One of the biggest complaints many people have about iOS (and actually also about Windows Phone, but THAT is another story) is the fact that unlike Android, one cannot really do much with the keyboards that come with the OS. There is no way in which the default keyboard can be replaced by another, so to speak – so there’s nothing like SWYPE or a keyboard with your favorite movie’s logos all over it and so on. A number of apps have tried to get around this by introducing their own keyboards that only work within their own apps – Fleksy being a prime example.
And now SwiftKey, a company whose innovative keyboard is very popular on the Android platform, has come to the iOS typing party with SwiftKey Note. On paper, this is a note-taking app which you can also integrate with your Evernote account. But make no mistake, the real charm of the app is the keyboard. You will only be able to use it within the app, though, but while within it, it does make quite an impact.
Unlike Fleksy, which tried to introduce gesture typing and also a relatively uncluttered keyboard on iOS, SwiftKey has pretty much stuck to the standard keyboard and typing. Launching the SwiftKey Notes and starting a new note or editing an existing one, will bring up the keyboard which is exactly like the standard iOS keyboard with one massive difference – right on the top is a panel which keeps predicting words based on what you are typing. Sync the app with your Evernote account and it will also try to study your language and the terms that you use and make predictions accordingly.
The whole process is remarkably smooth. While typing, you keep seeing options appear on the top panel, with one being highlighted – hitting the spacebar selects this one without your having to finish typing the entire word. In a very BB-like touch, the app even tries to predict the next word you are likely to use. So if you are typing an expression that you use often, you can actually type it out with just a few spacebar presses. Pretty neat. Another good touch is the fact that swiping the top panel which contains the predicted words to the left, reveals a formatting panel, which gives you access to some basic text formatting options like bold, italics, underline, indents and adding bullet points. And all this happens incredibly smoothly with no pauses or lags whatsoever.
The keyboard apart, SwiftKey Note is pretty much your standard note-taking app, allowing you to create notes, add tags to them, and group them under notebooks. We really would have loved some social network connectivity – letting us post to Twitter or Facebook, for instance – but even without that, we must confess that SwiftKey Note delivers one of the most pleasing typing experiences we have had on iOS, and the best predictive text we have seen this side of a BlackBerry OS 10 device. And it’s free too. Worth a download, in our book.
Download from: iTunes App Store