SwiftKey is an input method for Android devices such as smartphones and tablets. SwiftKey uses a blend of artificial intelligence technologies that enable it to predict the next word the user intends to type. SwiftKey learns from previous SMS messages and output predictions based on currently input text and what it has learned.
The company behind SwiftKey was founded in 2008 by Jon Reynolds and Dr Ben Medlock. It now has over 100 staff, its head office in Southwark, London, and other offices in San Francisco, US and Seoul, South Korea.
SwiftKey has been described as being part of a trend towards "magical computing" by technology writer Om Malik.
The Prediction Engine used allows SwiftKey to learn from usage and improve predictions. This feature allows the tool improve with usage, learning from SMS, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and an RSS feed.
Currently supported languages:
- English (AU)
- English (CA)
- English (UK)
- English (US)
- French (CA)
- French (FR)
- Japanese (Only for Swiftkey VIP users)
- Persian (Farsi)
- Portuguese (BR)
- Portuguese (PT)
- Spanish (ES)
- Spanish (Latin America)
- Spanish (US)
SwiftKey was first released as a beta in the Android Market on July 14, 2010 supporting seven languages. It included a variety of settings to adjust audio feedback volume and length of haptic feedback vibration. It was announced on SwiftKey's official website on May 15, 2014 that a Japanese version is out on beta. People registered on SwiftKey VIP can download the beta version.
On July 14, 2011, SwiftKey X was released to the Android Market as an upgrade to SwiftKey. Along with new and updated features, SwiftKey X introduced a dedicated app for tablets, called SwiftKey Tablet X. The updates included:
- a new artificial intelligence engine to predict phrases and learn how the user writes
- a cloud-based personalization service which analyzes how the user types in Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, and text messages to predict phrases in the user's style
- a technology that continually monitors the user's typing precision and adapts the touch-sensitive area of the touch screen for each key
- simultaneous use of multiple languages; this allows users to type in up to three languages at once, with auto-correction that is language-aware
- split key layout on SwiftKey Tablet X to improve thumb typing while using a larger touchscreen
- additional language support
- new themes.
The SwiftKey 3 update was released on June 21, 2012, including:
- Smart Space - this detects spurious or missing spaces in real time
- enhanced user interface, with a larger space bar and smart punctuation key
- two new themes ('Cobalt' and 'Holo')
- additional language support.
The SwiftKey 4 update was released on February 20, 2013, including:
- SwiftKey Flow - a gesture input method with real-time predictions
- Flow Through Space - gesture input whole sentences by gliding to the spacebar
- an enhanced prediction engine
- additional language support taking the total to 60
- SwiftKey 4.2 introduced SwiftKey Cloud allowing users to backup and sync their language behavior, plus Trending Phrases, a feature adding the phrases causing a buzz on Twitter and localized news sites.
SwiftKey for iOS
Swiftkey released an iOS application on January 30, 2014 called Swiftkey Note, that incorporates its predictive typing technology as a custom toolbar attached to the top of the regular iOS keyboard.
After iOS 8 is released in the second half of 2014 third party keyboards will be allowed, so Swiftkey is working on a keyboard replacement app.
On February 27, 2012 the SwiftKey SDK was launched. This allows developers on multiple platforms and programming languages to access SwiftKey's core language-engine technology for their own UI or virtual keyboard.
In June 2012 SwiftKey released a specialized version of its keyboard called SwiftKey Healthcare. It is a virtual keyboard for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices that offers next-word predictions based on real-world clinical data. In October 2012 SwiftKey Healthcare won the Appsters Award for Best Enterprise App 2012.
SwiftKey has received many awards since its release in 2010.
- Meffy Award for mobile innovation 2013
- Appsters Champion and Best Consumer App 2013
- Lovie Award People's Lovie for mobile innovation 2013
- Most Effective Mobile Application - b2c, Mobile Marketing Magazine 2010
- Community Choice, AppCircus at DroidCon 2010
- CTIA E-Tech Award 2011, CTIA 2011
- Jury Award, Mobile Premier Awards 2011 Winners of AppCircus Events
- Most Innovative App at the Global Mobile Awards, Mobile World Congress 2012
- The People's Voice Webby Award for Experimental and Innovation 2012
- Best Startup Business, Guardian Innovation Awards 2012
Many third-party virtual keyboard applications support Android, including A.I.type Keyboard, Adaptxt, Flexpansion, GO Keyboard, KeyPoint Technologies Swype, Thumb Keyboard, SlideIT, Smart Keyboard, Minuum Keyboard, Multiling Keyboard, and O Keyboard.
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