Good news, SwiftKey fans.
The folk behind the ever-popular Android keyboard have today announced SwiftKey Flow, which it’s billing as a “new approach to typing”, combining the predictive capabilities of SwiftKey’s main engine with the ability to glide your finger across the screen to type words.
Just to recap, SwiftKey offers up a smart replacement keyboard to the one that comes bundled with the Android OS, one that learns how you use language in to offer one of the best predictive typing systems out there.
It can also be improved by allowing access to a user’s SMS, email, Facebook and Twitter archives. So when writing a text, email or tweet, this profile is used to correct typos in context, predict a word as it is being traced, or suggest the most likely next word in a sentence.
Back in April, we reported that SwiftKey‘s smart Android keyboard plug-in was taking another leap forward, with the beta launch of a new version that means you’ll probably never need to use the spacebar again. This followed the SwiftKey SDK launch, which sought to bring its smart keyboard to almost any device.
Now, SwiftKey is bringing gesture input to its Android keyboard with Flow.
It seems that the new feature announced for the next version will offer a new take on “continuous input”, with real-time prediction as a user begins to ‘flow’ a word on the keys. This allows the word to be inserted by simply letting go of the screen as soon as it’s ‘predicted’, so no extra taps or scrolls are needed. In addition, the user will still be able to select relevant next-word predictions based on SwiftKey’s prior knowledge of their writing habits. If this all sounds similar to Swype’s hold-and-Swipe functionality, well, that’s because it is.
SwiftKey Flow will still support the traditional multi-touch tapping as well as gliding, meaning you can switch between the two modes as desired.
The new feature won’t be available quite yet though, as it will be beta tested with its VIP community in the coming weeks. If you’re keen to participate, you can sign up here.
“We know our users have different tastes and habits – this way they’ll get to choose what style of writing suits them best without compromising the power of the predictions,” says SwiftKey CEO Jon Reynolds. “We’ve been hard at work on SwiftKey Flow over the last year and it’s great to finally be able to give you a sneak peek. I’m confident our users will be blown away once they get their hands on it.”
The London-based company recently celebrated hitting 10 million downloads of its original SwiftKey app, and has featured highly in the Google Play charts in dozens of countries, with availability in 44 languages.
Meanwhile, check out our interview with SwiftKey CMO Joe Braidwood at the Dublin Web Summit last week, where he discusses SwiftKey Flow, among other things.
Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock