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(Pocket-lint) - SwiftKey, the chart-topping keyboard app for Android, is now free, forever. Shifting from a paid app to a freemium app, all Android users will now be able to take advantage of one of the best smart keyboards out there without spending a penny.

Instead of having to pay for the app, SwiftKey users will be able to purchase additional content, with a range of themes on offer through the SwiftKey Store.


"This is the start of an incredibly exciting phase for us as a business. We have made the decision to go free to better enable everyone, everywhere, to use SwiftKey’s market-leading technology without payment being a barrier. We're focused not only on reaching more users with our powerful technology, but on building great content and features to engage them," said Jon Reynolds, SwiftKey co-founder and CEO.

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Those who previously purchased the keyboard will get a free theme pack worth $4.99 as a "thank you", so you can get to work customising your SwiftKey experience.

This isn't just a switch to freemium, however, there are enhancements in this latest version of SwiftKey 5 too.

There are a collection on new languages supported, support for over 800 emoji integrated into the keyboard, and, wait for it, a learning system to predict when you need emoji.

You'll also be able to add a number row for faster input of digits, and there's some further refinement to the prediction engine.

SwiftKey found itself in the spotlight at the recent iOS event, when Apple announced that iOS 8 would have many of the smart features that SwiftKey offers. At the same time, Apple also confirmed that iOS 8 would support third-party keyboards, so we're guessing that SwiftKey for iOS will also be free.

SwiftKey is one of our favourite keyboard apps and we've used it for a number of years on Android smartphones. Now it's going to be free for everyone, we'd encourage you to give it a try.

Writing by Chris Hall.