The famed third-party Android keyboard is back in beta ahead of its arrival as a fully formed update: SwiftKey 4.2. Currently in open testing, the new version of SwiftKey is arguably shaping up to be the biggest release since the keyboard started to pull attention following its initial launch some two years ago.
There are a ton of new features that SwiftKey’s creators will hope will set it a cut above the competition, highlighted by three key new elements. Long-time SwiftKey users will be most thankful for the debut of the new SwiftKey Cloud service; allowing, for the first time, users the ability to store their unique writing styles, nuances, words and phrases to the cloud so that they can be accessed across multiple devices from a single account.
Part two of the 4.2 update heralds the debut of Trending Phrases – a feature that will actually change the predictions made by SwiftKey based on current social tends (e.g. Royal Baby). The system will scour social networks like Twitter and other new sources and suggested words or phrases can change daily so that predictions always remain current.
Those who’ve used SwiftKey before will also be pleased to know that the personalisation setup has been reworked and streamlined. The keyboard can learn from your Google services, Facebook, Twitter, your text messages and now Yahoo Mail alongside your RSS feeds too. Not only does this allow for more accurate suggestions based on your specific use of language, but the process to assimilate this information is faster to carry out too, without the need to input account details each time.
SwiftKey co-founder and CTO Dr Ben Medlock explained that, “The words and phrases that matter to you are intelligently updated across all your devices and kept safe in case you upgrade your phone or it is lost or stolen. Every day, SwiftKey will be in tune with your world, ready to offer predictions for the news events, sporting fixtures or celebrities that are getting people talking where you are. What’s more, through enhanced personalization, SwiftKey Cloud gets to know you better than ever before -- and you can enable this all with a single tap. ”
Those interested in getting their hands on the latest SwiftKey beta ahead of its completed release will have to join the growing number of SwiftKey VIP users (currently standing at just above 104,000 users) over at vip.swiftkey.net. For everyone else, you won’t have to wait long for these intriguing new features to grace you smartphone’s smart keyboard.