SwiftKey Neural could take everybody’s favorite keyboard app to the next level


Joining the list of SwiftKey’s recent Greenhouse projects like Hexy Launcher and Clarity Keyboard Beta is the all new SwiftKey Neural. It’s essentially the same SwiftKey you know and love, but with a little twist. SwiftKey calls it “the world’s first” smartphone keyboard to use an artificial neural network to help make more accurate predictions and much fewer “damn you auto-correct” moments. After trying it for ourselves, we must say we were quite impressed. Even in this early alpha state, it seems SwiftKey may have found that special something to take their keyboard app to the next level.

SwiftKey Neural comparison ngram

Similar to the way Google’s knowledge graph works, the SwiftKey Neural now knows the context of what you’re typing as you type it, pulling up more meaningful predictions based on that. It’s different from keyboard apps using traditional “n-gram” technology to predict the likelihood of your next word based on common phrases or things you’ve typed previously. With SwiftKey Neural, it understands word similarity, analyses longer sentence context, and understands complex word relationships. Needless to say, it’s no easy feat.

Neural networks relies heavily on computational resources which, up until now, were only possible via large servers. Because all of this is now operating locally inside the keyboard app — sometimes even employing the use of the GPU for extra help — you’re going to need a device with a powerful processor in order to keep up.

We’re extremely excited to see what comes next, and are hoping Neural will soon be integrated into SwiftKey proper. Pending a future beta release, of course. For more on how Neural Networks makes for better word predictions, check out SwiftKey’s infograph here or the video down below. For everyone else, you can find SwiftKey Neural Alpha available right now for free in the Google Play Store.

Thanks, Bo!

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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