Thursday, December 6, 2012

SwiftKey Flow Beta is Now Available

Here's the thing about SwiftKey Flow -- it brings trace input to the keyboard in a very unobtrusive manner. Don't like it? Simply don't use it. Or if it somehow does bother you, turn it off in the keyboard's settings.  
SwiftKey's prediction remains as excellent as ever (and you can still personalize it by granting access to your Google, Twitter, Messages and Facebook accounts). The keyboard's layout is about as clean as any you'll see while still providing good secondary functions via long presses -- and the timing for the long press remains the best I've seen on an Android keyboard.
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So how's the swiping work? Pretty well. Some of that will depend on your phone -- some displays present less friction than others. And some of that depends on your brain. Trace inputs are still a different way of typing, and it can take some practice if you're not used to it. But SwiftKey makes the entire process pretty painless. Just drag from one letter to the next. There's a cool neon trail that shows where you've been, and it fades away after a few letters. (Not unlike other gesture keyboards.) The setup process for SwiftKey Flow is the same as with previous versions of the app. You're walked through the steps necessary for enabling a third-party keyboard. It's a little painstaking, but it's worth doing right the first time.
But here's the really cool part about SwiftKey Flow -- you don't have to lift up after each word. Flow lets you trace down to the space bar  and keep one continuous movement through phrases. That takes a little getting used to as well, but it works pretty well, and it's a pretty neat trick from the same keyboard that lets you nearly skip the keyboard altogether when touch typing. Download Swiftkey Flow
Now, it's your turn to give it a shot. SwiftKey just made available the beta version of this intuitive new keyboard to everyone and not just VIP users!

    Sid Goswami is a tech enthusiast, besides being an avid Android fan and blogger, Sid wants to be aphotographer and a designer. He can usually be found reading through blogs, taking photos. He's a student and a PHP web developer.