suggestions to use them around every turn. It shouldn’t be long before this thing graduates to the Google Play Store, but if you want it now you can grab it by heading to the SwiftKey beta site.