SwiftKey

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SwiftKey
SwiftKey Logo.png
Original author(s)
  • Jon Reynolds
  • Dr Ben Medlock
Developer(s) Swiftkey (Subsidiary of Microsoft)
Initial release July 2010; 6 years ago (2010-07)
Development status Active
Operating system iOS, Android
Size 61.2 MB (iOS)
Available in 180+ languages
Type Virtual keyboard
License Proprietary software
Alexa rank Increase 21,662[1]
Website swiftkey.com

SwiftKey is an input method for Android and iOS devices, such as smartphones and tablets. SwiftKey uses a blend of artificial intelligence technologies that enable it to predict the next word the user intends to type.[2] SwiftKey learns from previous SMS messages and outputs predictions based on currently inputted text and what it has learned.

The company behind SwiftKey was founded in 2008 by Jon Reynolds, Dr Ben Medlock[3] and Chris Hill-Scott.[4] It employs a staff of over 100 people. Its head office is at the Microsoft offices in Paddington, London, and other offices are located in San Francisco, US, and Seoul, South Korea.[3]

In September 2013, SwiftKey announced a series B finance round totaling $17.5 million and led by Index Ventures along with Octopus Investments and Accel Partners.[5]

In February 2016, SwiftKey was purchased by Microsoft, for $250 million.[6][7][8][9]

Software

The Prediction Engine used allows SwiftKey to learn from usage and improve predictions.[10] This feature allows the tool to improve with usage,[10] learning from SMS, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and an RSS feed.

For Android a maximum of five languages can be used simultaneously. Currently supported languages:

  • Afrikaans
  • Akan (Twi)
  • Albanian
  • Arabic
  • Aragonese
  • Armenian
  • Assamese
  • Asturian
  • Azerbaijani
  • Bambara
  • Bashkir
  • Basque
  • Belarusian
  • Bengali
  • Bodo
  • Bosnian
  • Breton
  • Bulgarian
  • Burmese
  • Cantonese
  • Catalan
  • Cebuano
  • Chechen
  • Chichewa
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional, HK)
  • Chinese (Traditional, TW)
  • Chuvash
  • Cornish
  • Corsican
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dhivehi (Maldivian)
  • Dogri
  • Dutch (BE)
  • Dutch (NL)
  • English (AU)
  • English (CA)
  • English (UK)
  • English (US)
  • Esperanto
  • Estonian
  • Ewe
  • Faroese
  • Fijian
  • Finnish
  • French (CA)
  • French (FR)
  • Frisian
  • Friulian
  • Galician
  • Gallo
  • Georgian
  • German (CH)
  • German (DE)
  • Greek
  • Gujarati
  • Gujlish
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hausa
  • Hawaiian
  • Hebrew
  • Hiligaynon
  • Hindi
  • Hinglish
  • Hungarian
  • Icelandic
  • Igbo
  • Indonesian
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Javanese
  • Jèrriais
  • Joola-Fonyi
  • Kabardian
  • Kannada
  • Kashmiri
  • Kashubian
  • Kazakh
  • Khmer
  • Kikuyu
  • Kinyarwanda
  • Konkani
  • Konkani (Kannada)
  • Korean
  • Kurdish (Kurmanji)
  • Kurdish (Sorani)
  • Kyrgyz
  • Lao
  • Latvian
  • Lingala
  • Lithuanian
  • Low German
  • Luxembourgish
  • Macedonian
  • Maithili
  • Malagasy
  • Malay
  • Malayalam
  • Maltese
  • Manipuri
  • Manx
  • Maori
  • Maranao
  • Marathi
  • Marshallese
  • Mongolian
  • Mossi
  • Neo-Aramaic (Sureth)
  • Neo-Aramaic (Turoyo)
  • Nepali
  • N'ko
  • Northern Sotho
  • Norwegian (Bokmål)
  • Norwegian (Nynorsk)
  • Occitan
  • Oriya
  • Oromo
  • Papiamento (Aruba)
  • Papiamento (Curaçao)
  • Pashto
  • Persian (Farsi)
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (BR)
  • Portuguese (PT)
  • Punjabi
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Sanskrit
  • Santali
  • Scottish Gaelic
  • Serbian
  • Serbian (Cyrillic)
  • Sesotho
  • Sicilian
  • Sindhi (India)
  • Sindhi (Pakistan)
  • Sinhala
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Somali
  • Southern Ndebele
  • Spanish (ES)
  • Spanish (Latin America)
  • Spanish (US)
  • Sundanese
  • Swahili
  • Swati
  • Swedish
  • Syriac
  • Tagalog
  • Tajik
  • Tamazight (Tifinagh)
  • Tamil
  • Tatar
  • Telugu
  • Tetum
  • Thai
  • Tibetan
  • Tsonga
  • Tswana
  • Turkish
  • Turkmen
  • Udmurt
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Uyghur
  • Uzbek
  • Venda
  • Vietnamese
  • Walloon
  • Waray
  • Welsh
  • Xhosa
  • Yakut
  • Yiddish
  • Yoruba
  • Zulu

Versions

Beta

SwiftKey was first released as a beta in the Android Market on 14 July 2010, supporting seven languages. It included a variety of settings to adjust audio feedback volume and length of haptic feedback vibration. It was announced on SwiftKey's official website on 15 May 2014, that a Japanese version is out on beta. People registered on SwiftKey VIP were able to download the beta version.[10]

SwiftKey X

On 14 July 2011, SwiftKey X was released to the Android Market as an upgrade to SwiftKey. Along with new and updated features, SwiftKey X introduced a dedicated app for tablets, called SwiftKey Tablet X. The updates included:[11]

  • a new artificial intelligence engine, to predict phrases and learn the user's writing style
  • a cloud-based personalization service, which analyzes how the user types in Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, and text messages, to predict phrases in the user's style
  • a technology that continually monitors the user's typing precision and adapts the touch-sensitive area of the touch screen for each key
  • simultaneous use of multiple languages; this allows users to type in up to three languages at once, with auto-correction that is language-aware
  • split key layout on SwiftKey Tablet X, to improve thumb typing while using a larger touchscreen
  • additional language support
  • new themes

SwiftKey 3

The SwiftKey 3 update[12] was released on 21 June 2012, including:

  • Smart Space – this detects spurious or missing spaces in real time
  • enhanced user interface, with a larger space bar and smart punctuation key
  • two new themes ('Cobalt' and 'Holo')
  • additional language support

SwiftKey 4

The SwiftKey 4 update[13] was released on 20 February 2013, including:

  • SwiftKey Flow – a gesture input method with real-time predictions
  • Flow Through Space – a gesture to input whole sentences, by gliding to the spacebar
  • an enhanced prediction engine
  • additional language support, raising the total to 60
  • SwiftKey 4.2 introduced SwiftKey Cloud, allowing users to backup and sync their language behavior and software settings, plus Trending Phrases – a feature adding the phrases causing a buzz on Twitter and localized news sites

SwiftKey 5

The SwiftKey 5 update[14] was released in June 2014, including:

  • Freemium transition – the app dropped its price-tag to be free to download
  • SwiftKey Store – Theme store of free and paid-for color schemes for the app
  • Emoji – 800 emoji were added, plus Emoji Prediction feature, which learns to predict relevant emoji icons
  • Number Row (a row of number keys) option added, in response to customer requests
  • New languages, including Belarusian, Mongolian, Tatar, Uzbek and Welsh added

SwiftKey 6

The SwiftKey 6 update[14] was released in November 2015, including:

  • Double-Word Prediction which adds a new dimension to the predictions you see, predicting your next two words at once and helping you type faster than ever.
  • A redesign of the emoji panel, making it more accessible and speedy
  • A complete overhaul of the settings menu in the style of Material Design to make it easier to fine tune and customize the keyboard
  • 5 new languages added: Yoruba, Igbo, Zulu, Xhosa & Breton

SwiftKey for iOS

Swiftkey released an iOS application on 30 January 2014, called Swiftkey Note, that incorporates its predictive typing technology as a custom toolbar attached to the top of the regular iOS keyboard.[15]

Starting with iOS 8, released in the second half of 2014, the operating system enables and support third party keyboards use. SwiftKey confirmed that it was working on a keyboard replacement app.[16]

SwiftKey for iPhone

SwiftKey Keyboard for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch launched in September 2014 to coincide with the launch of Apple's iOS8 update. It was unveiled at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.[17]

The app includes the word prediction and autocorrection features, familiar to the Android product, SwiftKey Cloud backup and sync and personalization, and a choice of color themes.

It reached No. 1 in the free US App Store charts and the company confirmed it had been downloaded more than 1 million times on the first day of launch.[citation needed]

Further development

On 27 February 2012, the SwiftKey SDK was launched.[18] This allows developers on multiple platforms and programming languages to access SwiftKey's core language-engine technology for their own UI or virtual keyboard.[18]

In June 2012, SwiftKey released a specialized version of its keyboard called SwiftKey Healthcare. It is a virtual keyboard for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices that offers next-word predictions based on real-world clinical data.[19] In October 2012 SwiftKey Healthcare won the Appsters Award for Best Enterprise App 2012.[20]

In April 2016 SwiftKey released a keyboard that emulated William Shakespeare's speech called ShakeSpeak celebrating the 400th year of the author's death.[21] The app was co-developed with VisitLondon.com to promote more tourism to the metropolitan area of London.[22]

Awards

SwiftKey has received many awards, including:

  • "Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 2014 ranked 3rd place"[23]
  • Meffy Award for life tools 2014[24]
  • Meffy Award for mobile innovation 2013[25]
  • Appsters Champion and Best Consumer App 2013[26]
  • Lovie Award People's Lovie for mobile innovation 2013[27]
  • Most Effective Mobile Application - b2c, Mobile Marketing Magazine 2010[28]
  • Community Choice, AppCircus at DroidCon 2010[29]
  • CTIA E-Tech Award 2011, CTIA 2011[30]
  • Jury Award, Mobile Premier Awards 2011 Winners of AppCircus Events[31]
  • Most Innovative App at the Global Mobile Awards, Mobile World Congress 2012[32]
  • The People's Voice Webby Award for Experimental and Innovation 2012[33]
  • Best Startup Business, Guardian Innovation Awards 2012[34]
  • Coolest Tech Innovation, Europa Awards [35]
  • Lovie Award People's Lovie for mobile innovation 2013[27]

Competitors

SwiftKey Flow is similar in concept to Chrooma, Swype, Fleksy, SwipeIt, SlideIT, TouchPal, Adaptxt, ShapeWriter, Multiling O Keyboard, Sony Gesture Input, and Android 4.2 Gesture typing, all of which also involve tracing a path over letters on a virtual keyboard. A little different approach yet still similar in concept is found in MessagEase and Minuum.

Keyboards with optional tracing mode include HTC Touch Input, and Ultra Keyboard for Android.

Privacy concerns

As the SwiftKey software replaces the original keyboard on the device, any letters or words typed on it are intercepted, processed and could be transmitted over the network, thus, privacy concerns arise.[36]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Swiftkey site overview". Alexa. Alexa Internet, Inc. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  2. ^ Chris Yackulic (6 September 2010). "The Revolution of Keyboard Input Coming Very Swift-ly… with SwiftKey". androidheadlines.com. Retrieved 4 October 2012
  3. ^ a b SwiftKey - Our company. swiftkey.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  4. ^ SwiftKey’s co-founder sold his shares for a bicycle—and missed out on a share of $250 million. qz.com Retrieved 5 February 2016
  5. ^ "SwiftKey the clairvoyant keyboard raises 17.6 million Forbes. Retrieved 2013-26-09
  6. ^ "SwiftKey is joining Microsoft". SwiftKey Blog. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  7. ^ Butcher, Mike. "Microsoft Is Acquiring London’s AI-Driven SwiftKey For $250M". TechCrunch. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "Microsoft taps into AI with SwiftKey app acquisition". CNET. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "Swiftly purchased by Microsoft"
  10. ^ a b c Jerry Hildenbrand (14 July 2010). "SwiftKey beta keyboard now available on the Android Market". androidcentral.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  11. ^ Myriam Joire (14 July 2011). "SwiftKey X virtual keyboard launches for Android tablets, we go hands-on (video)". engadget.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012
  12. ^ Stephen Shankland (21 June 2012). "For better Android typing: SwiftKey 3". cnet.com. Retrieved 4 October 2010
  13. ^ Jaymar Cabebe (20 February 2012). "The best Android keyboard we've reviewed". cnet.com. Retrieved 20 February 2013
  14. ^ a b "Popular paid Android keyboard SwiftKey goes free for all" CNET. Retrieved 26 November 2014
  15. ^ "SwiftKey gets its predictive keyboard onto iOS, with a little help from Evernote". The Verge. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Swiftkey is Coming to iOS". 3 June 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Natasha Lomas. "SwiftKey Shows Off Its iOS 8 Keyboard For The First Time". TechCrunch.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014
  18. ^ a b James Trew (29 February 2012). "SwiftKey launches SDK, phones and tablets get more predictable". engadget.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  19. ^ David Needle (21 June 2012). "New SwiftKey 3 for Android speeds touchscreen typing; special healthcare version for iOS as well also released". tabtimes.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012
  20. ^ SwiftKey Healthcare - Best Enterprise App 2012. the-appsters.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012
  21. ^ Viswav, Pradeep (7 April 2016). "You can now text like Shakespeare with ShakeSpeak app by Microsoft’s SwiftKey.". MSPowerUser. 
  22. ^ RELEASE, PRESS (7 April 2016). "ShakeSpeak app lets Shakespeare fans text like the Bard.". Baltimore - Post-Examiner. 
  23. ^ "SwiftKey Shows Off Its iOS 8 Keyboard For The First Time". TechCrunch.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014
  24. ^ "Meffy's 2014 finalists". Meffys.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014
  25. ^ Meffys 2013 winners announced Meffys.com Retrieved 23 December 2013
  26. ^ Appsters 2013 winners announced ITProPortal article. Retrieved 23 December 2013
  27. ^ a b [1] SwiftKey blog. Retrieved 23 December 2013
  28. ^ Mobile Marketing Magazine > Awards > 2010 Winners. mobilemarketingmagazine.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  29. ^ (2010-11-3). "The London droid community choose – Swiftkey – [email protected] winner". appcircus.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  30. ^ Cosmin Vasile (24 March 2011). "CTIA 2011: SwiftKey Tablet Android App Receives the E-Tech Award". news.softpedia.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012
  31. ^ Mobile Premier Awards - Meet the winners of the global AppCircus 2011 tour!. mobilepremierawards.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  32. ^ Marie Domingo (28 February 2012). "SwiftKey Wins Most Innovative Mobile App at Global Mobile Awards 2012". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  33. ^ Webby Awards. webbyawards.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  34. ^ "Guardian Awards for Digital Innovation - winners 2012". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  35. ^ "The Europas Award Winners". theeuropas.com. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  36. ^ "How do you feel about privacy with Swift Key? I'm opting out of this app. • /r/iphone". reddit. Retrieved 2016-09-16. 

External links

  • Official site
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