SwiftKey comes to iPhone and iPad
Yes, you've read that headline right. SwiftKey, the Android keyboard that helps make typing on an Android-powered smartphone considerably easier, has launched on Apple's iOS.
Sadly for SwiftKey, Apple hasn't suddenly decided to allow third-party developers to hack and slash their way through the core operating system, so SwiftKey has developed a dedicated note-taking app that brings some of the capabilities of the Android offering instead.
Called SwiftKey Note, it is free and taps into note-storing service Evernote, allowing you to quickly share and access notes with others.
Although on first glance the app's keyboard looks the same as Apple's there are two distinct differences, the first is a row of suggested words above the keyboard itself and the second is the autocorrection technology that learns the more you type.
"We really wanted to bring the technology to iOS users. We were getting lots of requests from Android users to build something for the iPhone," Ruth Barnett, VP of global communications at the company, told Pocket-lint.
The app itself is very simple, something that SwiftKey itself admits.
"We wanted to put the app out there and see how people respond," added Barnett. "It will get constant updates to make it better, but you could just build forever. We felt as is, it is in really good shape so we wanted to share it."
The notes are the main focus, but these can be arranged into notebooks and/or tags. The notebooks also automatically sync with Evernote if you have an account, as well as pulling in notes you've already saved.
As this is really just a "punt" from SwiftKey (although Barnett says it's been more than a year in development) the company has so far decided not to include support for its SwiftKey Cloud service.
"There is no SwiftKey Cloud integration, but it is something that the company wants," Barnett assured us.
The lack of SwiftKey Cloud integration means that users who have already been using the keyboard on Android won't be able to pull the learnings from the Android app to the iPhone or iPad version. Nor will they be able to tap into their Gmail, Twitter or Facebook accounts either, although at least any notes taken on Evernote can be used to make the keyboard better.
"SwiftKey has always seen itself as a platform-based solution. The time was right and the resources were right. We are at a point with the company where we can now support products on two platforms and that's exciting," Barnett explained, about why now and why iOS. "It felt that we were forming a product with a real purpose. It's solving a specific problem."
And that it does. The note-taking app market is a crowded one, but SwiftKey hopes that the ability to type quickly with little concern for pressing the right keys, but still knowing that the words are coming out "right", will appeal to those looking to try something different from what they are used to.
In our testing it certainly works. We are big fans of the Android SwiftKey keyboard and iPhone and iPad users won't be disappointed, especially as the app is free.
READ: SwiftKey Note review
Is this the start to creating better things on Apple? The company isn't giving much away. It declined to comment on when SwiftKey Cloud support would be coming to the new app, and whether the the company is interested in building a Mac, Android or even Windows Phone version for those not on iOS.
The new SwiftKey Note app is available for iPhone and iPad on the App store.