Bonnie Cha

Recent Posts by Bonnie Cha

SwiftKey Flow Takes Swipe at Competition, Adds Continuous Input

Today, SwiftKey, maker of the popular predictive keyboard app for Android, offered its first sneak peek at the next iteration of its virtual keyboard called SwiftKey Flow.

Instead of pecking at individual keys, SwiftKey Flow now allows you to type words by dragging your finger letter to letter in one continuous motion. (Users will also be able to type the traditional way.) The concept is similar to Nuance’s Swype keyboard, but SwiftKey thinks its predictive capabilities will set it apart from the competition.

Many onscreen keyboards offer predictive typing to auto-complete a word, but what they currently lack is the contextual intelligence to guess what word comes next, which is where SwiftKey comes in. Built from the ground up, the company’s language-recognition engine learns how you type and predicts what you’ll write next, based on context. It even remembers non-dictionary words and the unique phrases that you use.

I reviewed the SwiftKey app in July, and was impressed with its prediction capabilities and accuracy. As soon as I started typing the first couple of letters of a word, the app not only completed the word but also provided suggestions for what I might say next, so I simply had to select the word from the suggestion area instead of typing it out. SwiftKey Flow is designed to work the same way.

The company plans to start beta testing SwiftKey Flow in the next few week, and users can sign up today on SwiftKey’s Web site for a chance try out the keyboard. SwiftKey plans to release the final product in the first quarter of 2013.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald