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Swiftkey vs. Android L : keyboards compared

Among one of the many new features in the next version of Android, a new keyboard is on the list. For those who are finicky with the way their keyboard words, the question is then clear: will the new keyboard be on par with one of the crowd favorites, SwiftKey? Check out our comparison for more information!

SwiftKey vs androidl
© AndroidPIT

Note: While the Android L keyboard was available in the Play Store for a short time, Google has removed it. It can still be found in APK form on the XDA Developers Forum.


The first difference that will be noticed is the design of both keyboards. SwiftKey divides each letter through what can be considered virtual keys while the keyboard on Android L makes no visual separation between the letters. This does make the Android L keyboard a little bit more neat and organized when viewed side by side.

Android L keyboard on the left and SwiftKey on the right. / © AndroidPIT

Both keyboards offers suggestions when you’re typing that appear above the letters and both have the ability to do voice input. The other design differences are minimal comparatively: SwiftKey is presented in a slightly darker shared of gray and both use shades of green for a touch of color on the keyboards.


While in the design aspect, the Android L keyboard seems much cleaner, it is SwiftKey that takes the cake when it comes to personalization. SwiftKey offers extensive possibilities to customize the keyboard to your own preference including different themes, button design, and even input methods. With the Android L keyboard, Google only allows users to choose between the settings that affect the placement of text, word suggestions, or changing the key layout from QWERTY to QWERTZ.  

© AndroidPIT

Special Functions

Maybe it’s because the Android L keyboard is still not in its final state (hopefully this is true), but it currently doesn’t hold up well when looking at special functions. SwiftKey allows users to use up to three language simultaneously, while with the Android L keyboard you need to switch from one language to another by hitting the world shaped icon.  

© AndroidPIT

The Android L keyboard does get some points for offering multiple suggestions of for words when you choose one of the suggestions. In SwiftKey, you can do a long hold on a suggested word to delete it entirely from your dictionary, handy for recurring false recommendations.

© AndroidPIT


As for the speed and efficiency of both keyboards, there wasn’t much difference in our tests for the two. Both seem very fast and intuitive at suggesting words.


Undoubtedly, SwiftKey still reigns supreme when it comes to keyboards available to Android devices. The reasons being the wide range of customization and advanced options that allows users to have more freedom with their choice for keyboard. The Android L keyboard does offer a cleaner design, but doesn’t offer much other than that. For those who enjoy a toned down keyboard, it may just do the job. However, we can only hope that the final version of this keyboard when it is released will see a bit more features and options in it. 

SwiftKey Keyboard Install on Google Play



Write new comment:
  • Hi Kevin,

    Thank you for pointing that out. SwiftKey has a set of minimal themes that look pretty close to the new Android L keyboard theme plus many more.

  • If you go into SwiftKey themes, you have the option to select themes such as "Minimal Dark Grey" (I'm using Minimal Black) - which removes the separation between the keys just as in the L keyboard. Then of course, you have all the other customization options within SwiftKey as well. It's no contest, sorry.

  • im not using Swiftkey so often because its too slow now, it lags, as compared to my stock Note 3 Keyboard, wich its unconfortable but faster...

    • Hi Byron,

      We are aware of the lag with SK 5.X and are addressing it with high priority. Keep the faith. =]

  • kss imkum Jul 14, 2014 Link to comment

    Earth to swiftkey. Or maybe to me? I have a problem with precession typing with it. Never able to type lower raw letters without pressing the spacebar .. So ditched for the better TouchPal keyboard!

    • Hi,

      I'm not sure what you mean about lower raw letters? Can you provide some more context. I'd be happy to answer your questions.

  • Mark Rgs Jul 13, 2014 Link to comment

    I've actually ditched Swiftkey in preference to the android L keyboard I just find it so much better in predicting and speed compared to Swiftkey.

  • Mark Rgs Jul 13, 2014 Link to comment

    I've actually ditched Swiftkey in preference to the android L keyboard I just find it so much better in predicting and speed compared to Swiftkey.

  • John Kerr Jul 13, 2014 Link to comment

    I've gone back and forth between Swiftkey and either KitKat and now the Google L keyboard. Now matter how I set the config Swiftkey has been adding a space between some words and two spaces between others in a random fashion that is pretty annoying.
    Using L keyboard now and it works well.

    • Hi John,

      Sorry you are experiencing this issue. Can you please shoot over an email to and our support staff will be in touch with you about this issue.

  • Bojan M. Jul 13, 2014 Link to comment

    Oh my, I have so many problems with this text, I don't know where to start! You can't compare these two! The difference is so huge, it's almost as comparing Photoshop and Paint (I said almost). It's pretty obvious which one is Paint here.

    Then, I so don't know what's up with those people getting in ecstasy whenever google releases something new. Like something that looks as if it was developed for windows 3.1 or similar and all go crazy how cool it is. Really?

    "This does make the Android L keyboard a little bit more neat and organized when viewed side by side." No, it does not, for anyone that has eyes, especially not better organized.

    "the Android L keyboard seems much cleaner" oh, you mean dumbed down plain win 3.1 looks? Yeah, you're right.

    Special functions? There's not much of those with any keyboard app, but lameboard doesn't actually have any.

    Comparing lameboard to SwiftKey, when it is incomparable to even keyboards OEMs release with their software, it's funny. A completely pointless text.

    • For something which is not final build, android L keyboard is pretty good. I know comparing Swiftkey with Android L keyboard doesnt make sense but the comparison with other kwyboards like Swype has already been done and this was the only comparison remaining which has been done too.

  • I was using the swiftkey as my favorite keyboard. What I don't like about it is that it doesn't have the numbers arranged as on the galaxy S5. you can stay on the keyboard on your S5 and put in your number directly without long pressing or changing to number mode. If swiftkey can arrange the numbers by themselves on the keyboard it will stay be my favorite because it is predictive than the android keywords.

  • Swiftkey has been running slow and bloated ever since it went free. I've uninstalled it as it was stalling and taking forever to type or pop up. Now I use TouchPal X. It's what Swiftkey used to be like before it went to crap. Also has some great themes and features.

    • Hi Krystal,

      I'm Ryan and part of the Community Team at SwiftKey. We are aware of the performance issues and are addressing this with high priority and will be fixed in a future update.

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