One word I always think of when someone mentions the word Android is ‘customization’. Android has always been a go-to platform if you wanted freedom, no matter how funny that might seem written down. Android always allowed for way more customization that other mobile platforms, which is something quite a few people appreciates. Let me take 3rd party keyboards as an example considering that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about. Android lets you replace your stock keyboard with a 3rd party option since I can remember, while iOS for example, received that functionality 1-2 years ago, approximately.
That being said, there are tons of 3rd party keyboard options out in the Play Store, like TouchPal, Go Keyboard, Fleksy… etc., but SwiftKey is quite probably the most popular 3rd party option. This keyboard has been available on the Play Store since I can remember, the company has been founded back in 2008, and a first beta hit Android Market back in 2010. A rumor surfaced quite recently, claiming that the company will be acquired by Microsoft, and it seems like that rumor was spot on. Both Microsoft and SwiftKey have confirmed that fact earlier today, the Redmond giant acquired SwiftKey for $250 million. “We love SwiftKey’s technology and we love the team that Jon and Ben have formed. We believe that together we can achieve orders of magnitude greater scale than either of us could have achieved independently,” said Harry Shum, Head of Microsoft Research. This is what Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock, co-founder of SwiftKey, had to say: “Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Our mission is to enhance interaction between people and technology. We think these are a perfect match, and we believe joining Microsoft is the right next stage in our journey.”
For those of you who don’t know, SwiftKey is currently available on both Android and iOS, and both Microsoft and SwiftKey confirmed that the app will continue its growth on both of those platforms, that it’s here to stay. SwiftKey joins Microsoft’s ranks as one of many applications on the Google Play Store. Microsoft has not only acquired, but also developed a ton of apps for Android, and if you visit their page in the Google Play Store you’ll get to see them yourself. Now, the acquisition of SwiftKey probably means Microsoft plans to incorporate that keyboard in their Windows 10 platform for mobile devices, though we still don’t have any details regarding that.