The developers of the popular SwiftKey keyboard for Google Android devices launched a private beta of a new version of their app last week. This week the private beta ends and a public beta begins. You can download SwiftKey X Beta for free from the Android Market.
SwiftKey’s claim to fame is a high-powered text prediction system which not only guesses what you’re trying to type before you finish a word — it can even guess what word you’ll type next. The new software also includes the ability to personalize your text prediction by examining your Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter data.
Other new features include a new installer and redesigned settings menu, lower battery usage, new navigation keys, and a new dark theme.
I tested out the private beta last week, and while I’m impressed with some of the things SwiftKey X brings to the table, I also found the keys were too close together when using the dark theme, which led to more typos. I also found that the text prediction was a little too insistent at times, often auto-completing words I hadn’t meant to type. But this is the type of app that gets better the more you use it, and if you have the patience to stick with it, you may find yourself typing much faster with SwiftKey X than with the stock keyboard.
SwiftKey X is free while in beta and supports phones running Android 2.1 and up. The company will likely begin charging for the software once the beta test ends.