SwiftKey is the great keyboard app for Android that offers excellent predictive text and voice input. SwiftKey’s had a lot of improvements over its short lifespan.
Now though, Google’s entering the competition.
Today, Google released its own keyboard app called Google Keyboard (free). Google Keyboard is the Android 4.2 version, which is now available for all users.
Both keyboards are similar, with a few key UI differences.
First, I prefer the SwiftKey layout over Google’s, especially when it comes to accessing numbers and special symbols. Unfortunately, Google Keyboard doesn’t place the common characters on the QWERTY keys like SwiftKey. I really miss that.
Yes, I know, they’re tucked down in the lower right hand corner above the period, but that’s a lot of work to get the @ symbol. Why doesn’t Google think symbols and numbers are that important?
Both apps feature swipe, which allows you to draw your words on the keyboard.
I’m not a big fan of swipe on either app, since my fingers tend to miss the letters and the swipe predictions aren’t that great. I’m sure with a lot of practice I’d improve my efficiency.
Overall, I still like SwiftKey over Google Keyboard only because of the numbers and symbols layout. For the price, free, Google Keyboard will probably sway a lot of users. If you’re a long-time SwiftKey users, you’ll probably continue to use the SwiftKey app.
I give Google Keyboard 4 of 5 stars.