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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Input Complete Sentences In One Swipe with SwiftKey Flow For Android

Such is the versatility and effectiveness of Swype that I haven’t felt the need to look for an alternative Android keyboard replacement app since I laid my hands fingers on it. However, if you’re in love with gesture-based keyboards (which most of us Android users are), you’ll be glad to know that the developers of SwiftKey – one of the most popular third-party keyboards for Android – have just released a public beta of their latest product called SwiftKey Flow. Like most gesture-based keyboards, SwiftKey Flow supports one-motion text input by just gliding your finger over the required letters. However, to its credit, Flow takes it one step further. How? Let’s find out past the break...

While most alternatives require you to manually hit the space key or lift the finger off the screen upon completing a particular word to add a space and move on to the next word, SwiftKey Flow allows you to complete entire sentences in a single motion, without even having to pause to add a space between two successive words. In simple words, once you start swiping, just glide your finger over the space key after each word and you can continue swiping through the complete sentence in one flow, without lifting your finger off the screen even once.
With this latest feature, SwiftKey has certainly taken the concept of swipe-controlled text input to a whole new level. That being said, the brand new input method requires some time and practice to get used to. Having tested the app on at least three different devices, I have to say that it’s quite effective, but only as long as you’re content with entering a maximum of 4-5 words in one go. Pushing for more might result in loss of the entire effort, especially if you mistakenly happen to input a word that the keyboard is unable to interpret correctly.
The new feature is appropriately titled ‘flow though space’, as it lets you unobtrusively complete the whole sentence in one go by just invoking the space key at the right time in the process. Once installed, the app requires some configuration but a step-by-step process takes care of guiding you through that. The best part about the entire deal is that the new input mode works in combination with the predictive text feature to maintain the accuracy of your sentences as desired. Therefore, as long as you keeping gliding your finger over the correct letters, you won’t have to worry about an inappropriate word being added to the sentence, as the app itself is capable of auto-correcting your sentences.
The new app retains the other handy features that SwiftKey users are already familiar with. These include multilingual support, voice input, amazingly accurate word prediction, multiple themes, the ability to learn about your most frequently used words from various social networks, and a whole lot of customization tweaks to configure your keyboard the way you want.
You download SwiftKey Flow for free from the SwiftKey forums using the link provided below. The app is currently in beta and not available on Play Store, so you will have to install it manually by sideloading the downloaded APK.


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