TouchTypeLtd.’s predictive keyboard App, SwiftKey for Android, is now free to download all over the world. SwiftKey, formerly Google Play’s number one paid App, used to cost $3.99. TouchType Ltd. hopes to reach more users by giving away the basic App free and then selling them à la carte features and customization. To make it easier for users a SwiftKey Store has been added to the App in its latest update.
The plan is laid out by TouchType Ltd.’s CEO Jon Reynolds in a statement:
We have made the decision to go free to better enable everyone, everywhere, to use SwiftKey’s market-leading technology without payment being a barrier. We’re focused not only on reaching more users with our powerful technology, but on building great content and features to engage them.
Powerful technology indeed. Along with updates to the App’s prediction engine is the addition of an optional number of rows and more languages, bringing the total supported languages to 66 languages which include Belarusian, Mongolian, Tatar, Uzbek, and Welsh. Also available are thirty new themes and over eight hundred emojis, plus more to come of course not all of those are free. Those who bought the App at its premium price shouldn’t think they have lost out because they will receive a pack of 10 premium downloadable themes. (This package normally costs $4.99, so if you bought the App for $3.99 this should be a good bargain) The free version comes with the “Nickle” theme.
Now that SwiftKey for Android is free, iOS users will soon be getting in on the action too. For the first time, Apple will be allowing a third party keyboard on their new Operating System. Apple users can expect SwiftKey for iOS to launch along with or shortly after the launch of the consumer version of iOS 8. This is confirmed by SwiftKey co-founder Ben Medlock in his statement:
Are we going to build SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS 8? Of course we are. We’ve already started. We’re delighted Apple has decided to embrace the importance of opening its platform to third-party keyboards.
Aside from the deal with Apple, SwiftKey also made a deal with Samsung to provide the free keyboard App to 100 Million devices before 2015.