SwiftKey is an alternate keyboard app for folks looking for something a little different from the keyboard that shipped with their phones. SwiftKey might not get as much attention as Swype, but that probably has something to do with the fact that Swype has worked out a deal with Samsung to bundle the app on all Samsung Galaxy S phones.
Unlike Swype though, the full version of SwiftKey is now available for purchase as a standalone download from the Android Market. It’s selling for a limited time £0.60, or about $0.94 US.
So how does it work? Basically SwiftKey features a standard looking keyboard with the added bonus of showing numbers and symbols on the keys as you type so it’s easier to figure out how to enter characters that aren’t letters. But SwiftKey’s real claim to fame is its text prediction technology which is far better than the built-in Android text prediction.
That’s because it doesn’t just offer suggestions for finishing a word you’re typing. It will actually offer suggestions for the next word because SwiftKey’s algorithm looks at which words often go together. So sometimes it will give you a suggestion before you even start typing a new word. For example, if you enter “I’m running” it might suggest “late.” The app also learns new words as you enter them to improve performance.
I still haven’t really gotten used to this kind of text prediction myself, because I’m usually focused on tapping keys to enter text instead of looking at the area above the keys to see which suggestions have popped up. But your results may vary. There are definitely some folks who swear by this one.
SwiftKey has been available as a free beta until recently, but it went on sale this week for less than a buck. That price should be good through September 30th, and then SwiftKey will start selling for $3.99. The app supports US and UK English, Dutch, German, French, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish.
You can check out a demo video after the break.