Tech

"Clairvoyant" SwiftKey 3 Keyboard App Now Available

Lazy typers take note: a new version of the SwiftKey virtual keyboard app is now available for Android devices. SwiftKey learns your mannerisms and speech patterns in order to make personally tailored next word suggestions as you type, and after you've used it for a while, the app's predictions are almost scarily accurate. The company behind the keyboard says SwiftKey 3 is even more powerful than its highly regarded predecessors.

“SwiftKey 3’s next word prediction is now so accurate that it feels as if it’s reading your mind,” TouchType CEO Jon Reynolds says in the company's press release. “As you start typing ‘I’ll see you at’, SwiftKey will suggest the name of your favorite restaurant or bar. It just makes typing on your phone so much easier.”

That's not just marketing hype, either: when we tested an earlier version of SwiftKey, we were sometimes able to complete over half a sentence using only the words suggested by the keyboard, and it's personally saved me tens of thousands of keystrokes since I've installed it on my phone.

SwiftKey's also known for its strong auto-correction abilities. SwiftKey 3 ups the ante with the addition of a "Smart Space" feature, which detects when and where you've missed spaces in long lines of text. In the example provided by TouchType, typing "thisidfabtasic" would make "this is fantastic" pop up as a suggestion.

The company also launched SwiftKey Healthcare, a virtual keyboard that targets healthcare professionals with next word predictions based on data from real-world clinical notes. It's already being used by four organizations and being tested by dozens more; TouchType claims that in a trial with 440 clinicians, the average time spent on text input dropped by a whopping 49 percent. SwiftKey Healthcare is available for iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry devices.

SwiftKey 3 will normally cost you $3.99, but that's been dropped to $1.99 for today to celebrate its launch. A free one-month trial is also available.

Something must be in the air; Swype, another popular virtual Android keyboard, received an update yesterday.