The developers of Google Android applications have recently created a variety of keyboard apps for our use. To evaluate their performance, one only needs to try the built-in keyboard app for Android to immediately determine the app’s limitations and pitfalls. The first thing one might notice is that just trying to type a simple text message or email can be a drag, as well as an extreme cause of anxiety. Additionally, one might find that the failure to hit the correct keys on a smallish Android smartphone keyboard can be frustrating beyond measure, and that using the built-in spell check takes auto correcting to a whole new level as it changes what you have typed to something you never intended. The built-in Android keyboard offers very limited correction features and in my opinion, are not very intuitive. The others I have tried did not meet my needs, and I subsequently uninstalled each one I tried, returning to the default Android keyboard.
I know this because, during the course of the past year, I have tried three or four of these different replacement keyboards for the Android system with limited success. One of these was Vlingo, a speech to text program, which most of the time works very well. However, there are those occasions when I wish to type my own message, in a noisy environment, only to discover that Vlingo may decide not to work properly — causing me major frustration.
Another Android keyboard app I tried met with limited results. It left me semi-satisfied since it did allow me to increase the individual key size, which helped to prevent me from typing the wrong letters. Again, I uninstalled the app and returned to the original.
Then, a few weeks ago, I read about an application called SwiftKey X Keyboard. I approached downloading it with a jaundiced eye, because I thought it sounded too good to be true. However, given my curious nature, I downloaded and installed the application onto my Android smartphone for a test run. At first, the program’s only noticeable distinctions are its different colored keys and what appears to be a word and spelling checker. However, as I was soon to learn, my first impression was totally off base. The program is amazing.
So what makes SwiftKey X Keyboard so amazing?
What makes SwiftKey X Keyboard a must-have Android application is its ability to predict the next word you are planning to type before you type it. In addition, the SwiftKey X Keyboard provides the following features:
- It makes typing on your phone much easier.
- The SwiftKey X Keyboard replaces the built-in Android keyboard.
- The application understands how words work in conjunction with each other.
- You can try the application for 30 days free before you buy it.
- The app is intuitive and remembers the series of words you often use together.
However, like any app, there are things you need to learn in order to get the most out of it. One such tip, in order to eliminate frustration, is to make sure you set the application as the default keyboard during its installation. Don’t give up, though, if for some reason you missed this option during the install process because you still have the ability to set this as a default. To do so, you can follow the simple instructions below:
- Go into your settings.
- Go to Language and Keyboard.
- Make sure SwiftKey X Trial is checked as the default setting.
It didn’t take me long to realize that this was going to be one of my favorite apps as I learned how easily it works. I first discovered this when, during the course of experimenting with SwiftKey X Keyboard, I noticed that it was using my Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook accounts to learn the way I typed and how I would use particular words within a sentence. However, I got excited when I realized that the application actually worked and correctly chose the word after I initially typed a few letters. This, alone, increased the speed at which I was able to type as I was able to complete my texts and email messages in less time without having to make conscious spelling corrections.
One of the things I am not noted for is being patient. If I experience any issues, no matter how slight, I want to immediately uninstall the application and call it quits. With SwiftKey X Keyboard, I personally did not experience any issues and the program worked just fine right out of the box. In fact, the more I used it and became familiar with how the functions and features worked, the more I liked it.
Once the trial version is over, I will definitely be purchasing the application. Yes, it is that good and well worth the investment. It would be my recommendation over any of the other keyboard replacements currently available for the Android system. There is also a version of SwiftKey X available for Android tablets.
Screen shot from SwiftKey X Keyboard page at Google Play