Why do we love Android? Cause it’s open, flexible and constantly evolving. The Android operating system even allows us to replace its stock or default keyboard. The stock keyboard is not bad and the latest jellybean keyboard has all the cool features like swipe and word predictions. However, we, the android fans, get easily bored and are always expecting something new from the Android developers. Today, we are going to compare two of the best keyboard replacements for your Android- Swiftkey VS Swype.
Look and feel of Swiftkey keyboard
Look and feel of Swype keyboard
If you look at the layout of Swype and Swiftkey, they are identical both in landscape and portrait mode. The only noticeable difference is that their voice typing keys are placed differently. The look and feel of both the keyboard is more or less same.
Both provide a list of attractive colored themes. Swiftkey has the holo theme which fits in nicely with your latest Jellybean OS. In both Swype and Swiftkey you can enable disable the haptic feedback feature. However, Swiftkey allows you to select the duration of the feedback or vibration when you press a key.
Swiftkey VS Swype for look and feel: Draw
Ease of use
Swiftkey gives users the option to disable or enable the flow (swipe) feature. When the flow feature is disabled a range of features are unlocked. Such as swiping from right to left will delete words and Swiping from top to bottom will minimize the keyboard.
Swiftkey also supports split layout which makes it easier to type in landscape mode when flow is disabled. Also, in Swiftkey the key right to the spacebar provides easy access to four symbols. In Swype, both keys left and right to the spacebar hold only one symbol each.
The cut, copy and paste function can be easily accessed in Swype. Swiping from Swype logo to ‘a’ will select all text, swiping to x will cut the text, swiping to c will copy the text, swiping to v will paste the text. In Swiftkey, you have to use the default way to perform these functions which is slower.
There is no noticeable difference in the response time of the swipe feature in both Swiftkey and Swype. One of the extra type functions in Swype is the handwriting mode. However, typing in handwriting mode without a stylus can be tedious.
Swiftkey VS Swype for ease of use : Draw
Word prediction work well on both the keyboards and most of the predicted words are also same. However, over time Swiftkey offers better prediction by its learning feature. In both Swype and Swiftkey, the words that are not in the keyboard’s dictionary can be manually added to enable swipe and prediction for those new words.
Swiftkey VS Swype for word prediction: Draw
Both keyboards support voice typing. However, Swiftkey uses the Google Voice typing feature whereas Swype uses Dragon. This is probably one of the drawbacks of Swype. Dragon voice typing does not type in real time. In Dragon, the texts will appear only after you click done. Longer sentences will take longer time to process. Also, Dragon only works when there is an active internet connection.
Google voice typing on the other hand is very fast, has better voice recognition and works in offline mode.
Swiftkey VS Swype for voice typing: Winner is Swiftkey.
Swiftkey is packed with extra functions. It has a learning feature through which Swiftkey can learn words and typing patterns from RSS, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and SMS. Through more learning the keyboard delivers better predictions.In Swiftkey you can view your typing statistics and keystroke heatmap .
Heatmap feature allows you to see which keys you’ve been using most via a heatmap image of your keyboard.
Swype and Swiftkey both provide tutorials. However, Swype has a detailed “how to” documentation in the app itself whereas Swiftkey only has links to a list of short tutorial videos on YouTube.
Both keyboards support multiple languages. There is a useful backup and sync feature in Swype which allows you to backup your swipe dictionary and sync it across multiple devices.
Swiftkey VS Swype for extra features: Winner is Swiftkey
Swiftkey seems to be more efficient when it comes to memory consumption. While running Swiftkey it consumed about 19MB of RAM while Swype consumed about 29 MB and even when it was disabled it still ran in the background maybe to learn our typing style. The stock keyboard on the other hand used only 7 MB of RAM.
Swiftkey VS Swype for memory consumption: Winner is Swiftkey
If you want a feature packed android keyboard and if price is not an issue, then clearly Swiftkey ($4.29) is your choice. However, if you are comfortable with using only the swipe feature and don’t want any other extra perks, Swype packs quite a punch at a price of $0.99. Before going pro, try out the trial versions to get a hang of both of these keyboards.
I know it’s an old post, but I would like to mention a little thing. Google Voice is better if you use english, but Dragon has a lot more language support and better. I never be able to write a normal (not so long and not so short) sentence with Google Voice but with Dragon, it has ca. 90% accuracy.
I used Swype a lot. Now I switched to Swiftkey but I can not delete Swype because when I sit on my bike and want to write a quick message I need the Dragon based voice typing in Hungarian. When I write an article on my tablet I need a lot of copy/paste.
Conclusion: Swiftkey is better in Voice Typing if you use English, otherwise Swype is the winner, as I think.
Working mostly in English (and possibly a little Spanish) in the future, I was pretty sure I was going to go with Swiftkey as my upgrade from the free version of Swype. Now after reading this excellent review, I’m certain I will go with Swiftkey!
P.S. Both these excellent utilities are a steal at any price less than $10.