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iOS 8 QuickType: Apple’s SwiftKey-esque predictive keyboard – UPDATED

A standout feature of iOS 8 heading our way is QuickType, a predictive keyboard that’s sure to speed up texting and make everyone’s Tweets less typo-laden. 

When you’re writing a message, QuickType predicts the next word you’re going to use and helpfully suggests it to you. 

Not only should this see you blast through messages in no time at all, you should also be less prone to making spelling errors and falling afoul of Apple’s tenacious autocorrect. 

iOS 8 QuickType: Apple’s SwiftKey-esque predictive keyboard
QuickType does what is says on the tin – speeds up your typing

But that’s not all QuickType does. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering said: “It’s context sensitive. For instant in messages, if someone asks you ‘Do you want to go to dinner or a movie?’ it’s going to suggest ‘dinner’ or ‘movie’. 

“And it’s personalised, so it learns how you type, to different people in different apps. So maybe you’re communicating with a co-worker. It’s going to say what the meeting was, ‘cancelled,’ ‘rescheduled,’ or ‘moved’ in formal terms. But if you’re communicating with someone else and you have a different communication style, you might get the meeting was ‘epic’ or ‘awesome’ or a ‘snoozer’ because it learns how you type.” 

We can’t wait. The basic iOS keyboard has been due an overhaul for a long time now. Quite a long time really. 

If you’re an avid Android fan and you’re watching WWDC, you’re probably sitting at home thinking you’ve seen this somewhere before. 

iOS 8 QuickType: Apple’s SwiftKey-esque predictive keyboard
Does this look familiar to you? Hit up any of the links below, let us know your thoughts in the comments…

And you’d be right to think that – QuickType looks awfully similar to SwiftKey, the genius predictive text system which we’ve been raving about since 2010. We called it the ‘Google Instant of text messaging’ once it emerged from beta and landed on Android Market – it was a big deal back when Google Play was still called Android Market, which just goes to show how long it’s taken Apple to catch up. 

Just like Apple QuickType, SwiftKey gets a handle for how you construct sentences, saves particular words you use and 

Since then, we’ve seen a tablet-friendly version, the typo-crunching SwiftKey Flow upgrade and more recently SwiftKey Cloud, which saves all of your personalised vernacular in the cloud, so whichever device you use, your SwiftKey experience will, to paraphrase Ace Ventura, fit like a glove. You can even get SwiftKey on the Nokia X

You can download SwiftKey from Google Play now. and iOS 8 will be out in the UK in Autumn. Check out our full round-up of iOS 8’s features and compatible devices for more info.

Update: SwiftKey founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock got in touch to give us the following statement:
“We’re delighted Apple has decided to embrace the importance of opening its platform to third party keyboards. For more than four years, SwiftKey has pioneered faster, easier typing on touchscreens, leading the industry with next-word prediction and smarter autocorrection.

“Our technology features on more than 200 million devices to date and we can’t wait to reach more. We first brought a taste of our technology to iOS in January this year with the launch of the free note-taking app SwiftKey Note.

“Are we going to build SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS 8? Of course we are. We’ve already started.”
 

 

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