SwiftKey Drastically Improves Typing in iOS 8
If you have ever used Android, you are likely very familiar with SwiftKey’s keyboard. For those unfamiliar, it is a predictive text keyboard that learns how you write and what you type most often. And it does so very quickly. After using it for some time, it can even correctly guess full sentences with only the first letter of the first word. Impressive, to say the least. As you can tell, I quite enjoy SwiftKey, so I was delighted to hear about its release for iOS 8.
SwiftKey on iOS looks quite different from its Android counterpart. The first thing many people will likely notice is the lack of customization, both in themes and keyboard setup. It only comes with two themes: dark and light. Fortunately, both fit in with iOS very well. The thing I most felt was missing was the row of number keys that can be found in the Android app. I always found them very convenient, so I was disappointed that it’s not in the iOS app. Instead of the layouts available on Android, they opted to merely tweak the look of the iOS standard keyboard, likely to make it accesible to long-time iPhone users.
SwiftKey is most known for its ability to predict and correct your typing. Using it so far, I would say this version does half of that well. The prediction appears to be spot on. I synced my cloud data with this version, so it makes sense that it should already know how I type. If you have no sync available, be patient for a few days, and it will likely learn from you quickly.
So far, I felt that it has not corrected my many mistypes at a rate on par with what I am used to. Without having used the keyboard longer, I cannot say if this is due to the app’s lack capability or if it just has not had the time to get used to the way I type on an iPhone versus a differently sized keyboard on Android. Only time will tell.
Lastly, this version of SwiftKey also has the option to use Flow (an input method much like Swype), so you can type without having to lift a finger. This is the one aspect I felt was most missing on iOS, and, fortunately, it has left me very pleased.
SwiftKey is an upgrade from the stock iOS keyboard, but it still has a ways to go to compete with the Android version. Despite it feeling a little watered-down, I’d rather have this now than continue using the stock keyboard. I look forward to the features the updates will likely bring.