So after using the Fleksy trial and having somewhat less than success in using it, I decided to try another keyboard. This time I went with the SwiftKey keyboard.
I had used the trial before in the past, but it has been some time since I last used it. Very quickly I found my experience to be much different than my previous one with Fleksy.
I found the auto correction to be much more accurate with SwiftKey. I rarely find the need to delete an entire word and retype it. Sure there are some occasions (such as just now with the word some which initially came across as side) but the frequency this occurs is very low.
A factor I’m coming to see is that I’m much more of a swipe typer. This probably come from using swype, and then google keyboard. SwiftKey swipe input is called Flow. Flow seems to be very accurate and even provides an option to slide to the space bar and continue typing, writing several words without lifting your finger. The multi word functionality does work ok, but I find the accuracy takes a little bit of a hit with this method. And unfortunately with multiple words it can result in having to delete several words rather than one. But using the flow input a word at a time works very well.
Another great option with SwiftKey is the next word prediction, even without typing a single character. Instead of the usual auto correct possibilities for the last word you entered, SwiftKey provides suggestions for the next word. In some cases it may be possible to type an entire sentence just using the word prediction. This can be enhanced if you type instead of use flow, as suggestions for your current word will be displayed as you type.
Instead of a mini or invisible keyboard, SwiftKey offers. Options for a full (default), thumb or compact keyboard. Thumb mode splits the keyboard in half to easily type with just your thumbs. Compact mode makes it easier to type with one hand, providing the option to move it to the left or right hand side of the screen.
In addition to the three keyboard layouts, you can also choose from upto 5 sizes for each layout to suit your needs. And finally you can choose to dock the keyboard at the bottom of the screen (default), or float the keyboard and position it anywhere on the screen, with the content below taking up the full screen and partially obscured by the keyboard.
As with the other keyboards, there are a number of themes available for use, but again these play little into the usability of the keyboard itself.
SwiftKey also provides statistics about how much the keyboard had helped you including how much it has improved your typing efficiency, how much it has predicted your next word for you, etc. It even includes a heat map to show your accuracy with hitting the keys as you type. I haven’t confirmed, but I don’t believe that it is very accurate if you primarily use Flow for your input.
I’ve included a couple of images below of my statistics from before and after writing this post. Take from it what you will, I have no idea on what criteria they use to determine these statistics.
So far however I’ve really enjoyed this keyboard and it may very well be the first app that I purchase from Google play.