There’s little question that SwiftKey’s new “Flow” keyboard takes a page right out of Swype’s playbook, as SwiftKey is definitely looking to counter the uber-popular Swype style of message. SwiftKey calls it “gliding” over the screen and says it incorporates its existing word prediction engine, which can analyze your writing styles to help predict your next word choice to help make typing faster. SwiftKey says the system can correctly predict around 30% of all next-words before any characters are entered, and 84% of next words are predicted accurately after two characters.
“We built SwiftKey Flow from the ground up using a completely new approach that harnesses the power of our powerful prediction engine. It’s our technology and we’ve patented it,” the company tells TechCrunch. “There’s nothing else out there that is able to predict, with such personalized accuracy, what you want to type from the moment your finger starts gliding on the screen. This is thanks to our use of natural language processing and machine learning through each and every innovation we create.”
SwiftKey CEO Jon Reynolds added in a statement: “We know our users have different tastes and habits — this way they’ll get to choose what style of writing suits them best without compromising the power of the predictions.”
Futhermore, SwiftKey believes that there is room in the keyboard market for two similar style keyboards and denies they are directly copying Swype. “There have been several continuous input keyboards in the past that have been supported by the market, so of course there is scope for further innovation, especially when you consider that we sell not just to OEMs, but also directly to consumers,” the company says.
The company says their new Flow keyboard will likely release sometime in the first quarter of next year, but you can try and get early access by registering as a SwiftKey VIP member.
It may steer off the T-Mobile path, but SwiftKey remains one of the very best Android applications I’ve ever discovered and one that I would highly recommend.