Prediction engine excels for SwiftKey X Beta keyboard on HTC EVO

SwitKey Beta X (phone)A good keyboard is vital to comfortably inputting data on the HTC EVO.

Last summer, G&E covered an early version of SwiftKey, a third-party keyboard that uses a sophisticated text-prediction engine to increase typing speed. Today, about a year later, there's SwiftKey X Beta. What separates this free app from other keyboards (and its own previous versions) is the prediction engine that's driving it. It's better than ever and nothing short of amazing!

A friend suggested the SwiftKey X Beta keyboard to me a couple weeks ago, and I was resistant at first. Pulling me away from Swype, a keyboard I had become incredibly efficient on, was no easy task, especially since I had tried an earlier version of SwiftKey right after I got my EVO 4G last fall and was not overly impressed. But I decided to give it another chance, and in a matter of days, I was typing full sentences out with only one or two letters entered per word!

To achieve the "cloud personalization" promised by the developer, a user grants SwiftKey access to the other apps you use to communicate. It can look at your Facebook and Twitter accounts, your Gmail conversations, and even your SMS strings to learn your language. It will even track the statistics to show you in a percentage how much more efficient it claims you've become.

SwiftKey Xa   

If that level of customization weren't enough, SwiftKey X Beta also wants to know what kind of typist you are. Knowing not only how you speak but how you type allows it to truly personalize the keyboard to you, whether you type carefully or depend heavily on autocorrect.

It is still in beta and I have had a couple instances where it did not want to play nice with certain apps (the new Google Docs for one), but they are few and far between. In those few instances, I switched back to Swype and went about my business.

Other than that, it's been nothing but fast and fun. On top of the capacity to learn I've described above, the keyboard also gives you a few additional appearance and layout choices. You can choose a lighter or darker theme as well as tweak the button layout a bit.

SwiftKey Xc   SwiftKey Xd

Voice input is supported, as well as the ability to download multiple language dictionaries and enable up to three languages simultaneously.

SwiftKey Xb

A host of other ways to customize the UI are listed in the Market.

Count this keyboard among the heavy hitters and quite possibly as the best keyboard available. It is free with no trial period to worry about, so give it a whirl and see what you think.

If you don't know how to change the keyboard on your EVO, then check out G&E's tutorial on how to do it.

Swiftkey X Beta QR

Links:  Market (web) | Market (EVO)

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David Carleno

David is a former contributing editor at Good and EVO, which was merged into Pocketables in 2012.

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