Featured: AdapTxt Keyboard vs Swiftkey X!

June 14, 2012 - Written By Tom Dawson

So, you’ve probably heard a lot about AdapTxt from Keypoint Technologies, such as our excellent review. You’re also probably wondering why we seem to have taken a shining to it, well, that’s because we just really like it a lot. Read our review to see why we like it so much.

We know that the market for keyboards is crowded some good alternatives and some that aren’t so good. Both Adaptxt and Swiftkey have been around some time and have made names for themselves as being premium keyboard apps offering a better alternative to the stock keyboard included with Android. It’s a true sign of our platform’s maturity that apps of such high quality are available for us to augment our experiences. Swiftkey X is a popular alternative just like Adaptxt and as always, when two heavy hitters are on the scene there’s usually some sort of rogh and tumble between the two. However, here at Android Headlines we like to keep things civilised and so we’ve put together a comparison of these two great apps for you.

It’s also worth noting that I, myself, am no stranger to Swiftkey X, I purchase the app some time ago and never really found it to suit with me, I found a lot to like, but at the time the Gingerbread keyboard was the best, for me.

We’re going to do this as a side by side comparison in the areas that I feel are what we most want out of a keyboard and just why we might choose it over the other.

General Typing Experience

For a lot of us, auto-correct and fancy features just don’t come into play too often as we just go for it. Just like on your desktop if you don’t get on well with your keyboard then you don’t type well, it’s probably more prevalent on a phone as these days we rely on our phones to communicate far more than we ever do, text messaging in particular. I certainly prefer to type with all of these options off as I’d rather pick and choose what text I’m placing instead of having it hamfisted to me, I guess that’s a take away from using an iPhone in the past, eh? What’s nice about having the large screens we have today to fill out screens with QWERTY-goodness and lots of space to choose those suggested corrections making typing without auto-correct a little easier.



On the left is AdapTxt Keyboard and Swiftkey X on the right.

I typed the well-known phrase “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog”, standard fare for keyboard testing. I did this with both auto-correct and auto-text-replacement turned off on both of the keyboards, in order to get a pure, uninterrupted typing experience. As you can see I made two mistakes whilst typing like a madman on Swiftkey X but only one mistake typing at the same pace on the AdapTxt keyboard. Some would argue that the Swiftkey X keyboard should eliminate errors thanks to the stylings making individual keys harder to distinguish from each other. In my practice, however this seems to encourage errors and leads to more mistypes.

Word-Correction and Word-Suggestion

Something that both these keyboards offer is heavy word-correction and replacement, essentially enabling you to type less but seemingly input more. It’s also supposed to be a massive time saver, having to type a lot less but still get exactly what you wanted on screen is pretty awesome, right?

The developers of these keyboards have spent a lot of time on developing sophisticated technologies built in to save time and accurately predict what words go with what and more importantly what word you are most likely to throw in there.

It’s worth noting that both of these apps give you the option of signing in to online accounts in order to gain further info on just how you go about typing.

I’ll admit that I was a skeptic of this sort of modern day hocum however, Adaptxt has really turned me round to this idea of having a keyboard that knows what you’re going to say next. Let’s see how AdapTxt fared and see if Swiftkey X has improved since I last used it.

As before, on the left is AdapTxt Keyboard and Swiftkey X on the right.

What I was aiming for here is for the keyboard to predict the ending to “How are you today?”, the most common text message – obviously, with better variations than that – perhaps used in history. As you can Adaptxt was more than happy to give me the option of ‘today’, exactly what I wanted. Swiftkey on the other end, wanted me to ask how someone was looking or how they were waiting. It did give me the option of asking them how they were doing, so I suppose that Swiftkey did fulfil the task albeit a little differently.

Word prediction is, of course, going to vary between the two and it’s just like anything else, it’s very subjective, I’m sure both keyboards will adapt once you’ve been using them for some time.

Settings and Tweakability

If you’re the type of person to go outside the realms of the software that came on your device – even if it is just the keyboard then, you’re also quite likely to be the type that like to go through the settings menu. The type of person who grew up pressing all the buttons in the lift at once, just to see what would happen. I salute you, I’ve been tinkering with things for far too long now. So, to this end it stands to reason that you’re going to look about how to tweak the settings of this newfound keyboard brilliance, right?

Both apps allow you to launch directly into their settings from the app drawer, a small but welcome feature as it’s a nice point of reference.

For this I’m going to show you, again, Adaptxt on the left and Swiftkey X on the right and we’ll go into more detail below.

So as you can see Swiftkey looks a little prettier in the way its settings are laid out but, I’ve got to honestly say that the app bugs you when in this menu. If you’ve not got Swiftkey set as your default input method and you enter into this menu the app will continually pull up the menu that asks you what method you want to be the default for input. I’m sure many of you will consider me nitpicking and I guess that it is but, it’s not nice to see that when I’m just seeing what settings are available to me.

Adaptxt however seems to let you run a little freer, I found the settings to be a little spartan but, we need to rememeber that this is beta software. Even still, the settings I wanted were in plain view straight away with no hassle and I wasn’t bugged at all.

Overall I preferred Adaptxt and it’s the keyboard I use exclusively on my phone and I’m sure it will only get better with more and more updates as time goes on. Of course, there’s a lot to love about both keyboards and it’s brilliant that we have a choice between two fantastic keyboards let alone the cache of keyboards on the play store.