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Microsoft SwiftKey is a virtual keyboard app originally developed by TouchType for Android and iOS devices. It was first released for Android in July 2010, followed by an iOS release in September 2014 after Apple allowed third-party keyboard support.
|Original author(s)||Jon Reynolds |
|Initial release||July 2010|
|Operating system||iOS, Android, Windows 10|
|Size||161.8 MB (iOS)
13.53 MB (Android)
|Available in||300+ (Android) |
100+ (iOS)  languages
The company behind SwiftKey was founded in 2008 by Jon Reynolds, Ben Medlock and Chris Hill-Scott. Its head office is at the Microsoft offices in Paddington, London, and other offices are located in San Francisco, US, and Seoul, South Korea.
The Prediction Engine used allows SwiftKey to learn from usage and improve predictions. This feature allows the tool to improve with usage, learning from SMS, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and an RSS feed.
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SwiftKey was first released as a beta in the Android Market on 14 July 2010, supporting seven languages. It included a variety of settings to adjust audio feedback volume and length of haptic feedback vibration. It was announced on SwiftKey's official website on 15 May 2014, that a Japanese version was out in beta. People registered on SwiftKey VIP were able to download the beta version.
On 14 July 2011, SwiftKey X was released to the Android Market as an upgrade to SwiftKey. Along with new and updated features, SwiftKey X introduced a dedicated app for tablets, called SwiftKey Tablet X. The updates included:
- a new artificial intelligence engine, to predict phrases and learn the user's writing style
- a cloud-based personalization service, which analyzes how the user types in Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, and text messages, to predict phrases in the user's style
- a technology that continually monitors the user's typing precision and adapts the touch-sensitive area of the touch screen for each key
- simultaneous use of multiple languages; this allows users to type in up to three languages at once, with auto-correction that is language-aware
- split key layout on SwiftKey Tablet X, to improve thumb typing while using a larger touchscreen
- additional language support
The SwiftKey 3 update was released on 21 June 2012, including:
- Smart Space – this detects spurious or missing spaces in real time
- additional language support
The SwiftKey 4 update was released on 20 February 2013, including:
- SwiftKey Flow – a gesture input method with real-time predictions
- Flow Through Space – a gesture to input whole sentences, by gliding to the spacebar
- an enhanced prediction engine
- additional language support, raising the total to 60
- SwiftKey 4.2 introduced SwiftKey Cloud, allowing users to backup and sync their language behavior and software settings, plus Trending Phrases – a feature adding the phrases causing a buzz on Twitter and localized news sites
The SwiftKey 5 update was released in June 2014, including:
- Freemium transition – the app dropped its price-tag to be free to download
- SwiftKey Store – Theme store of free and paid-for color schemes for the app
- Emoji – 800 emoji were added, plus Emoji Prediction feature, which learns to predict relevant emoji icons
- Number Row (a row of number keys) option added, in response to customer requests
- New languages, including Belarusian, Mongolian, Tatar, Uzbek and Welsh added
The SwiftKey 6 update was released in November 2015, including:
- Double-Word Prediction which adds a new dimension to the predictions you see, predicting your next two words at once.
- A redesign of the emoji panel.
- A complete overhaul of the settings menu in the style of Material Design to make it easier to fine tune and customize the keyboard
- 5 new languages added: Yoruba, Igbo, Zulu, Xhosa & Breton
The SwiftKey 7.0 update was released in March 2018, including:
- A new Toolbar
- The ability for one to use their own stickers directly within the software.
- Support for 28 additional languages.
SwiftKey for iOSEdit
Swiftkey released an iOS application on 30 January 2014, called Swiftkey Note, that incorporates its predictive typing technology as a custom toolbar attached to the top of the regular iOS keyboard.
SwiftKey for iPhoneEdit
The app includes the word prediction and autocorrection features, familiar to the Android product, SwiftKey Cloud backup and sync and personalization, and a choice of color themes.
It reached No. 1 in the free US App Store charts and the company confirmed it had been downloaded more than 1 million times on the first day of launch.
On 27 February 2012, the SwiftKey SDK was launched. This allows developers on multiple platforms and programming languages to access SwiftKey's core language-engine technology for their own UI or virtual keyboard.
In June 2012, SwiftKey released a specialized version of its keyboard called SwiftKey Healthcare. It is a virtual keyboard for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices that offers next-word predictions based on real-world clinical data. In October 2012 SwiftKey Healthcare won the Appsters Award for Best Enterprise App 2012.
In April 2016 SwiftKey released a keyboard that emulated William Shakespeare's speech called ShakeSpeak celebrating the 400th year of the author's death. The app was co-developed with VisitLondon.com to promote more tourism to the metropolitan area of London.
Microsoft released SwiftKey for Windows 10 along with Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
In May 2020, the app was rebranded as Microsoft SwiftKey to reflect its present ownership.
In 2015 NowSecure reported SwiftKey Keyboard vulnerability exclusive for pre-installed version in Samsung devices, the issue occurred when the keyboard attempts to update its language pack. Samsung has since released security and firmware update to mitigate the issue. However, TechCrunch published an article on why the issue happened because of how Samsung implemented the keyboard system on its devices.
In 2016 SwiftKey users began reporting personal details given by SwiftKey as suggested words to other users whom does not have previous connections, other issue includes foreign language and obscene words. SwiftKey responded by disabling cloud sync for word suggestion and released an update to mitigate the issue.
SwiftKey has received multiple awards, including:
- "Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 2014 ranked 3rd place"
- Meffy Award for life tools 2014
- Meffy Award for mobile innovation 2013
- Appsters Champion and Best Consumer App 2013
- Lovie Award People's Lovie for mobile innovation 2013
- Most Effective Mobile Application - b2c, Mobile Marketing Magazine 2010
- Community Choice, AppCircus at DroidCon 2010
- CTIA E-Tech Award 2011, CTIA 2011
- Jury Award, Mobile Premier Awards 2011 Winners of AppCircus Events
- Most Innovative App at the Global Mobile Awards, Mobile World Congress 2012
- The People's Voice Webby Award for Experimental and Innovation 2012
- Best Startup Business, Guardian Innovation Awards 2012
- Coolest Tech Innovation, Europa Awards 
- Lovie Award People's Lovie for mobile innovation 2013
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- SwiftKey’s co-founder sold his shares for a bicycle—and missed out on a share of $250 million. qz.com Retrieved 5 February 2016
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- Goetsch, Sallie (16 June 2015). "Remote Code Execution as System User on Samsung Phones". NowSecure. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
- Hoff, John (18 June 2015). "Samsung to fix keyboard vulnerability thru KNOX, firmware update". Android Community. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
- "No, It's Samsung, Not Swiftkey, That Is To Blame For This Keyboard Security Scare". TechCrunch. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
- "Important information regarding SwiftKey sync services". SwiftKey Blog. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
- McGoogan, Cara (29 July 2016). "SwiftKey app leaked users' email addresses and phone numbers to strangers". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
- Carman, Ashley (29 July 2016). "SwiftKey bug leaked emails and other personal information". The Verge. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
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- "Meffy's 2014 finalists" Archived 29 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Meffys.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014
- Meffys 2013 winners announced Archived 24 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine Meffys.com Retrieved 23 December 2013
- Appsters 2013 winners announced ITProPortal article. Retrieved 23 December 2013
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- "The Europas Award Winners". theeuropas.com. Retrieved 6 January 2016.