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SwiftKey Keyboard Hits Version 5, Now Free With Tons of New Features

SwiftKey is pretty darn useful, especially for one-handed typing. That said, more than a few people undoubtedly had a hard time justifying the price, which was admittedly high for a third-party keyboard. Starting today, the developers of SwiftKey are addressing that complaint by offering the base experience for free.

The change reflects SwiftKey’s business model going forward, which will focus on the sale of theme packs through the new SwiftKey Store. Members who previously paid for the app can download a “Premiere Pack” – 10 packs in total – at no charge, which is a $4.99 value.

Themes and a price drop are not the only additions to the latest version of SwiftKey. A new theme, Nickel, refines the look of the keyboard’s old Cobalt skin. A toggleable number row is present, along with new language support and improved flow trails. And the prediction engine has been vastly refined, extending even to emoji – SwiftKey can suggest appropriate emoji (from a database of 800) to use with a given word or phrase.

Speaking of emoji, the new SwiftKey also includes an emoji selector. Note that you will need a device running Android version 4.1 or above to use it.

The new SwiftKey is live in Google Play, so grab it while it’s hot!

Play Link

Via: SwiftKey
  • shawn

    so am i the only one whose haptic feedback is still broken? ive messed with every setting i could and no haptic. its been broken for about 4 updates now.

  • Almost Charles Dickens

    I’m still annoyed about the merger that went down a while back of the phone a tablet versions. Having bought it twice already, and now this. UGH. I don’t give a rat’s rear about themes! Can’t I just opt to have my money back for BOTH versions instead? -__-

    • JoshGroff

      The way I see it, I paid to support a keyboard I liked, and now got free themes for that investment.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    Paying for themes? *moves hand in a jerking off motion* Guess I can be thankful that they decided to charge for the most useless feature in the app.

  • NeilGeorge

    So how do you change the theme?? When i choose theme, all I see is to change the height or shape of it. Any ideas?

  • Hobie Helbich

    I purchased the app a while ago, but then uninstalled and havent used it since. However, even though I never tried for a refund, the “premier Pack” of themes is still showing up as $4.99 for me… any ideas?

  • aznmode1

    Finally number row is included. Don’t have to use the beta anymore. Best kb IMO.

  • Sean Lally

    Does anyone else not give a crap what their keyboard looks like or is that just me?

    • Chris

      its just you.

  • Wave

    Swiftkey still not as accurate as Swype…

    • bionicwaffle

      Maybe for those of you who can Swipe/Flow. I’ve tried and my brain just doesn’t work that way. I just love the incredible prediction, keyboard layout, and swipe-left to delete the previous word (I think you need Flow turned off for this to work).

  • envoy510

    And they finally added the number row from the beta (which was horrible because of bugs).

  • JMonkeYJ

    I’ll probably give it another shot. It’s always been slower and buggier than the Google Keyboard for me in the past, but it’s been a year since I last tried it. And hey, free theme pack!

  • WitnessG

    Still wish they added the ability to have custom themes.

  • MistaButters

    How do we get the premier free?

    • charesa39

      For me, I just went into the Language & Input settings, then into the SwiftKey settings. I got a popup telling me I could download it for free. However, the first time I went to type something, I also got that popup, so I assume it’s not necessary to go into the settings first, as you should get a popup the first time you use the keyboard after updating.

      • Chris

        why the hell did you go there? update the app via the play store and go in to the swiftkey settings….

  • Tyler

    My only issue with swiftkey is that there is a noticeable lag when opening it when compared to Google’s keyboard.

    • Chris

      No lag here. Then again I have an m8

      • Tyler

        I have a moto x so performance while not mind blowing is still very smooth. It takes about a half second to a second longer to open but when it dues the animation is smooth.

  • uzo ufondu

    The only thing left that I wish SwiftKey had is the cut, copy and paste feature from Swype. I use that feature so much. It’s almost indispensable

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    i don’t know what theme to use :/
    Any recommendations?

    • Chris

      Depends on what colors you like. I’m really liking the new themes with out the outlines for the keys. It’s just the background, with the letters. It’s called spotlight.

      Neptune and nickel are good ones too. I had been using their dark skin before the update. It’s one of the older ones. Charcoal gray with white and green text.

      I’m not a fan of the neon-ish styles and the thick like buttons . Looks too tacky.

    • Reen

      I’m using the nickel light theme on my Xperia Z2

  • brkshr

    I gave it a shot again. Back to Swype for me.

    I don’t like that it will only selectively let me swipe in certain areas. It will only let me type (peck) in those areas. Swype will let you swipe everywhere, consistently. So I’m not trying to swipe, erase what I accidentally typed and peck it in now. I also prefer all the shortcuts that Swype has for copying, pasting, cutting, exclamation, question mark, etc. Also, with Swiftkey, I have to enter a custom word in a few times before it will allow me to swipe it. With Swype, as soon as I enter it into the dictionary I can swipe it. Swype is also still more accurate when it comes to swiping.

    For swipers, I think Swype is the best, then Google Keyboard. For peckers, Swiftkey is the best at prediction, but Swype and Google Keyboard closed the gap pretty closely on their last couple updates. I think it’s time for me to quit trying Swiftkey at all. I always have the same complaints for a few years now, so it doesn’t seem like Swiftkeys ideals will ever line up with my own.

  • cristianer

    Now, is it free? Cool! Installing.

  • hebrewHAMMER

    Minimal black is beautiful. Reminds me of Flesky.

  • gintoddic

    finally have the option for emoji to be a long press, thank god.

  • nabooska

    Finally downloaded SwiftKey again… I could never justify the steep premium costs before but now that it’s free they have my loyalty back. Google keyboard is nice but the prediction is no where near as good 🙂

  • aBabyPenguin

    SwiftKey has always been my preferred keyboard. No matter what other third party apps I try, none of them come close to the accuracy of SwiftKey. I am glad to see that now that it is free, I can spread the word and get all my friends to be happier typers. The themes in the pack aren’t bad, but I really liked the Minimal Green theme so I grabbed it with my Google Opinion Rewards cash. :p

  • Shagnscooby

    I noticed that android 4.4.3 fixed the issue of reverting the default keyboard to stock. I updated my Swiftkey and it remained my default keyboard.

  • Michael

    Paying for themes? I guess it’s another one of those things where Android users are cheep, but I probably won’t buy one.

    • Chris

      It’s one of the most used apps on your phone and the themes are only a buck for a single theme or a few bucks for a pack of them.

      It’s about the average cost of a single app on the google play store.

  • I just bought this app 3 days ago but decided to go back to beta because its better and now its free?!? But I heard paid users get 4.99 in free themes

    • $2.99.

      • Chris

        Actually the premium pack is $4.99. You get 10 themes

    • aBabyPenguin

      You get a pack of themes valued at $4.99.

      • Yep got them

        • MistaButters

          How did you get them? I definitely paid for SwiftKey (although it was 2 years ago).

          • Hit the SwiftKey swoosh button on the keyboard, hit themes, SwiftKey store, then packs, then the premiere packs should say $4.99 with a slash thru it and free.

          • WitnessG

            You also have to sign into SK cloud with the account you bought SK with.

  • Droid-Lifer

    I got SwiftKey as the Free App on Amazon a long time ago and for the longest time that was the only reason I kept the Amazon App store installed. I LOVE SwiftKey. Anytime I flash to a new ROM or update to a new phone, it’s one of the first things I install. I hope Amazon gets the update fast.

    • fillyo75

      Same here, I uninstalled the app from Amazon, and reinstalled from Google Play. Since I signed in with Google previously, it recognized I had the paid version and let me get the free premium pack

  • T4rd

    Finally, they’ve added the number row to the Play Store version. I’ve been using the betas for months just for that functionality.

    • Adam

      Did they fix the number inputs breaking the prediction stuff? I loved the number row but it was really frustrating that every time I accidentally hit a digit in the middle of a word is flummoxed the prediction stuff completely and made me manually correct.

      I’ll probably find out for myself, been using stock nexus keyboard ever since I bought my N5 but maybe time to try SwiftKey out again.

    • Big EZ

      I prefer no dedicated number keys, but I set my long press to 225 ms. With that setup I can quickly access the number keys without taking up more screen real estate.

      • fd2blk78

        I’m at 203 ms. Haha

  • Akiih

    SwiftKey is awesome for english, but my native language finnish isn’t too good on that.

    • Liquidretro

      Have you DL the Finish language pack?

      • Akiih

        Yeah, I tried it. It worked prettty well, but I don’t want always to use fully native language.. Finnish is pretty interesting one 😀 Also, if I remember correctly, it didn’t have ö and ä which are pretty important in my language.

  • HoosierDaddy

    SwiftKey is by far the best keyboard available still. I have tried Google Keyboard, Minuum, Swype, and all the others. I keep coming back to Swiftkey as my DD. It takes some getting used to, but I’ve found it to be the most accurate, responsive and the predictions are amazing.

    • j

      Definitely the best. However, I’m lazy and just use google keyboard now that it swypes.

      • morgan boyle

        you are SOOOOO lazy that you wont even take the 15 seconds of setup time to be running an admittedly better keyboard? jeez, i cant imagine how this translates to your sex life…

        • MikeSaver


        • Kevin Esser

          Win & burn!

      • I’ve switch to the Google keyboard too. The swiping seems to be almost as accurate as Swype’s, and it doesn’t have the lag issues that Swype does. I’ve tested out SwiftKey’s swiping and it really doesn’t do too well comparatively. That said, the last time I tested SwiftKey was about 8 to 10 months ago. Has the swiping gotten significantly better since then?

        • William Kister

          I love the simplicity of Google Keyboard and the speed seems better. It also seems more accurate at picking which words I am spelling.

    • evilfatcow

      I keep coming back to Fleksy

      • aBabyPenguin

        I keep trying Fleksy. I’ve been using an extended trial for about a month and I just can’t get into it. Recently I went back to SwiftKey and haven’t looked back. The predictions aren’t up to par on Fleksy, I am constantly frustrated by having to retype words. Also, SwiftKey Flow’s speed is unparalleled.

      • creed

        Me too! Fleksy is the best. I tried to switch back to SwiftKey this morning and I couldn’t use it.

    • Calvin Williams

      I agree that Swiftkey is the best in many ways, but when I help my friends with their phones, I always give them Kii keyboard and Handcent texting. Most of my friends want and iPhone or have come from an iPhone and still want emojis. I know Google has emoji support now but not every version can do it, and they’re pretty ugly. Kiis and handcent with the emoji plugin gives you an identical iPhone texting experience and that’s all most young people want these days.

      If someone has a better combo let me know and I’d love to try it

      • Raven

        SwiftKey has emoji support now in the free version.

        (Note: I have never sent emoji’s to anyone other than my wife who thought they were cute for about a week when she discovered them in Handcent and then promptly forgot about them.)

      • Tommy Sheets

        Hmm, I prefer to use 8sms and going to settings and turning on emojis. A simple modded stock android messaging app and its pretty speedy since it’s simple.

    • creed

      I used to think the same thing. SwiftKey has always been the best. However, I started using Fleksy when it was in beta and think it is even better. I tried switching back to SwiftKey this morning and using the new theme pack and I really disliked it. I’m back to Fleksy again.

    • MistaButters

      There is one major thing that keeps me from using SK long term. On the secondary page, the numbers and symbols should be in the same position as they are under the letter.

      • George264

        THAT is the ONLY thing keeping me from using SwiftKey all the time. I always go back to Google Keyboard because the way the 2nd keyboard with punctuation and numbers is the way I learned to use mobile keyboards all the way from 2008 with the iPod. It’s been burned into my brain and I always mess up typing punctuation on SwiftKey. If they changed the numbers and punctuation keyboard to be in line with iOS and Google’s keyboard there would be nothing stopping me. The Flow and prediction is unparalleled.

        • MistaButters

          Yeah it sucks. The prediction on swiftkey is just so good, but even if I use it for months I still make punctuation and number mistakes. Usually though I get frustrated at about a week and go back to the Google Keyboard

      • WitnessG

        I had the same problem but now I just use the dedicated number row. I don’t have to use the secondary page unless I need a specific symbol that I don’t use on a daily basis.

    • JMonkeYJ

      What do you do in SwiftKey if it miscorrects a word, and when you go back to fix it the correct word isn’t one of the 3 options? Is there a way to get more options, or do you have to retype at that point?

      • Rick O’Shea

        If you immediately hit the backspace key (to delete the auto-space SwiftKey added), it should show you what you actually typed in the upper left slot (which usually shows exactly what you typed). You can then select it, and SwiftKey will use that word and then add the new word to your dictionary. Note: This will only work immediately after a failed auto-correct. If you start typing a new word after the auto-correct, SwiftKey forgets what you typed for the improperly auto-corrected word.

      • HoosierDaddy

        I don’t think that has ever happened, honestly. My account is to the point now where I don’t even have to type, I can basically hit the predictions or have to enter 1 letter and it predicts just fine. You have to train initially to always hit the predictions even if you type the words correctly.

        • JMonkeYJ

          Thanks. Yeah, this is still happening to me fairly frequently and it is frustrating, but I’m going to give it at least a week or two of learning time and then re-evaluate.

  • JSo

    I know a lot of people like this keyboard, but I still think SwiftKey and all it’s themes are ugly.

    • jnt

      I agree on the themes. I keep coming back to it b/c it’s so darn good at auto-correcting for me. I wish the swiping was more accurate and responsive, like Swype, but I have Swype installed as well for the times I really want to swipe a lot.

    • Chris

      Even the new ones?

      • JSo

        I haven’t seen one I like.

        • Dan

          Even the free premium pack didn’t have any I really cared for, back to my default of “Forest”

          • Chris

            I’ve been using dark. It’s like forest just with out the gradients. It’s more flat. But now I’m using one of the new themes and it looks great.

          • Dan

            I tried dark, but ironically find that forest is darker and I didn’t care for the light lines in dark especially when having the number row and arrow keys on, too many horizontal lines. what I really wish is that they let us make our own themes so I could combine the flatness of dark with the darkness of forest and some of the color highlights of pumpkin

          • JoshGroff

            My default is Neon, but I’ve been trying out the free theme pack since the update. Haven’t found any I liked, but I do like the uninterrupted look of the spotlight ones without dividers between the letters.

  • rfranken

    swiftkey has never been as good as swype in my eyes. but this update is the first time i’ll have to revisit that statement.

    edit. i can’t seem to get the premium pack for free…what does one need to do to get that? I’ve purchased this app both through amazon app store and google play

    • Chris

      It only works with Google play at the moment. So the app needs to be bought from Google play and you can access it from the themes section of the SwiftKey settings

    • In the Reddit thread about the new app Swiftkey said to get in touch with them.


      • Chris

        Why on earth would you need to contact swift key? If you bought the app on google play it should be right there in your themes….

    • Little G

      SwiftKey settings > Themes > SwiftKey Store > Packs > Premier Pack (should show $4.99 crossed out with FREE next to it.

  • jeradc

    how does it compare to the built-in keyboard in KitKat?

    • needa

      not as many typos, and i think it’s more accurate on touches.

    • Chris

      It works an d looks a hell lot better then the POS from Google

    • Dan

      number row seals the deal for me, other than that the google keyboard is pretty good as well

  • Qwerty

    I’d give it another shot if they’ve let users edit their dictionary.

    • chaoslimits

      No they don’t. It was also a little slow/laggy until I cleared data on the app.

    • Alix8821

      I’ve been able to that for a while… maybe because i was on the Betas forever.

      Give it another go! It’s the first thing i recommend to friends new to Android

      • chaoslimits

        How do you go about doing it?

        • Alix8821

          The betas? It was on their site. Looks like Betas are over now tho, with this free-mium version.

          Beta had emoji support, number row, etc MONTHS ago. But now this one has it.

          It’s 110% worth it. I’ve never left this keyboard, and it only gets better.

          • chaoslimits

            I was asking about editing the user dictionary. You said you’ve been editing your switfkey dictionary.

          • Alix8821

            Oh my bad… Type the weird add you want. Then click it when it shows up in prediction bar.
            It’s always been that way. For instance, I say “yu” in texts. It learned that & now automatically predicts it.

            Learned my slang. My sayings, even my most commonly used hash tags

    • You can

      • chaoslimits

        How exactly do you edit your dictionary?

        • When you’re typing words and it tries to suggest a correction just press the option you meant to type and it learns that way. It’s actually pretty good at learning because when I open up Hangouts to text my gf it automatically suggests Love u too and the string emojis I use before I even start typing.

          • chaoslimits

            When people ask for editable user dictionary, we want to see the list of user words and edit them manually.