SwiftKey is an input method for Android and iOS 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 160 staff, its head office in Southwark, London, and other offices in San Francisco, US and Seoul, South Korea.
The Prediction Engine used allows SwiftKey to learn from usage and improve predictions. This feature allows the tool to improve with usage, learning from SMS, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and an RSS feed.
Currently supported languages:
- Chinese (Simplified)
- Chinese (Traditional)
- English (AU)
- English (CA)
- English (UK)
- English (US)
- French (CA)
- French (FR)
- 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.
The SwiftKey 5 update was released in June 2014, including:
- Freemium transition - the app dropped its pricetag to be free to download
- SwiftKey Store - Theme store of free and paid-for color schemes for the app
- Emoji - 800 emoji added plus Emoji Prediction feature which learns to predict relevant emoji icons
- Number Row option added in response to customer requests
- New languages including Belarusian, Mongolian, Tatar, Uzbek and Welsh added
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 was released in the second half of 2014 third party keyboards are now allowed, SwiftKey confirmed it was working on a keyboard replacement app.
SwiftKey for iPhone
SwiftKey Keyboard for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch launched in September 2014 to coincide with the launch of Apple's iOS8 update. It was unveiled at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.
The app includes the word prediction and autocorrection features familiar to the Android product, SwiftKey Cloud backup and sync and personalization, and a choice of color themes.
It reached No 1 in the free US App Store charts and the company confirmed it had been downloaded more than 1 million times on the first day of launch.
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, including:
- "Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 2014 ranked 3rd place"
- Meffy Award for life tools 2014
- 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
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- "SwiftKey the clairvoyant keyboard raises 17.6 million Forbes. Retrieved 2013-26-09
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- Myriam Joire (2011-7-14). "SwiftKey X virtual keyboard launches for Android tablets, we go hands-on (video)". engadget.com. Retrieved 2012-10-10
- Stephen Shankland (2012-6-21). "For better Android typing: SwiftKey 3". cnet.com. Retrieved 2010-10-4
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- "Popular paid Android keyboard SwiftKey goes free for all" CNET. Retrieved 2014-11-26
- "SwiftKey gets its predictive keyboard onto iOS, with a little help from Evernote". The Verge. 2014-01-30. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
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- Natasha Lomas. "SwiftKey Shows Off Its iOS 8 Keyboard For The First Time". TechCrunch.com. Retrieved 2014-11-26
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- David Needle (2012-6-21). "New SwiftKey 3 for Android speeds touchscreen typing; special healthcare version for iOS as well also released". tabtimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-10
- SwiftKey Healthcare - Best Enterprise App 2012. the-appsters.com. Retrieved 2012-10-10
- "SwiftKey Shows Off Its iOS 8 Keyboard For The First Time". TechCrunch.com. Retrieved 2014-11-26
- "Meffy's 2014 finalists". Meffys.com. Retrieved 2014-11-26
- Meffys 2013 winners announced Meffys.com Retrieved 2013-12-23
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-  SwiftKey blog. Retrieved 2013-12-23
- Mobile Marketing Magazine > Awards > 2010 Winners. mobilemarketingmagazine.com. Retrieved 2012-9-20
- (2010-11-3). "The London droid community choose – Swiftkey – APPCircus@Droidcon winner". appcircus.com. Retrieved 2012-9-20
- Cosmin Vasile (2011-3-24). "CTIA 2011: SwiftKey Tablet Android App Receives the E-Tech Award". news.softpedia.com. Retrieved 2012-10-10
- Mobile Premier Awards - Meet the winners of the global AppCircus 2011 tour!. mobilepremierawards.com. Retrieved 2012-9-20
- Marie Domingo (2012-2-28). "SwiftKey Wins Most Innovative Mobile App at Global Mobile Awards 2012". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-9-20
- Webby Awards. webbyawards.com. Retrieved 2012-9-20
- "Guardian Awards for Digital Innovation - winners 2012". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-9-20