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(Pocket-lint) - SwiftKey has released the latest beta of its chart-topping keyboard app, adding support for emoji as well as giving you the option to add a number row.

The SwiftKey 4.5 beta comes just over a month after the keyboard's last major update, which added the option to change the size of the keyboard to suit your preferences.

Adding emoji support means you're no longer dependent on the app you're using to add that angry cat or monkey to a message, as you'll be able to get them straight from SwiftKey.

Emoji are woven deep into the keyboard app, however, so you'll be offered emoji as you type or trace in words. For example when you write beer, one of the suggestions will be the beer emoji.

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Like other SwiftKey features it works predictively, as well as learning how you use emoji in your daily messaging, so you'll be offered the characters at the appropriate time. If you just want to select one from a list, there's that option too.

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Elsewhere in the SwiftKey 4.5 beta you can enable a number row. This will sit at the top of your keyboard meaning you have direct access to digits, rather than having to use a long press to get to them.

SwiftKey says that the feature has been added after to customer demand, but it does eat a little more screen space, so those with smaller devices might want to leave it switched off.

"SwiftKey 4.5 beta introduces two of the features most requested by our users so we're really pleased to bring them into the product. Emoji make typing and messaging so much more fun and expressive," said Ben Medlock, co-founder and CTO of SwiftKey.

"SwiftKey understands you so it will learn to suggest the emoji most relevant to you. Plus, the optional number row brings that extra level of customisation for users. We hope everyone enjoys testing out our new beta - every bit of feedback helps us make SwiftKey better."

You can get your hands on the new SwiftKey 4.5 beta app at beta.swiftkey.net.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 12 December 2013.