New SwiftKey Keyboard Update Brings Incognito Mode to Public

Modern third-party keyboard apps can learn the words you type and collect sensitive data in the process, including credit card numbers. While these keyboard apps allow you to swap out your default Android keyboard with keyboards that have a broader selection of emoji or those that let you swipe to type words, these keyboards can also be a tool to eavesdrop on your conversation. Taking that into consideration, developers of SwiftKey Keyboard have now rolled out the public release of an incognito mode to the app a month after launching the feature’s beta version.

One of the benefits of incognito mode is keeping a certain level of user privacy. The feature prevents the SwiftKey Keyboard app from learning the words typed by the user when incognito mode is active. By enabling the feature, SwiftKey users can hide their sensitive information like passwords, PIN or email address from the memory of the app. When activated, the app turns into a dark theme with a mask in the background as shown in one of the images below.

Nicky Budd-Thanos, marketing communications manager at SwiftKey, said in an email last month that “regardless of whether or not a user is in incognito mode while using SwiftKey Keyboard, the app does not learn anything from fields marked as password fields, nor does it remember long numbers such as credit card numbers.” Thanos explained that the app does not learn 16-digit number strings typical of credit card numbers to protect the users' financial information all the time. The app does not also add anything typed in a password field or other private fields to its memory. Having said that, she acknowledged that SwiftKey may still learn personal data other than a credit card number typed into a general text box. With the public release of incognito mode, users now have the option to block the app from reading what they key in to it.

The new update also brings bug fixes and more keyboard layouts to the app such as the QWERTZ Swiss French layout and the QWERTZ extended design for Swiss German and Swiss Italian. You can download the app if you haven't done so yet by clicking the Google Play icon below and sift through the screenshots of the app in the following gallery.

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Jay Decenella

Intern Writer
Jay has been covering all things Android for the past couple of years. He fell in love with Android when he got his first smartphone in 2011, a local brand in the Philippines running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. He is a Filipino journalist with a keen focus on travel and technology. When he is not writing, he starts packing up his camera gear and goes to steal some scenes outside.
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