When I first used my PlayBook, my only concern was the touch. I’m touchscreen challenged, and the keyboard though very user friendly, left me at will to get a keyboard to use. I’ve had the same experience with Android phones, which drove me to use an alternative third party virtual keyboard app. Check it out…
The name of the app was SwiftKey X which was in beta when I first used it. Later I purchased it out of beta because it was the only keyboard I felt comfortable using on those touchscreen devices. When others would complain about their Android Keyboards, I’d be more than happy to show them SwiftKey X. It just made more sense and felt more natural than the native Android keyboard. It’s highly predictive and intuitive, learning from you as you type, and learning what words you use most.
With the update of PlayBook OS 2.0 I was really excited over the keyboard. I had purchased a few Bluetooth keyboards to use with my tablet, and now there’s this virtual keyboard that no longer intimidated or frustrated me. I could put the keyboards to use. I felt this keyboard was very natural and easy to use. It turns out that there’s more to this than I suspected.
Kevin from @CrackBerry found a clue. While using the keyboard, when the name Phil is typed and space entered, the keyboard suggests Collins and when Ben is spelled and spaced, the keyboard suggests Medlock. Ben Medlock is the CTO of SwiftKey. The name was placed as a preprogrammed auto-suggestion. Ronen from @BerryReview did a little research into the legalities of the app, and there’s no statement from RIM or SwiftKey implying that SwiftKey X has been integrated, but it looks as though it has been. As Ronen notes, it may not be the keyboard, but the fluency prediction engine.
Here’s the features of the Fluency Prediction Engine:
- Superior prediction performance – around 84% of words are predicted within two or fewer characters
- Intelligent next word prediction – nearly 1/3 of next words are predicted without any character entry
- Dynamic learning and personalization – predictions rapidly tailored to individual writing style and vocabulary
- Mistyping correction – reduces high input error rates made on small mobile keyboards
- Dual-language predictions – the world’s first keyboard that allows text entry in two languages simultaneously
- Fast-growing language coverage – our technology allows support for new languages to be deployed fast (14 as of Jan ‘11)