SwiftKey 3 Beta, the latest version of U.K.-based TouchTypes keyboard software for Android devices, is now available as a free download to SwiftKeys VIP user community, which is said to be more than 30,000 strong now.
Not only does the software help users type faster and dispense with a message quicker, but the team has smartened things up to the point that the software now knows when youve missed a space and inserts it, rendering the space bar moot, the thinking goes.
This redesigned version includes a larger space bar, as well as two new themesCobalt, which matches the SwiftKey look and feel, and Holo, which is a sort of Ice Cream Sandwich homage. Theres also a new user interface, a new way to more easily get to punctuation keys and support for an additional seven languagesKorean, Estonian, Farsi, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian and Serbianbringing its total to 42.
The team also made core changes, such as a backup feature that keeps track of learned language data and new ways for users to customize auto-correct features.
Weve cracked one of the hardest problems that exists in text entryhow to correctly determine when a user has missed spaces, TouchType CMO Joe Braidwood wrote in an April 4 blog post. With our Smart Space technology, SwiftKey 3 figures out when youve missed spaces (or maybe hit a letter instead) across long strings of sloppy text. So you can type Lleasexqllme and SwiftKey will know you mean Please call me.
The software replaces an Android smartphones keyboard with one powered by its Fluency prediction engine, which learns with each use to produce more accurate corrections over time. It not only gets better at fixing your mistakes, it learns to anticipate what youre going to say.
I think what really impresses people is how accurately we get the next word before they even enter any characters, Rhodri Thomas, TouchTypes chief commercial officer, says in a video on the site. Just by someone using it a couple of times and they see their girlfriend or boyfriends name or the name of their dog appear as a prediction really blows their mind.
Maybe more mind blowing (or discomfort-making) is the means by which it manages it.
The machine learning and artificial intelligence models that sit behind SwiftKey feed on data, explains Dr. Ben Medlock, a co-founder and CTO of the company. [With this new version] weve taken more data than ever beforeweve pulled it in from your Gmail account, your Facebook account, your Twitter, and weve pulled it all together in this profile that captures the way you speak. And thats really the power of SwiftKey and the power of the Fluency engine that sits behind it.
According to TouchType, in six months its become the leading text-entry application, with more than 700,000 downloads. New membersanyone who wants to download the appcan join the SwiftKey VIP community for a limited time, by visiting http://vip.swiftkey.net.