SwiftKey is without doubt the most popular keyboard on Android. It is, in fact, one of the most popular apps to be found on the Play Store, and has been featured as their ‘Editor’s Choice’ for a very long time. The concept is simple, as a keyboard it reads what you write, and learns your typing patterns and lingual skills. Then it starts to predict what your next word would be. This prediction is based on the words you mostly use, but it can be narrowed down by typing one letter after the other. Many other, including Google’s own stock keyboard, have tried to be as good and accurate as SwiftKey but not many have come close.
However, there has been, for some time, another player in the market. Swype, which comes preloaded on most Samsung phones, and can be downloaded as a free beta from their website that allows you to ‘swype’ (sic) through letters on the keyboard and form words. Once again, the results are surprisingly accurate, and since this has been the keyboard of choice for me for a few years now, it works very well with my patterns. This new way of writing has become so popular recently that everybody from Google (once again) to even SwiftKey have now incorporated that feature into their keyboard, and we now have SwiftKey Flow!
I have been testing this for a week now, and have been comparing the results with Swype.
Here are my observations:
Layout and feel
The layout of SwiftKey and the feel is a lot better than Swype. Swype feels slower and sometimes clumsy, whereas SwiftKey is always fast and ready to appear every time a text is required.
Accuracy and speed
This is something Swype still excels at. I am sorry, I was hoping otherwise, but Swype, despite being free software, follows a ‘swipe’ better than SwiftKey follows a ‘flow’. Words such as always, something, how and similar get mixed up with other words. This, then, affects your speed. However, Swype is able to determine these words a lot more accurately. This is, of course, SwiftKey’s first release with Flow and hopefully within a few upgrades it will easily match and probably exceed Swype.
While Swype offers quite a lot of languages, and you’d mostly be covered, SwiftKey offers a lot more. I speak/read/write Urdu, and that is only available on SwiftKey.
This is where SwiftKey is not just good, it is great! It will very accurately predict your next word, based on your writing patterns. What is amazing is that it was able to do that even in Urdu to some extent, despite claiming it was in beta!
Number of words
With SwiftKey you get a choice of 3 words, while with Swype it can go as far as 7 or 8.
Another thing Swype probably exceeds at. To see arrows, e.g., on SwiftKey, you have to enable them from the menu and then give up valuable screen space. In Swype, you just swipe from swipe symbol to the key next to it and you get a new screen with arrow keys and editing options such as cut, copy and paste. This is one serious power feature and cannot be ignored. Similarly a swipe from Swype symbol to number 5 gives you the numerical keypad. Swiftkey does similar, but not quite as good.
This is a very hard one to decide. Swype is free and a very good keyboard, but lacks predictions. SwiftKey has a cost but when it comes to Flow, it is not as accurate. However, the fact that it learns your patterns means that it will probably improve them over time. If I had to choose one though, I’d probably go with Swype purely because it is free at the moment, despite being in Beta.
You can download SwiftKey Flow at the Google Play Store at the following address:
[pb-app-box pname=’com.touchtype.swiftkey’ name=’SwiftKey Flow’ theme=’light’ lang=’en’]
While Swype can be downloaded for your Android device at the following address: