A new version of Swiftkey for speedier touch typing on Android devices has been released at half the price of earlier versions.
Available now on Google Play, SwiftKey 3 is priced at $1.99 (for a limited time -- normally it's $3.99) and includes several new features and user interface improvements.
The company also launched its first vertical product, a version of SwiftKey tailored specifically for healthcare. More on that below.
SwiftKey 3 includes several new features including “Smart Space” that detects mistyped or omitted spaces in real-time across strings of badly typed words.
The company’s also made improvements to the user interface with a much larger space bar and “smart punctuation key” help designed to improve accuracy and give users quick access to common punctuation.
“The key concept is that SwiftKey understands the way words work together and it learns from you over time to get even better,” said Joe Braidwood, SwiftKey’s chief marketing officer.
In a demo for Tabtimes, Braidwood speedily entered text on an Android tablet as SwiftKey correctly anticipated words after just a single character. The software presents a few best guesses you select from or type right through to the next word if it’s guessed correctly.
The new version follows an initial beta launch in April that was further enhanced with the help of feedback by SwiftKey’s VIP community of over 65,000 testers.
A push into healthcare for iOS, Android, Windows & BlackBerry devices
Separately, SwiftKey also launched what’s expected to be the first of several specialized versions of the software for specific industries.
SwiftKey Healthcare is an on-screen keyboard solution for iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry devices that offers next-word predictions based on real-world clinical data. The company says in early trials users have been able to cut in half the time it takes typing on a touchscreen or about a half an hour a day typing.
In a survey, SwiftKey said it found that 69% of those using SwiftKey Healthcare said they preferred using a tablet for clinical note taking, instead of a pen and paper or laptop.
Braidwood said SwiftKey got the idea after a healthcare customer suggested they could really benefit from a more customised version of the software that recognised the drugs, medical terms and phrases the staff regularly enters.
“What we’re seeing, for example, are nurses only taking five minutes to enter notes after seeing a patient, instead of ten. That really adds up to be a significant benefit,” said Braidwood.
SwiftKey Healthcare is available on a licensed per user basis. A reporting panel lets the CIO or other administrators see how efficiently the software is being used. For example, it can identify where specific users might need additional training if they’re not taking advantage of the features designed to speed input and just typing the same way they did before.
“Once you get the hang of it, efficiency goes through the roof,” said Braidwood. He notes that a typical SwiftKey user might see a 25% improvement in text entry, but that number doubles in the healthcare app because there’s more of a limited universe of healhcare-related text likely to be entered that’s easier to predict.