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SwiftKey X for Android public beta: Predictive text system learns your lingo from your Facebook, Twitter and Gmail

There’s a lot of X-citement in the air right now. X-Men First Class hits UK cinemas next week, Cheryl Cole has been booted from the X Factor in the US (or has she?) and now there’s SwiftKey X.

SwiftKey X is the new version of the popular predictive text method for Android phones. In development for six months, it’ll shortly be it’s now available to download from the Android Market as a public beta.

If you’ve not used or heard of SwiftKey before, we suggest that you have a watch of the video at the bottom of the page, or read up on it here and here.

In a nutshell, SwiftKey is a magical predictive text system that guesses the next word in the sentence you’re putting together. We compared the original version to Google Instant when we first got hold it last year and reckon that the comparison stands up. It’s so accurate, you might think that your Android phone is reading your mind…

Mind reader?

Unlike Charles Xavier, SwiftKey X can’t read your mind – it instead reads your SMS, Facebook, Twitter and Gmail history to get a hold on your vernacular, thereby offering more accurate predictions.

By comparison, the first generation of SwiftKey only learnt your vocab from your text messages. SwiftKey X now offers predictions more suited to the 140 character limitations of Twitter and adopt your manner of email and Facebook speak.

Naturally, SwiftKey X won’t be access any of this unless you give it permission to – it’s very much an opt-in thing.

If you don’t want it to scan your text and Facebook history then that’s fine. SwiftKey X supports over 17 languages, including good old UK English, and will learn your favourite words as you go. So the more you use it, the more accurate its predictions will be.

Another new addition to SwiftKey X is that it offers two typing styles depending on the type of user you are. If you’re a hunt-and-peck kind of texter you should opt for the ‘Precise’ typing style, which will offer corrections and next words faster. If you prefer to just hammer out messages and let SwiftKey X auto-correct things for you, you should opt for the ‘Rapid’ setting.

SwiftKey X features a pair of visual themes to choose from (light and dark) with more themes and colour settings in the pipeline.

Another neat new feature is optional arrow keys. These move the carat/cursor around the text input field and are designed to work with phones that don’t have a trackpad/trackball a la Desire HD and Nexus One.

SwiftKey X will be free for existing SwiftKey customers

Like we said, SwiftKey X is a public beta available to download now from the Android Market for free. Once the beta testing phase is over it’ll be made available to buy.

The original SwiftKey costs £1.23. We imagine that pricing of SwiftKey X will be around the same amount.

The good news for existing SwiftKey owners is that once X gets priced up in the Market, you’ll be able to get it as a free upgrade. That’s a nice way of saying thanks to early adopters out there; you get all of this cool stuff we’ve just described above for nothing.

Hit up the links below to download the SwiftKey X beta on your Android phone and, if you’ve not done so already, check out the original version.


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