Microsoft SwiftKey
Original author(s)Jon Reynolds
Ben Medlock
Developer(s)Microsoft
Initial releaseJuly 2010; 13 years ago (2010-07)
Stable release(s)
Android8.10.35.4 / 23 March 2023[1]
iOS3.0.0 / 8 April 2023[2]
Operating systemiOS, Android, Windows 10 (versions 1809 to 1909)
Size24 MB (Android)
139.7 MB (iOS)
Available in700+ (Android)[3]
614 (iOS)[4] languages
TypeVirtual keyboard
LicenseProprietary software
Websitewww.microsoft.com/swiftkey

Microsoft SwiftKey is a virtual keyboard app originally developed by TouchType for Android and iOS devices. It was first released for Android in July 2010,[5] followed by an iOS release in September 2014 following Apple's implementation of third-party keyboard support.[6]

History

The company behind SwiftKey was founded in 2008[7] by Jon Reynolds, Ben Medlock[8] and Chris Hill-Scott.[9] Their head office is at the Microsoft offices in Paddington, London, and other offices are located in San Francisco and Seoul.[10]

In September 2013, SwiftKey announced a series B finance round totaling $17.5 million led by Index Ventures, along with Octopus Investments and Accel Partners.[11]

In May 2014, SwiftKey hired James Bromley as COO.[12]

In February 2016, SwiftKey was purchased by Microsoft for USD$250 million (~USD$300 million in 2022).[13][14]

In May 2020, the app was rebranded as Microsoft SwiftKey to reflect its present ownership.[15]

In September 2022, Microsoft announced it was terminating support for the iOS version of SwiftKey. The app was ultimately removed from the App Store on October 5.[16] However, in November 2022, Microsoft announced a reversal of its decision to discontinue SwiftKey for iOS devices. The app was relisted on November 18, with Microsoft assuring future updates for the app. The company cited "customer feedback" as a reason for SwiftKey's return.[17]

Overview

SwiftKey's Prediction Engine allows the program to learn from usage and improve predictions.[18] The feature allows the tool to improve with usage,[18] learning from SMS, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and RSS feeds.

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History

Beta

SwiftKey was first released as a beta in the Android Market on 14 July 2010, supporting seven languages. It included a variety of settings to adjust audio feedback volume and length of haptic feedback vibration. It was announced on SwiftKey's official website on 15 May 2014 that a Japanese version was available for beta testing.[18]

SwiftKey X

On 14 July 2011, SwiftKey X was released to the Android Market as an upgrade to SwiftKey. The upgrade brought updated features and SwiftKey X introduced a dedicated app for tablets called SwiftKey Tablet X. New features included:[19]

SwiftKey 3

The SwiftKey 3 update was released on 21 June 2012, including:

SwiftKey 4

The SwiftKey 4 update was released on 20 February 2013, including:

SwiftKey 5

The SwiftKey 5 update[20] was released in June 2014, including:

SwiftKey 6

The SwiftKey 6 update[20] was released in November 2015, including:

SwiftKey 7.0

The SwiftKey 7.0 update was released in March 2018, including:

SwiftKey for iOS

SwiftKey released an iOS application on 30 January 2014, called Swiftkey Note, which incorporates SwiftKey's predictive typing technology as a custom toolbar attached to the top of the regular iOS keyboard.[21]

Starting with iOS 8, released in the second half of 2014, the operating system enables and supports third-party keyboards use. SwiftKey confirmed that it was working on a keyboard replacement app.[22]

Starting with iOS 13, the system keyboard came with a built in QuickPath mechanism, which works similarly to SwiftKey's swiping feature.[23]

SwiftKey for iOS was announced to be deprecated in September 2022.[24] In November 2022, however, Microsoft reverted this decision.[25]

SwiftKey for iPhone

SwiftKey Keyboard for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch launched in September 2014 to coincide with the launch of Apple's iOS 8 update. It was unveiled at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.[26]

The app includes the word prediction and auto-correction features, familiar to the Android product, SwiftKey Cloud backup and sync and personalization, and a choice of color themes.

It reached No. 1 in the free US App Store charts and the company confirmed it had been downloaded more than 1 million times on the first day of launch.[27]

Further development

On 27 February 2012, the SwiftKey SDK was launched.[28] This allows developers on multiple platforms and programming languages to access SwiftKey's core language-engine technology for their own UI or virtual keyboard.[28]

In June 2012, SwiftKey released a specialized version of its keyboard called SwiftKey Healthcare. It is a virtual keyboard for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices that offers next-word predictions based on real-world clinical data.[29] In October 2012, SwiftKey Healthcare won the Appsters Award for Best Enterprise App 2012.[30]

In April 2016, SwiftKey released a keyboard that emulated William Shakespeare's speech called ShakeSpeak in observance of the 400th year of the author's death.[31] The app was co-developed with VisitLondon.com to promote more tourism to the metropolitan area of London.[32]

SwiftKey integration was included with Windows 10 beginning with the October 2018 Update.[33] However, these features were later removed from Windows 10 beginning with the May 2020 Update.[34]

Controversy

In 2015, NowSecure reported a vulnerability present in the version of SwiftKey pre-installed on Samsung devices. This would occur when the keyboard attempted to update its language pack. Samsung has since released security and firmware updates to mitigate the issue. However, TechCrunch published an article on why the issue happened because of how Samsung implemented the keyboard system on its devices.[35][36][37]

In 2016, SwiftKey users began reporting that the app was displaying personal details as suggested words to other users who did not have previous connections. Other issues included foreign languages and obscene words. SwiftKey responded by disabling cloud sync for word suggestions and releasing an update to mitigate the issue.[38][39][40]

Awards

SwiftKey has received multiple awards, including:

See also

References

  1. ^ "SwiftKey Keyboard - Apps on Google Play". play.google.com. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  2. ^ "SwiftKey Keyboard". App Store. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  3. ^ "What languages are currently supported for SwiftKey on Android?". SwiftKey Support. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  4. ^ "What languages are currently supported for SwiftKey on iOS?". SwiftKey Support. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  5. ^ "Swiftkey Keyboard For Android Now Available In The Market As A Public Beta. Swype Begone - It's That Good!". Android Police. 14 July 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  6. ^ Bryant, Martin (17 September 2014). "SwiftKey for iOS Review". The Next Web. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  7. ^ "[Withdrawn] HQ-UK: The international hub for your digital business (online version)". GOV.UK. 17 May 2019. Retrieved 12 December 2023.
  8. ^ "SwiftKey - About our company and media recognition". 29 December 2015. Archived from the original on 29 December 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  9. ^ SwiftKey’s co-founder sold his shares for a bicycle—and missed out on a share of $250 million. qz.com Retrieved 5 February 2016
  10. ^ Bradshaw, Tim; Ahmed, Murad (2 February 2016). "Microsoft steps up AI push with Swiftkey deal". Financial Times. Retrieved 24 July 2023.
  11. ^ "SwiftKey the clairvoyant keyboard raises 17.6 million Forbes. Retrieved 2013-26-09
  12. ^ "To Scale Up, Swiftkey Hires The Guy Who Built MailOnline – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Microsoft Confirms SwiftKey Acquisition (For $250M In Cash) – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. 3 February 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Microsoft taps into AI with SwiftKey app acquisition". CNET. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  15. ^ "SwiftKey becomes Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard, years after acquisition". Pocket-lint. 13 May 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  16. ^ Nistor, Codrut (October 2022). "Microsoft will kill SwiftKey for iOS next week". Notebookcheck. Retrieved 3 October 2022.
  17. ^ Palash Volvoikar (19 November 2022). "SwiftKey for iOS is back 45 days after Microsoft announced it was going away". iMore. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  18. ^ a b c Jerry Hildenbrand (14 July 2010). "SwiftKey beta keyboard now available on the Android Market". androidcentral.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  19. ^ Myriam Joire (14 July 2011). "SwiftKey X virtual keyboard launches for Android tablets, we go hands-on (video)". engadget.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012
  20. ^ a b "Popular paid Android keyboard SwiftKey goes free for all" CNET. Retrieved 26 November 2014
  21. ^ "SwiftKey gets its predictive keyboard onto iOS, with a little help from Evernote". The Verge. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  22. ^ "Uses of Computer Function Keys". 23 November 2018. Archived from the original on 11 March 2017. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  23. ^ "iOS 13 - Features". Apple. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  24. ^ "Microsoft's discontinuing SwiftKey on iOS next week". 28 September 2022.
  25. ^ "SwiftKey is unexpectedly back on iOS". 19 November 2022.
  26. ^ Natasha Lomas. "SwiftKey Shows Off Its iOS 8 Keyboard For The First Time". TechCrunch.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014
  27. ^ "SwiftKey Keyboard for iPhone passes 1 million downloads & hits No 1". 18 September 2014.
  28. ^ a b James Trew (29 February 2012). "SwiftKey launches SDK, phones and tablets get more predictable". engadget.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  29. ^ David Needle (21 June 2012). "New SwiftKey 3 for Android speeds touchscreen typing; special healthcare version for iOS as well also released". tabtimes.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012
  30. ^ SwiftKey Healthcare - Best Enterprise App 2012 Archived 21 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine. the-appsters.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012
  31. ^ Viswav, Pradeep (7 April 2016). "You can now text like Shakespeare with ShakeSpeak app by Microsoft's SwiftKey". MSPowerUser.
  32. ^ RELEASE, PRESS (7 April 2016). "ShakeSpeak app lets Shakespeare fans text like the Bard". Baltimore - Post-Examiner.
  33. ^ "OnMSFT.com SwiftKey keyboard finally comes to Windows 10 devices". OnMSFT.com. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  34. ^ Popa, Bogdan (6 January 2020). "Microsoft Removes SwiftKey Settings from Windows 10 Version 2004". softpedia. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  35. ^ Goetsch, Sallie (16 June 2015). "Remote Code Execution as System User on Samsung Phones". NowSecure. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  36. ^ Hoff, John (18 June 2015). "Samsung to fix keyboard vulnerability thru KNOX, firmware update". Android Community. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  37. ^ "No, It's Samsung, Not Swiftkey, That Is To Blame For This Keyboard Security Scare". TechCrunch. 17 June 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  38. ^ "Important information regarding SwiftKey sync services". SwiftKey Blog. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  39. ^ McGoogan, Cara (29 July 2016). "SwiftKey app leaked users' email addresses and phone numbers to strangers". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  40. ^ Carman, Ashley (29 July 2016). "SwiftKey bug leaked emails and other personal information". The Verge. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  41. ^ "SwiftKey Shows Off Its iOS 8 Keyboard For The First Time" Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine. TechCrunch.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014
  42. ^ "Meffy's 2014 finalists" Archived 29 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Meffys.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014
  43. ^ Meffys 2013 winners announced Archived 24 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine Meffys.com Retrieved 23 December 2013
  44. ^ Appsters 2013 winners announced ITProPortal article. Retrieved 23 December 2013
  45. ^ [1] SwiftKey blog. Retrieved 23 December 2013
  46. ^ Mobile Marketing Magazine > Awards > 2010 Winners. mobilemarketingmagazine.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  47. ^ (2010-11-3). "The London droid community choose – Swiftkey – APPCircus@Droidcon winner". appcircus.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  48. ^ Cosmin Vasile (24 March 2011). "CTIA 2011: SwiftKey Tablet Android App Receives the E-Tech Award". news.softpedia.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012
  49. ^ Mobile Premier Awards - Meet the winners of the global AppCircus 2011 tour!. mobilepremierawards.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  50. ^ Marie Domingo (28 February 2012). "SwiftKey Wins Most Innovative Mobile App at Global Mobile Awards 2012". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  51. ^ Webby Awards Archived 4 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine. webbyawards.com. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  52. ^ "Guardian Awards for Digital Innovation - winners 2012". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 20 September 2012
  53. ^ "The Europas Award Winners". theeuropas.com. Retrieved 6 January 2016.