SwiftKey is considered among the best third party keyboards on Android (and iOS). Lately, however, there have been some performance issues that have left users wondering what went wrong. The developers have apparently figured it out because a huge update is rolling out today to fix pretty much all of the performance issues.
Here are the details of the update:
- Keyboard appears 15-20% more quickly – This is meant to reduce the gap between when you click on a text box and the keyboard actually appears. Developers reportedly worked on improving the speed from a “cold load” and when the app is stored in cache to optimize the speeds.
- Keyboard leaves the screen 20-30% more quickly – Traveling along that same line, the keyboard also exits more quickly.
- Switching between fields is 15-50% faster – When doing things like sending messages, you sometimes send a message then quickly tap the field a second time to re-open the keyboard. This update promises that experience will be much faster.
- Typing is 10-18% more responsive – The update promises that people who type very quickly should notice a much more responsive keyboard.
- 18 new languages including Indian and Indo-Aryan languages.
There aren’t any new features or themes and that’s okay because SwiftKey just released their Material Design keyboard theme pack not long ago. Of course, another way of looking at this is thinking of how fresh and quick SwiftKey is going to feel after this update and that might as well be a feature for those who have been frustrated with SwiftKey’s recent performace.
The update should be rolling out now so keep your eye on the Google Play Store over the next couple of days. If you don’t have SwiftKey and you want to give it another go, you can download it from the Google Play Store here. If you want to read the whole press release, check it out below.
Today’s update to SwiftKey Keyboard for Android includes extensive performance improvements to several core keyboard interactions. For those of you interested in more behind-the-scenes information, we’re providing some additional details about these changes this time around.
When we introduced SwiftKey 5 in June, it featured a range of front-end and visual improvements, including the SwiftKey Store, new themes, Emoji Prediction and support for more than 800 emoji. With today’s release, we devoted specific time to improving the behind-the-scenes elements of the app, and took action on much of the feedback you’ve provided to us.
The team has worked hard to improve several areas, particularly in regards to the speed of various keyboard actions:
Keyboard appears 15-20% more quickly
For most users, the time it takes for the keyboard to appear has been reduced. We investigated and worked on performance in multiple instances when the keyboard appears; for example, the first time after installation (cold load) and subsequent loads (cached loads), among others.
Keyboard leaves the screen 20-30% more quickly than the previous version
We’ve also reduced the time it takes for the keyboard to disappear within apps (e.g. after an SMS is sent) and when exiting apps (e.g. when switching apps or returning to home screen).
Switching between fields is 15-50% faster
After sending a message, the keyboard now refreshes more quickly.
Typing is 10-18% more responsive
Users should have a smoother experience when tapping keys in quick succession. However, in certain circumstances the keyboard may still feel ‘sticky’. We will continue to work hard to improve it further in future versions.
How is your experience with this update thus far? We welcome and encourage your feedback on these changes and all future updates. Please join the conversation on our VIP forum, or just drop us a note on Twitter. To report a bug, please head to our support forum.
We appreciate your patience as we work hard to give you the best keyboard experience. Thanks for your support and for being SwiftKey users!
Steve Spence, VP of Engineering
Note: while most users will experience improvements with this update, there are a number of variables at play that can impact how you experience SwiftKey. Some of these variables include the device you have, the software build you’re running and how many apps you have running in the background and the types of apps.