The next phone, tablet or even TV you buy might have a smarter keyboard than your last, because SwiftKey has announced the availability of its SDK to OEMs.
This might sound like jibberish, but the SDK, or software development kit, will allow OEMs, or original equipment manufacturers, to take the basics of the SwiftKey keyboard that you know (and we love) to create their own smart keyboard.
This means that manufacturers such as HTC or Samsung could create their own branded keyboards that work in the same way as the one you'd download from Android Market.
But it might not just be the phone in your pocket that benefits: "The SDK will also enable other consumer technology devices, beyond the tablet and smartphone, to receive the benefits of our unique language engine," said Dr Ben Medlock, CTO of Swiftkey. "We have already seen interesting applications of our language engine in Smart TVs and assistive technology devices."
On-screen keyboards on TVs or games consoles are particularly fiddly and as our devices become more interactive, offering functions like Twitter or searching, overcoming the barrier of text entry could greatly enhance the experience for the end user.
Although the existing Android app is relatively cheap at £2.49, using the SwiftKey SDK would provide an enhancement to the stock keyboard on many mobile devices and lead to an improvement in the user experience straight out of the box. As an app, it has been downloaded more than 5 million times and won various awards.
The SDK offers support for the following platforms: Android, C++, iOS, JVM (Java, Scala), Linux, Mac OS X, .NET (C#, VB), QNX/BlackBerry 10, WebOS and Windows.
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