Earlier this year, popular Android alternative keyboard maker SwiftKey expanded to iOS with a note-taking app integrating the company’s gesture keyboard. And with Apple opening up iOS to systemwide third-party keyboard as part of iOS 8, SwiftKey is ready to expand its presence.
In a blog post and appearance at TechCrunch Disrupt last week, SwiftKey showed off its iOS 8 gesture keyboard and announced that it will launch alongside iOS 8 when the new operating system debuts tomorrow. In addition to allowing users to type by dragging their fingers from key to key and offering predictive suggestions, the keyboard will integrate with SwiftKey Cloud to allow the user’s preferences and learned language data to be backed up and synced across devices. And in the biggest news for the release, SwiftKey’s keyboard will be available free of charge, allowing anyone to give the keyboard a try.
SwiftKey has also released a short promotional video narrated by Stephen Fry:
We’ve had some time to try out SwiftKey for iOS 8 and can say that it works very well. Available in dark and light themes, SwiftKey is accessible systemwide as is typical for these new keyboards under iOS 8, and users can easily switch between keyboards by tapping the globe icon on the keyboard.
In our testing, we found Swiftkey’s suggestions to be relevant both in relation to words being typed and contextually with preceding words. The optional “SwiftKey Flow” input method of dragging from letter to letter also works well in most situations, accurately interpreting the patterns being traced out as the intended words.
SwiftKey for iOS allows users to type in two languages simultaneously without switching keyboards, and the keyboard will support over a dozen language-country combinations at launch with more to come. The keyboard will be available for all iOS 8 devices, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.