Features & Use
I’ve tested many different keyboards and input methods, but I always end up sticking with the good old trustworthy default Android keyboard. That’s why I was a bit skeptical when I took my first look at SwiftKey. Judging from the app’s description, the app seemed suspiciously amazing.
To summarize what SwiftKey can do: SwiftKey X Beta (Phone) recognizes your writing style and can predict entire sentences.
After installing the app, an assistant will guide you through the first important steps. You can download dictionaries for up to 3 languages and have them activated simultaneously. SwiftKey automatically recognizes which language you are typing in – a vital feature for multilingual users.
On top of that, the app can also create a customized dictionary based on your Facebook statuses, emails, tweets and text messages. That’s how SwiftKey manages to learn and memorize your writing style in entire sentences.
The more you use SwiftKey, the better it gets at guessing what you are trying to type. Even if you have big fingers and find it hard to type on the on-screen keyboard, SwiftKey tries to adjust to your typing precision. Well before you start typing, SwiftKey suggest starting off each sentence with “I”. Just for fun I entered the first sentence that was suggested and the app came up with “I am a beautiful person”. As you can see, SwiftKey manages to create coherent sentences all on its own.
After weeks of use, I can say that SwiftKey saves me a ton of time. A quick look at the statistics listed in the app’s settings show that my typing efficiency has improved by 33% and I’ve saved myself 1791 key strokes.
The ability to predict entire sentences isn’t the only thing that makes SwiftKey special. Long pressing the 123 key opens up an extra keyboard with smilies, symbols and arrow keys. The arrow keys are especially useful for navigating in a text on devices without a trackball.
Take a quick look at the advanced section of the settings and you’ll find options that make SwiftKey even more personalized. Here you can adjust what happens when you press the space bar: either it just creates a space, completes a word or inserts the next predicted text.
The sound and haptic feedback from typing can also be adjusted in the settings. There are also two different background themes: light and dark.
Depending on how long it’s been used, SwiftKey can save you a lot of time with typing. Having used it regularly, my keyboard can know predict entire sentences! The fact that SwiftKey supports multiple languages is awesome for someone like me who is constantly switching between different languages. SwiftKey is an app that I can’t see myself getting rid of.
Screen & Controls
Using this keyboard is both easy and intuitive. Unlike many other keyboards, SwiftKey X Beta (Phone) comes with an assistant that thoroughly how to personalize and set up your keyboard even for the most inexperienced Android users.
Speed & Stability
Despite the Beta status, SwiftKey X Beta (Phone) runs perfectly without any problems or glitches.
SwiftKey X Beta (Phone) can be downloaded for free from the Android Market. The beta version is up and runnning until August 14th 2011. Aftter that point you'll have to invest $2 - a good and fair price for a decent product.