Last year, you may remember that SwiftKey announced an alpha build of their keyboard that was powered by a neural network. Well now we are here, a year later and the main SwiftKey app is powered by that neural network. So what does this mean for the end user? Not much actually. The biggest change that users will see is the fact that text prediction will get even better. Instead of SwiftKey predicting the next word based on the last two words, it will now look at the entire sentence and then predict the next word for you. This makes things much better for users. As predicting words based on the last two words that you had typed, isn’t always that accurate.
SwiftKey was already one of the best at text prediction and autocorrecting words that you had typed. And now it’s about to get even better. This update to SwiftKey is available in the Google Play Store right now. It’s slowly rolling out to everyone, so if you don’t see the update already, you should in the next few hours. SwiftKey announced in their blog post that re-architecting their keyboard to use neural networks has laid “the groundwork for many exciting changes and improvements to come”. And as any company would be, they “can’t wait to show you more of what we’re working on!” It’s also important to note that only US and UK English language models are going to be powered by neural networks in the beginning. There will be more languages coming though, as you’d expect.
Despite Microsoft buying SwiftKey back in February, the company is continuing to push out new updates to their apps and working on their own keyboard – which is still one of the best keyboards available on Android and iOS. Just as SwiftKey stated when Microsoft did acquire them, they would continue to work on their apps, and nothing would really change for them. Many speculated that Microsoft wanted the company for their artificial intelligence expertise, and this update definitely shows that Microsoft was right in wanting that expertise. Although, Microsoft still hasn’t officially said what they will be doing with SwiftKey.