SwiftKey 3 Beta: The best Android keyboard I’ve seen

Screenshot by Rafe Needleman/CNET)

SwiftKey 3 Beta, the newest version of the incredibly popular Android replacement keyboard, is now available to SwiftKey’s VIP Community members. And from what I’ve seen so far, it is something for the public to be excited about.

If you’re not familiar with SwiftKey, it is a Google Play Editors’ Choice app, and it won the coveted Most Innovative App award at this year’s Global Mobile Awards in Barcelona, Spain. What sets it apart from other replacement keyboards is its ability to understand not just patterns in your typing, but also how words work together. This makes it scary good at predicting the next word you want to type, sometimes even before you begin typing it. What’s more, Swiftkey continues to learn from your e-mail, SMS, and even social media accounts, so it actually gets noticeably better at making predictions as you use it.

So what’s new with SwiftKey 3? Most noticeably, there’s an improved UI, with a larger space bar (thank goodness) and a smart punctuation function that rolls out punctuation choices when you hold down the period key. Both of these tweaks, while they may seem minor, help significantly to reduce error and speed up your typing. There are also two new themes — “Cobalt” and “Holo” — to customize the look of the keyboard to your liking.

But the biggest news with SwiftKey 3 is the addition of Smart S… [Read more]

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