Keyboard wars: Swiftkey,Adaptxt,Swype

Keyboard wars: Swiftkey,Adaptxt,Swype

While the stock Android keyboard app is excellent,here is a look at better alternatives:

While the stock Android keyboard app is excellent,here is a look at better alternatives

The advent of touchscreen mobile phones has undoubtedly been a positive step,but one of the fallouts has been an increase in typos. Whether users moved from a full QWERTY keyboard or a classic 12-button keypad,some have taken as long as a year to get used to typing on touchscreens. Over the years,Android’s stock keyboard has evolved quite a bit and is almost as good as some of the best keyboard apps on the Play Store.

However,if you are an iPhone user,then it is best if you stick to the stock keyboard. iOS doesn’t let you set a third-party alternative as your default keyboard — you will have to select it every time you want to use it. This is for security reasons,as a third-party party keyboard technically has access to what you type. iPhone users are missing out on some excellent keyboard apps due to this restriction.



Rs 99 (Free trial)

With support for around 60 languages and swipe gestures to type,and a great layout,Swiftkey is one of the best Android keyboards in the store. When you install the app,you have to select the default language,which includes Hindi and Hinglish too; common words such as tu,hum or namaste are already programmed. While Swype is the most popular app for typing based gestures,SwiftKey does a very good job. One may even argue that its Flow feature is better than Swype gestures. SwiftKey’s best feature is its list of recommended words. It learns your typing style quickly and users will not need to type entire words a week after using the app. This process is faster if you allow the app to learn from your Facebook,Gmail and Twitter profiles. If you’re worried about security,know that the app stops trying to learn words when you are keying in passwords.



Free (Rs 60 for more features)


Adaptxt is one of the most intuitive Android keyboards with a vast language support. The 78 languages in its repository include Hindi,English,Tamil,Hinglish and even Marathinglish. Adaptxt learns new words as you type and adds them to dictionary. Through the option for social network integration,Adaptxt picks new words and prompts them to you. You can also synchronise your contact list with the keyboard dictionary.

Adaptxt’s automatic text replacement feature lets you assign a shortcut to a sentence,a phrase or group of words. For example,you can feed in “cyt” and Adaptxt will display “see you tomorrow” or assign “tnb” to display “tujhyashi nantar bolto (I’ll speak to you later,in Marathi)”. Its paid version also supports professional dictionaries for medicine,law,cricket and others. For instance,with the cricket dictionary,when you type “Pol”,one of the suggestions would be “Pollard”.

Swype Keyboard

Android,Symbian,Windows 7

Rs 55 (Free trial)

“Why type when you can swype”,says the developer of this swipe-based keyboard app. All you have to do is swipe across the keyboard,tracing a line over the letters in the word you want to type. The swiping feature increases the input speed. Word output is highly accurate even if by mistake your finger drags on to a letter not in the word. Users get a list of alternatives for similar words. The function is very helpful for a quick tweet,WhatsApp message or even a short email.

The app’s gesture function is impressive: there are gesture commands to replace a computer keyboard’s cut,copy and paste shortcut commands (the app icon replaces the traditional Ctrl key). Other useful

shortcuts include dragging your finger from the ‘app’ icon to ‘g’ and then to ‘m’ to get Google Maps.

The swipe response gets sluggish and inaccurate on wet screens,a common occurrence in humid weather. In such cases,you can revert to traditional touch-to-type input.