Tag Archives: Swiftkey

SwiftKey Now Predicts Two Words at a Time So You Can Type Faster

SwiftKey Now Predicts Two Words at a Time So You Can Type Faster

Android: Our favorite Android keyboard, SwiftKey, is getting a big update today. The app can now predict your next two words at once. In addition to double-word prediction, SwiftKey also has also added new themes, languages, and more.

The double-word prediction is the biggest new feature and should help reduce the number of times you have to peck at your on-screen keyboard. They’ve also revamped the emoji panel and settings screens and added 34 new themes in six new theme packs. Finally, the keyboard now supports five new languages: Yoruba, Igbo, Zulu, Xhosa, and Breton.

Check out the improvements highlighted on SwiftKey’s blog post or just head to Google Play to download or update the app. (The update isn’t available for me yet, so you might have to wait to see the new features.)

SwiftKey (Free) | Google Play

SwiftKey Brings Swipe-to-Type and Predictive Text to iOS 8

iOS 8: SwiftKey, our favorite Android keyboard, just launched for iOS 8 devices and it’s bringing its best features along for the ride. Gesture typing, predictive text that learns from how you type, and cloud-connected settings that you can use on multiple devices are just a few of what’s available in the iOS version.

The video above is definitely long-winded and suffers from "talks about an app it doesn’t show"-itis, but at the end there you do get to see SwiftKey Flow, the gesture typing feature, in action the way it will work on your iPhone or iPad. Additionally, if you’re familiar with SwiftKey on Android, you’ll be pleased to know that the iOS version can also learn from you as you use it to improve its word predictions and auto-correct suggestions. Just like on Android, you can (optionally) connect the app with your Facebook or Google account so it can learn from your emails and social messages too. SwiftKey for iOS also lets you keep 2 languages on standby at all times, so if you need to switch, you can with a single tap instead of having to load a whole new keyboard.

Finally, SwiftKey stores all of your preferences, settings, and word predictions in your iCloud account, so any new device you install SwiftKey on can benefit from what the app has already learned about you. SwiftKey for iOS is free and available now. Hit the links below to grab it.

SwiftKey (Free) | iTunes App Store via SwiftKey Keyboard for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Five Best Android Keyboards

Five Best Android Keyboards

Finding the perfect Android keyboard is no easy task—there are so many to choose from, and most of them are great, depending on the type of typist you are. This week, we’re looking at five of the best, based on your nominations and votes.

Earlier in the week, we asked you to nominate your favorite Android keyboard for the top five, and vote to decide which ones would make the final round. You responded with way more keyboards than we could possibly highlight here, but some definitely rose above the ranks. Here’s what you said, in no particular order.

SwiftKey

SwiftKey has come a really long way even since the last time we asked for your favorite Android keyboards. Back then, its predictive text engine was its biggest strength—the fact that it was one of the first keyboards to actively learn from the way you typed and offer better word and spelling suggestions as a result. SwiftKey still does that really well, and if you enable it (and it’s optional), can learn from your emails, social networks, text messages, and more to auto-fill your friends names, addresses, favorite words, and more. SwiftKey also supports multiple keyboard layouts on screen, multiple keyboard sizes, phone and tablet friendly layouts that you can move around the screen, themes and personalization options, and cloud syncing for your custom dictionary and saved text, so you don’t start from scratch on a new device. Of course, it also supports gesture typing and swipe-to-type, including its "Flow through Space" feature, which lets you type entire sentences without lifting up your finger. Also, did we mention that the once premium keyboard is now free over at Google Play?

SwiftKey is no stanger to Lifehacker or Lifehacker readers. You can see our previous coverage here, and those of you who nominated SwiftKey praised it for its features that were most useful to you. In some cases it was its tablet-friendly layouts, with a split keyboard that made two handed typing with your thumbs easy. Others noted its predictive text was the best in the category. Others praised SwiftKey for its themes and personalization tools, all of which create a really personal experience. There’s more where that came from, too. Read more in its nomination thread here.


Swype

Swype was the original swipe-to-type/gesture-typing keyboard, and it still comes on a number of Android headsets by default. Over time, Swype has perfected its swipe-to-type engine, improved its predictive text engine and added crowdsourced dictionaries, given users customization options, and emerged from beta onto Google Play, sporting Dragon Dictation text-to-speech, thanks to its new parent company, Nuance. Now, Swype has split-keyboard options and tablet-friendly layouts, great speech recognition, smooth typing, and easy language switching.

Those of you who nominated Swype praised its swipe-to-type feature, and noted that even other keyboards that have it just aren’t the same. Many of you noted that Swype makes it easy to add punctuation, and copy and paste text by swiping key-shortcuts. For many of you, Swype just hits the sweet spot, and while it’s not perfect (many of you reported sluggishness with it), it’s fast, flexible, and offers more shortcuts and hotkeys than most other competitors. If you’re interested, now that it’s out of beta you’ll have to drop $4 to get it at Google Play. Read more in its nomination thread here.


Google Keyboard

Five Best Android Keyboards

Make no mistake, the default keyboard has come a long way in its own right. Google has taken some of the best features from third-party keyboards and rolled them into its own, which is available for free at Google Play. The stock Google Keyboard (at least in Kit Kat) has gesture typing, a learning dictionary that saves words you introduce to it, text expansion built-in, personalized predictive text based on your typing habits, speech-to-text features, and more. It’s remarkably powerful, and offers features for free that used to be only available in premium keyboards. It works just as well on tablets as it does on phones, and while it isn’t brimming with customization or personalization options, or special features like auto-capitalization of "I" or copy/paste shortcuts, it’s solid enough that many people stick with it instead of dealing with another keyboard.

In fact, in the nominations thread, many of you pointed out that there was a time when you couldn’t wait to replace the default keyboard, but it’s gotten to be good enough now that there’s no reason to. The default keyboard is feature-rich enough, and gets the job done, without slowing your phone or tablet down in the process. Many of you pointed to the Google Keyboards’ advanced features, which do give you more control over your typing experience. At the same time, it only really excels on devices running 4.0+, so if you’re stuck with Gingerbread or a tablet with Honeycomb, the default keyboard may leave something to be desired (although at least one of you noted you prefer the 2.3 keyboard anyway.) You can read more in the nomination thread here.


Fleksy

Fleksy’s minimalist look on-screen hides a ton of power under the hood. The keyboard’s real focus is on speed and extremely high accuracy. The standard QWERTY layout is fine and all, but where the keyboard shines is that when you start typing, the layout of the keyboard changes to make sure the letters you need next are right there next to your finger. In fact, when it landed as a note-taking app on iOS, we noted it was so good someone with impaired vision could use it. We cheered when it arrived on Android, bringing its exceptional autocorrection engine, invisible keyboards, auto-punctuation, and multiple themes along for the ride. Once you have a feel for where to put your fingers, Fleksy lets you type words and entire sentences without even looking at the keyboard, which is fairly impressive. One thing to note though—Fleksy is designed for tap-typists, not people who love or are used to gesture-typing. If that’s you, it’s definitely worth a try. You can pick it up for $4 at Google Play, or grab the free version first to get familiar with its features.

Those of you who nominated Fleksy praised its banner feature primarily: It’s autocorrection engine. In fact, it’s good enough to correct the word to the one you intended even if you’ve mistyped every single letter, which is pretty impressive. Plus, you noted that you can customize the size and transparency of the keyboard so it’s perfect for your needs. Of course, if you’re used to predictive text or swipe-to-type, Fleksy’s autocorrect may or may not be enough to make you switch, but it’s still worth a try. Read more in the nomination thread here .


Minuum Keyboard

Minuum started life as an IndieGoGo project, and its users swept in and funded it, hoping to build a better Android keyboard. Its claim to fame is that it’s tiny, but easy to use even if you have large fingers. We’ve highlighted it before, and again when it left beta. The entire keyboard takes up a small bar at the bottom of the screen, and stays out of the way of your other work. Each QWERTY row is staggered, and Minuum relies heavily on text prediction to make typing fast and easy. While there’s certainly a learning curve to using it, it helps if you’re a thumb typer who likes to keep the screen clear and you only really need a little space for the keyboard. If you’re a big tap-typist, or you love swipe-to-type, this may not be the keyboard for you, but Minuum is still evolving.

Those of you who nominated it praised its minimal interface, and noted that while it takes some time to learn, it’s worth it in the long run. Others of you weren’t so sure, and noted that you’d tried and gave up, or that you were sticking with it because you believed in the idea. Either way, it generated solid interest, and if you’re interested in trying it, you can grab it for $4 at Google Play, or pick up the free version to try out its features first. Read more in its nomination thread here.


Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to vote for the Lifehacker community favorite:

This week’s honorable mention goes out to the Hodor Keyboard. Because Hodor.

Okay, beyond that, some other great keyboards just missed the cut. TouchPal X is a keyboard we’ve highlighted before, and was one of the first to have whole sentence gesture typing. It’s extremely customizable, lets you customize the keyboard layout and size, switch between 70+ languages and text inputs, and it supports predictive text. Its predictive text engine learns from your SMS messages, Twitter account, contact names, and other apps, much like SwiftKey does. If you’re looking for an alternative to SwiftKey that has many of the same features, TouchPal is worth a look. You can read some solid praise for it in its nomination thread here.

Dextr is a non-QWERTY keyboard that’s well loved by its users, and presents a unique and interesting take on speeding up your mobile typing. The keys are spaced in a way to make them easy to hit even with large fingers, and it’s rolled in predictive text and autocorrect that actually works well. For those of you used to or who prefer the standard QWERTY layout though, you’ll have to climb the learning curve with this one. Once you do—according to its users—you’re in for a treat.

Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn’t included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don’t just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at tips+hivefive@lifehacker.com!

Five Best Android Keyboards

Five Best Android Keyboards

Finding the perfect Android keyboard is no easy task—there are so many to choose from, and most of them are great, depending on the type of typist you are. This week, we’re looking at five of the best, based on your nominations and votes.

Earlier in the week, we asked you to nominate your favorite Android keyboard for the top five, and vote to decide which ones would make the final round. You responded with way more keyboards than we could possibly highlight here, but some definitely rose above the ranks. Here’s what you said, in no particular order.

SwiftKey

SwiftKey has come a really long way even since the last time we asked for your favorite Android keyboards. Back then, its predictive text engine was its biggest strength—the fact that it was one of the first keyboards to actively learn from the way you typed and offer better word and spelling suggestions as a result. SwiftKey still does that really well, and if you enable it (and it’s optional), can learn from your emails, social networks, text messages, and more to auto-fill your friends names, addresses, favorite words, and more. SwiftKey also supports multiple keyboard layouts on screen, multiple keyboard sizes, phone and tablet friendly layouts that you can move around the screen, themes and personalization options, and cloud syncing for your custom dictionary and saved text, so you don’t start from scratch on a new device. Of course, it also supports gesture typing and swipe-to-type, including its "Flow through Space" feature, which lets you type entire sentences without lifting up your finger. Also, did we mention that the once premium keyboard is now free over at Google Play?

SwiftKey is no stanger to Lifehacker or Lifehacker readers. You can see our previous coverage here, and those of you who nominated SwiftKey praised it for its features that were most useful to you. In some cases it was its tablet-friendly layouts, with a split keyboard that made two handed typing with your thumbs easy. Others noted its predictive text was the best in the category. Others praised SwiftKey for its themes and personalization tools, all of which create a really personal experience. There’s more where that came from, too. Read more in its nomination thread here.


Swype

Swype was the original swipe-to-type/gesture-typing keyboard, and it still comes on a number of Android headsets by default. Over time, Swype has perfected its swipe-to-type engine, improved its predictive text engine and added crowdsourced dictionaries, given users customization options, and emerged from beta onto Google Play, sporting Dragon Dictation text-to-speech, thanks to its new parent company, Nuance. Now, Swype has split-keyboard options and tablet-friendly layouts, great speech recognition, smooth typing, and easy language switching.

Those of you who nominated Swype praised its swipe-to-type feature, and noted that even other keyboards that have it just aren’t the same. Many of you noted that Swype makes it easy to add punctuation, and copy and paste text by swiping key-shortcuts. For many of you, Swype just hits the sweet spot, and while it’s not perfect (many of you reported sluggishness with it), it’s fast, flexible, and offers more shortcuts and hotkeys than most other competitors. If you’re interested, now that it’s out of beta you’ll have to drop $4 to get it at Google Play. Read more in its nomination thread here.


Google Keyboard

Five Best Android Keyboards

Make no mistake, the default keyboard has come a long way in its own right. Google has taken some of the best features from third-party keyboards and rolled them into its own, which is available for free at Google Play. The stock Google Keyboard (at least in Kit Kat) has gesture typing, a learning dictionary that saves words you introduce to it, text expansion built-in, personalized predictive text based on your typing habits, speech-to-text features, and more. It’s remarkably powerful, and offers features for free that used to be only available in premium keyboards. It works just as well on tablets as it does on phones, and while it isn’t brimming with customization or personalization options, or special features like auto-capitalization of "I" or copy/paste shortcuts, it’s solid enough that many people stick with it instead of dealing with another keyboard.

In fact, in the nominations thread, many of you pointed out that there was a time when you couldn’t wait to replace the default keyboard, but it’s gotten to be good enough now that there’s no reason to. The default keyboard is feature-rich enough, and gets the job done, without slowing your phone or tablet down in the process. Many of you pointed to the Google Keyboards’ advanced features, which do give you more control over your typing experience. At the same time, it only really excels on devices running 4.0+, so if you’re stuck with Gingerbread or a tablet with Honeycomb, the default keyboard may leave something to be desired (although at least one of you noted you prefer the 2.3 keyboard anyway.) You can read more in the nomination thread here.


Fleksy

Fleksy’s minimalist look on-screen hides a ton of power under the hood. The keyboard’s real focus is on speed and extremely high accuracy. The standard QWERTY layout is fine and all, but where the keyboard shines is that when you start typing, the layout of the keyboard changes to make sure the letters you need next are right there next to your finger. In fact, when it landed as a note-taking app on iOS, we noted it was so good someone with impaired vision could use it. We cheered when it arrived on Android, bringing its exceptional autocorrection engine, invisible keyboards, auto-punctuation, and multiple themes along for the ride. Once you have a feel for where to put your fingers, Fleksy lets you type words and entire sentences without even looking at the keyboard, which is fairly impressive. One thing to note though—Fleksy is designed for tap-typists, not people who love or are used to gesture-typing. If that’s you, it’s definitely worth a try. You can pick it up for $4 at Google Play, or grab the free version first to get familiar with its features.

Those of you who nominated Fleksy praised its banner feature primarily: It’s autocorrection engine. In fact, it’s good enough to correct the word to the one you intended even if you’ve mistyped every single letter, which is pretty impressive. Plus, you noted that you can customize the size and transparency of the keyboard so it’s perfect for your needs. Of course, if you’re used to predictive text or swipe-to-type, Fleksy’s autocorrect may or may not be enough to make you switch, but it’s still worth a try. Read more in the nomination thread here .


Minuum Keyboard

Minuum started life as an IndieGoGo project, and its users swept in and funded it, hoping to build a better Android keyboard. Its claim to fame is that it’s tiny, but easy to use even if you have large fingers. We’ve highlighted it before, and again when it left beta. The entire keyboard takes up a small bar at the bottom of the screen, and stays out of the way of your other work. Each QWERTY row is staggered, and Minuum relies heavily on text prediction to make typing fast and easy. While there’s certainly a learning curve to using it, it helps if you’re a thumb typer who likes to keep the screen clear and you only really need a little space for the keyboard. If you’re a big tap-typist, or you love swipe-to-type, this may not be the keyboard for you, but Minuum is still evolving.

Those of you who nominated it praised its minimal interface, and noted that while it takes some time to learn, it’s worth it in the long run. Others of you weren’t so sure, and noted that you’d tried and gave up, or that you were sticking with it because you believed in the idea. Either way, it generated solid interest, and if you’re interested in trying it, you can grab it for $4 at Google Play, or pick up the free version to try out its features first. Read more in its nomination thread here.


Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to vote for the Lifehacker community favorite:

This week’s honorable mention goes out to the Hodor Keyboard. Because Hodor.

Okay, beyond that, some other great keyboards just missed the cut. TouchPal X is a keyboard we’ve highlighted before, and was one of the first to have whole sentence gesture typing. It’s extremely customizable, lets you customize the keyboard layout and size, switch between 70+ languages and text inputs, and it supports predictive text. Its predictive text engine learns from your SMS messages, Twitter account, contact names, and other apps, much like SwiftKey does. If you’re looking for an alternative to SwiftKey that has many of the same features, TouchPal is worth a look. You can read some solid praise for it in its nomination thread here.

Dextr is a non-QWERTY keyboard that’s well loved by its users, and presents a unique and interesting take on speeding up your mobile typing. The keys are spaced in a way to make them easy to hit even with large fingers, and it’s rolled in predictive text and autocorrect that actually works well. For those of you used to or who prefer the standard QWERTY layout though, you’ll have to climb the learning curve with this one. Once you do—according to its users—you’re in for a treat.

Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn’t included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don’t just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at tips+hivefive@lifehacker.com!

Five Best Android Keyboards

Five Best Android Keyboards

Finding the perfect Android keyboard is no easy task—there are so many to choose from, and most of them are great, depending on the type of typist you are. This week, we’re looking at five of the best, based on your nominations and votes.

Earlier in the week, we asked you to nominate your favorite Android keyboard for the top five, and vote to decide which ones would make the final round. You responded with way more keyboards than we could possibly highlight here, but some definitely rose above the ranks. Here’s what you said, in no particular order.

SwiftKey

SwiftKey has come a really long way even since the last time we asked for your favorite Android keyboards. Back then, its predictive text engine was its biggest strength—the fact that it was one of the first keyboards to actively learn from the way you typed and offer better word and spelling suggestions as a result. SwiftKey still does that really well, and if you enable it (and it’s optional), can learn from your emails, social networks, text messages, and more to auto-fill your friends names, addresses, favorite words, and more. SwiftKey also supports multiple keyboard layouts on screen, multiple keyboard sizes, phone and tablet friendly layouts that you can move around the screen, themes and personalization options, and cloud syncing for your custom dictionary and saved text, so you don’t start from scratch on a new device. Of course, it also supports gesture typing and swipe-to-type, including its "Flow through Space" feature, which lets you type entire sentences without lifting up your finger. Also, did we mention that the once premium keyboard is now free over at Google Play?

SwiftKey is no stanger to Lifehacker or Lifehacker readers. You can see our previous coverage here, and those of you who nominated SwiftKey praised it for its features that were most useful to you. In some cases it was its tablet-friendly layouts, with a split keyboard that made two handed typing with your thumbs easy. Others noted its predictive text was the best in the category. Others praised SwiftKey for its themes and personalization tools, all of which create a really personal experience. There’s more where that came from, too. Read more in its nomination thread here.


Swype

Swype was the original swipe-to-type/gesture-typing keyboard, and it still comes on a number of Android headsets by default. Over time, Swype has perfected its swipe-to-type engine, improved its predictive text engine and added crowdsourced dictionaries, given users customization options, and emerged from beta onto Google Play, sporting Dragon Dictation text-to-speech, thanks to its new parent company, Nuance. Now, Swype has split-keyboard options and tablet-friendly layouts, great speech recognition, smooth typing, and easy language switching.

Those of you who nominated Swype praised its swipe-to-type feature, and noted that even other keyboards that have it just aren’t the same. Many of you noted that Swype makes it easy to add punctuation, and copy and paste text by swiping key-shortcuts. For many of you, Swype just hits the sweet spot, and while it’s not perfect (many of you reported sluggishness with it), it’s fast, flexible, and offers more shortcuts and hotkeys than most other competitors. If you’re interested, now that it’s out of beta you’ll have to drop $4 to get it at Google Play. Read more in its nomination thread here.


Google Keyboard

Five Best Android Keyboards

Make no mistake, the default keyboard has come a long way in its own right. Google has taken some of the best features from third-party keyboards and rolled them into its own, which is available for free at Google Play. The stock Google Keyboard (at least in Kit Kat) has gesture typing, a learning dictionary that saves words you introduce to it, text expansion built-in, personalized predictive text based on your typing habits, speech-to-text features, and more. It’s remarkably powerful, and offers features for free that used to be only available in premium keyboards. It works just as well on tablets as it does on phones, and while it isn’t brimming with customization or personalization options, or special features like auto-capitalization of "I" or copy/paste shortcuts, it’s solid enough that many people stick with it instead of dealing with another keyboard.

In fact, in the nominations thread, many of you pointed out that there was a time when you couldn’t wait to replace the default keyboard, but it’s gotten to be good enough now that there’s no reason to. The default keyboard is feature-rich enough, and gets the job done, without slowing your phone or tablet down in the process. Many of you pointed to the Google Keyboards’ advanced features, which do give you more control over your typing experience. At the same time, it only really excels on devices running 4.0+, so if you’re stuck with Gingerbread or a tablet with Honeycomb, the default keyboard may leave something to be desired (although at least one of you noted you prefer the 2.3 keyboard anyway.) You can read more in the nomination thread here.


Fleksy

Fleksy’s minimalist look on-screen hides a ton of power under the hood. The keyboard’s real focus is on speed and extremely high accuracy. The standard QWERTY layout is fine and all, but where the keyboard shines is that when you start typing, the layout of the keyboard changes to make sure the letters you need next are right there next to your finger. In fact, when it landed as a note-taking app on iOS, we noted it was so good someone with impaired vision could use it. We cheered when it arrived on Android, bringing its exceptional autocorrection engine, invisible keyboards, auto-punctuation, and multiple themes along for the ride. Once you have a feel for where to put your fingers, Fleksy lets you type words and entire sentences without even looking at the keyboard, which is fairly impressive. One thing to note though—Fleksy is designed for tap-typists, not people who love or are used to gesture-typing. If that’s you, it’s definitely worth a try. You can pick it up for $4 at Google Play, or grab the free version first to get familiar with its features.

Those of you who nominated Fleksy praised its banner feature primarily: It’s autocorrection engine. In fact, it’s good enough to correct the word to the one you intended even if you’ve mistyped every single letter, which is pretty impressive. Plus, you noted that you can customize the size and transparency of the keyboard so it’s perfect for your needs. Of course, if you’re used to predictive text or swipe-to-type, Fleksy’s autocorrect may or may not be enough to make you switch, but it’s still worth a try. Read more in the nomination thread here .


Minuum Keyboard

Minuum started life as an IndieGoGo project, and its users swept in and funded it, hoping to build a better Android keyboard. Its claim to fame is that it’s tiny, but easy to use even if you have large fingers. We’ve highlighted it before, and again when it left beta. The entire keyboard takes up a small bar at the bottom of the screen, and stays out of the way of your other work. Each QWERTY row is staggered, and Minuum relies heavily on text prediction to make typing fast and easy. While there’s certainly a learning curve to using it, it helps if you’re a thumb typer who likes to keep the screen clear and you only really need a little space for the keyboard. If you’re a big tap-typist, or you love swipe-to-type, this may not be the keyboard for you, but Minuum is still evolving.

Those of you who nominated it praised its minimal interface, and noted that while it takes some time to learn, it’s worth it in the long run. Others of you weren’t so sure, and noted that you’d tried and gave up, or that you were sticking with it because you believed in the idea. Either way, it generated solid interest, and if you’re interested in trying it, you can grab it for $4 at Google Play, or pick up the free version to try out its features first. Read more in its nomination thread here.


Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to vote for the Lifehacker community favorite:

This week’s honorable mention goes out to the Hodor Keyboard. Because Hodor.

Okay, beyond that, some other great keyboards just missed the cut. TouchPal X is a keyboard we’ve highlighted before, and was one of the first to have whole sentence gesture typing. It’s extremely customizable, lets you customize the keyboard layout and size, switch between 70+ languages and text inputs, and it supports predictive text. Its predictive text engine learns from your SMS messages, Twitter account, contact names, and other apps, much like SwiftKey does. If you’re looking for an alternative to SwiftKey that has many of the same features, TouchPal is worth a look. You can read some solid praise for it in its nomination thread here.

Dextr is a non-QWERTY keyboard that’s well loved by its users, and presents a unique and interesting take on speeding up your mobile typing. The keys are spaced in a way to make them easy to hit even with large fingers, and it’s rolled in predictive text and autocorrect that actually works well. For those of you used to or who prefer the standard QWERTY layout though, you’ll have to climb the learning curve with this one. Once you do—according to its users—you’re in for a treat.

Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn’t included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don’t just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at tips+hivefive@lifehacker.com!

SwiftKey, Our Favorite Android Keyboard, Is Now Free to Download

Android: Swiftkey is our favorite Android keyboard, and it’s been getting better with consecutive updates. Now, the service is shedding its $4 price tag and going free for all users. In exchange, there’s now an in-app "store" for more themes and personalization options.

SwiftKey’s move opens the door to anyone being able to make use of its custom keyboard layouts, Evernote syncing options, cloud storage and cross-device sync for custom dictionaries, "flow" gesture typing, and of course, its famous predictive text engine. All of the features that made SwiftKey a great keyboard are available in the free version.

Today’s update also beings some new features, including a new default theme, emoji prediction, access to an optional number row at the top of the keyboard without having to switch layouts, and some improvements to that prediction engine we mentioned. As before, SwiftKey uses everything you type to learn more about the words you use, so it can offer better suggestions for the next word you plan to type. If you want, you can connect it with your email or social accounts so it can learn even more about your typing habits and word choices.

Users who previously paid for the app haven’t been forgotten: Paid users will get a free "premier pack" of 10 themes and customization options that’s available in the store for $5. You can grab the latest version of the app at the link below.

SwiftKey Keyboard (Free) | Google Play via SwiftKey

Multiling is a Light, Customizable and Privacy-Friendly Keyboard

Android: If you are using an Android device with limited memory and processor power, you’d know that apps like Swype and SwiftKey don’t always run smoothly. Multiling offers similar customizability and features while protecting your privacy and being light on resources.

Like SwiftKey and Swype—two of our favourite Android keyboards—you can swipe-to-type and the predictive text gets better the more you use it. It’s also pretty customizable, lets you change the layout, use different types of keyboards (like Dvorak and Azerty), supports several languages and much more.

But the two points where it’s very impressive is the low memory usage and app permissions. Where Swype and SwiftKey were using 41MB and 32MB respectively on my phone, Multiling was using just 7MB. I tested it on a low-powered Android device (dual-core A7 processor, 512MB RAM) and Multiling was much faster than any of the other keyboards, including the stock Android one.

Apart from that, Multiling requires much fewer app permissions than any of the other keyboards, asking only to read and write the user dictionary and access control vibration for haptic feedback. Meanwhile, Swype and SwiftKey will want to read everything from your text messages to your contact book. The down side is that you have to input contact names the first time in Multiling and it doesn’t learn them smartly, but that’s a small price to pay for privacy.

Multiling (Free) | Google Play Store via MakeUseOf

SwiftKey Adds Custom Keyboards You Can Resize, Move Around the Screen

SwiftKey Adds Custom Keyboards You Can Resize, Move Around the Screen

Android: SwiftKey, our favorite Android keyboard, unveiled a new public beta today with customizable keyboards you can resize and move anywhere on-screen. You can choose from three preset modes, make your own changes, pick your theme—whatever suits your typing style.

SwiftKey is calling the new feature "layouts for living," which really boils down to the fact that you can change the keyboard design and layout and put it wherever your fingers are most comfortable typing on-screen. Most of us are pretty accustomed to having our keyboard on the bottom of the screen, but if you prefer it in the center, or off to one side, you can have that. You can also make the keys as large or as small as you choose, which is great for making sure your keyboard doesn’t cover up the field you need to type in.

The new version comes with three preset keyboard modes: compact (ideal for smaller phones, typing with one hand, or using swipe-to-type gestures), full (ideal for large screens, complete with cursor keys and a full backspace key, ideal for two-handed typing), and thumb (like SwiftKey’s old tablet version, features a two-piece keyboard with half on either side of the screen. Ideal for landscape or thumb typists.) You can toggle any of them at any time to try them out or see which one works best for you.

Past that, the new version also consolidates SwiftKey into one package, so no more separate downloads for tablets and phones—it’s all one app. Hit the link below to read more or grab today’s update.

SwiftKey Beta

SwiftKey Adds Cloud Sync for Your Dictionaries, Is On Sale for 50% Off

Android: SwiftKey, your favorite Android keyboard, added a new feature today called SwiftKey Cloud that backs up your language profile so you can access it on other devices. It’s also on sale for $1.99.

SwiftKey Cloud has been in beta for a little while, but today it graduates and is available in all versions of SwiftKey. Enable it and you’ll be able to sync your SwiftKey data between devices, perfect if you have a phone and a tablet (or if you upgrade to a new device). If you haven’t tried SwiftKey yet, it’s also on sale for $1.99 (down from $3.99), so it’s a good time to check it out.

SwiftKey Keyboard | Google Play via SwiftKey Blog

SwiftKey Tablet Keyboard | Google Play