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I have saved 23,992 keystrokes using the Swiftkey tablet keyboard on my Android Tablet. It has corrected 4,323 typos, predicted 419 words before I had a chance to even start typing them, and completed 2,334 words I had begun to type. It claims I am 30% more efficient using it, but I think it is more like 200% more efficient. I have tested a half dozen replacement keyboards for Android and find Swiftkey clearly the best. I use the phone version on my phone and the tablet version on my tablet.

Swiftkey is the best selling App on the Android market and is available at both the Google Play store and the Amazon Kindle Store. Apparently Apple will not allow the replacement of their stock keyboard, so sorry IOS users.

It does many nice things, like allowing you to change the size of the keys, have different keyboards for landscape and portrait modes, customize with themes and so forth, but that is not the big deal. What sets it apart is its predictive mechanism. It is just plain smart. Not a little smart, but really really smart.

To demonstrate, I typed "Really really" and then "sm". That was how far I got before it made three guesses.
  • sm
  • small (default)
  • smart

It always allows you to choose exactly what you typed, so it isn't going to correct you so much you can't type what you want. That is why "sm" is in there. The other two guesses it made were small and smart. Then, I typed "s", pretending to miss the "a" on the keyboard, then "rt". So I'd typed, "smsrt". Its three guesses were now:
  • smsrt
  • smart (default)
  • start
Because "smart" was the default, I just hit the space bar and went on. It fixed it for me.

It offers two modes: Fast typing with lots of corrections afterwards, and slower typing with better predictions for those who want to use the predictive system. In either case, its ability to learn what words you use and how you type is amazing. It analyzes not only how the English language works, so which words normally go together, but what words you use and how you type, so its predictions are personal and very good.

When I do my shopping list on my phone, I don't need to type more than a letter or two before it know what I'm trying to put on my list. I hit "e" it guesses "eggs". I type "v" it guesses "veggies". If it is right, I hit the space bar to complete, otherwise I keep typing.

Test it out, and see how you like it. You may find typing on your tablet is much easier than you thought. I bought a bluetooth keyboard, for my tablet, but use the built-in SwiftKey instead.

Date: April 2013

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