SwiftKey was one of the very first keyboard apps to announce its intentions to launch on iOS 8 back in June, and now for the very first time the finished article has been revealed. The hugely popular Android keyboard has brought some of its core attributes over to the iPhone and iPad in a slick, extremely well designed application. We were fortunate enough to get an exclusive early look at the (almost) finished article and we're impressed with what we see.
If you're not familiar, just what is at the core of SwiftKey that sets it apart from other keyboard apps? There are three key features, all of which are coming to the iPhone and iPad:
Learns from you: SwiftKey learns the way you type and the words and phrases that matter to you, constantly adapting to your personal writing style for a smarter, more accurate keyboard experience.
Mind-reading predictions: SwiftKey's trademark prediction technology learns and proactively suggests what you're most likely to type next before you even finish entering a word. Autocomplete a whole word with a single tap, instead of typing letter by letter.
Better autocorrect: SwiftKey's smarter autocorrect adapts to the way you type, reducing time spent correcting typos. The app even inserts missed spaces for you.
The prediction technology behind SwiftKey is pretty fantastic, as is the way it can learn from your existing typing style by hooking into your Gmail and social media accounts. With SwiftKey Cloud you're even able to bring across – or take the other way – any learnings that SwiftKey has done for you on any Android devices you own. Simply sign into SwiftKey Cloud with your Google or Facebook account – others may be coming down the line – on your iPhone or iPad and you're off. Simple.
Another aspect SwiftKey is bringing to the iPhone only at this point, is SwiftKey Flow. With it you just drag your finger across the keyboard from letter to letter, and it will automagically understand what you're typing. Flow doesn't forget the heart of SwiftKey either and ties into the prediction engine for the ultimate speed typist.
It'll also let you type in two languages on one keyboard, no switching required. The languages supported for that are English (US), English (UK), English (AU), English (CA), Portuguese (BR), Portuguese (PT), French (CA), French (FR), Italian, German, Spanish (ES), Spanish (Latin America) and Spanish (US).
As already mentioned we got a chance to see the real thing in action, and it's pretty impressive. At launch SwiftKey is concentrating on bringing the core experience to the iPhone and iPad and typing is excellent. The predictions and corrections seem every bit as strong as the existing Android keyboard and even on a 4-inch screen, SwiftKey Flow works impeccably well. It won't be the only iOS 8 keyboard app in the App Store, but it's already shaping up to be one of the very best.
Now we have a launch date for iOS 8 we at least know that we're not going to have to wait terribly long for SwiftKey. We're looking forward to getting some proper time with it and you can bet we'll have a review just as soon as we can. Oh, and Stephen Fry helped them put together a little video for you which you can see below.