SwiftKey is the most popular keyboard for Android. Microsoft acquired the virtual keyboard company not for its keyboard, but for the technology that powers its keyboard. While SwiftKey, at first sight, looks to be just a modest virtual keyboard for a mobile operating system, it’s much more underneath that.
Microsoft’s acquisition has given SwiftKey access to Microsoft’s resources, accelerating its growth further than it could have imagined by itself. Today’s update marks a great milestone towards its journey to becoming the only keyboard you would require.
Today’s update adds twelve new languages, bringing the total number of supported languages to exactly one hundred and fifty. This keyboard now supports 150 languages; let’s take a minute and allow that to sink in.
Here are the 12 new languages:
- Southern Ndebele
These languages span the oceans; from Italy to Fiji and back to Africa. This one updates will enable millions to write in their native language on their mobile phones, adding more people into the SwiftKey’s ecosystem.
Adding more people into the SwiftKey ecosystem is crucial. As the SwiftKey team on its blog explains; it requires at least 5,000 words to build a language model for new languages. But, the vocabulary of each keyboard only grows depending on how many users use it.
In short: SwiftKey needs users to use the keyboard so that it can learn the language patterns; this, in turn, makes the keyboard better for other users. It’s a keyboard that learns from its users and teaches itself to be better for everyone.
The new update is rolling out for Android via the Google Play Store as we speak. If you haven’t received the update, just be patient. Google is slow like that.
If you want to try SwiftKey, it is available to download via the Google Play Store for the excellent price of free.
If you had tried SwiftKey before but were let down because of its in-app skins that cost money; those were made free after the Microsoft acquisition.
It’s a great all-around keyboard for Android. It’s also available on iOS, though it doesn’t support all the different languages quite yet.
Hopefully, the SwiftKey technology can be used for the On-Screen keyboard in Windows 10 at some point.