Swiftkey is a really good 3rd-party keyboard on the Play Store. It’s so good in fact, that I’ve almost never seen it outside of the #1 Top Paid app in the Play Store. Today, SwiftKey has announced version 4.3, currently in beta, that changes how you can use the keyboard entirely.
There are now three separate “layouts for living” available for the keyboard. The first keyboard is “Full”, which is the standard keyboard we’ve all come to know and love. So if you would like to keep using the classic keyboard, you can.
The second layout is “Compact.” This layout should help users with larger phones (the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, for example) use the keyboard easier. The width of the keyboard is reduced, making it easier to type or gesturing across the keyboard with SwiftKey Flow. By long-pressing on the screen or dragging the keyboard, you can position it on the left or right side of the screen.
The third and final layout is “Thumb”. This layout is more optimized towards tablets than any other device, but it does work on phones. You can split the keyboard into two pieces in landscape mode, much like you can with the keyboard on the iPad. This should help people with bigger tablets (the Nexus 10, for example) type easier.
AndroidCentral has a good walkthrough of the new beta, which we have embedded below. It shows all three new layouts for the keyboard.
Finally, the phone and tablet versions of SwiftKey have been merged into one app. When the final update is released, no matter what device you are using SwiftKey on, it will be upgraded to this one app, instead of two.
For the beta, you can download the APK from this official link. We don’t know when the final version will be available, but if the beta goes well, it should be out soon. So SwiftKey users, are you excited?