App name: Swiftkey Keyboard Beta byTouchType Ltd
Description: Write faster with SwiftKey's next generation text prediction with next word prediction, dynamic learning, advanced error correction and intuitive user interface
How it works: Swiftkey is a brand new alternate keyboard for Android which touts its ability for word prediction. Once you download it you'll have to go into settings and then Language and Keyboard to enable it. But if you open Swiftkey it takes you through the steps to set up if you want to go that way instead.
Once it is set up you'll have to select a language pack (around 3 mb) to save on your SD card. You can also have the keyboard learn from your SMS messages so it can offer better word prediction based on your previous conversations.
The keyboard has a HTC IME feel to it and the word bar across the top of the keyboard is bigger than the word bar on the stock Android keyboard. It also has a dedicated buttons for smileys and settings also.
Opinion: This keyboard is pretty decent and I have tested a few besides the stock one. I can vouch that the word prediction was pretty good not sure if it is as good as they say sometimes it was way off base or just an odd choice for the 1sr suggestion. The one thing that was irritating was when I would be erasing a sentence it would continue to suggest words so it would lag as I deleted. I haven't run across that issue with other keyboards. But after testing it this past week it seems as good as others. Just not 100 percent sold on it yet. But I keep in mind it is a beta app so it does have kinks to work out but it should only get better.
- Speed (3.3/5) - Lags when deleting words sometimes but I could type pretty fast most times.
- Features (4/5) - Nice to have dedicated buttons and the learn feature seems like a great idea.
- Theme (4/5) - similar to HTC keyboard but nice.
- Overall (4/5) - Fairly good as a beta. As long it moves its word prediction and learning features more forward and works out the kinks this will be a great alternative keyboard.
- Word prediction was better than some.
- Dedicated buttons for smileys and settings
- SMS learning feature.
- Has some lag issues when deleting words.
- Word prediction wasn't always the best I had to go back and fix some choices.
Conclusion: Swiftkey has become very popular with its beta already boasting 100k downloads so it has a lot of on its shoulders to continue the good work they have started. If they can it will succeed because people who need the virtual keyboards can be picky but with the word prediction and learning capabilities becoming better with each version and it will be a keeper.