Today’s keyboard apps are rather smart, quickly learning your habits and favorite words. Another way keyboard apps adjust their suggestions is to scan a user’s emails for frequently used words and phrases, but Swiftkey might not have this option next month.
Google has sent emails to Gmail users with Swiftkey, Bleeping Computer reported, warning them that the keyboard app might be barred from accessing Gmail content on July 15, 2019. Google’s email says the Swiftkey team will need to comply with its new data policy requirements if the app is to retain access to Gmail.
The Mountain View company says this move is part of its drive to make sure user data is “protected and private.”
It’s still disappointing news for Swiftkey users, as it means the app could take a dip in accuracy due to the inability to scan a user’s Gmail messages. But Bleeping Computer suggests the app might not be in the clear though, noting previous claims that Swiftkey asked for permission to view/send/edit/delete emails.
Google hasn’t clarified any specific policy violations by Swiftkey, but the search company’s refreshed policy calls for apps to only seek permissions that are necessary for core functionality. It’s possible the keyboard app does need the aforementioned permissions to function properly though. We’ve contacted the Swiftkey team to find out more and will update the article when/if we receive a response.