If the general trend of the app market from paid to free apps was not obvious enough, the gutsy move from Swiftkey is shedding additional light on it today.
Swiftkey has been, for the past two years, a best seller on Google Play. In 2013 and 2012, it spent more days as Google Play’s No.1 paid app than any other. Yesterday, it was still ranked second in the Top paid chart, just after Minecraft – Pocket edition, in the US, in the UK and in Canada.
Today, you’ll have to look for it in the Top free ranking, because Swiftkey is now free. There was, previously, a free test version but the full feature version was sold $3.99.
Swiftkey is a highly popular alternative keyboard for smartphones and tablets. Learning from the way you type, it improves autocorrect and word prediction, resulting in a faster experience. Swiftkey was a Tabby Awards finalist in the 2013 and is again in 2014.
“The move accelerates SwiftKey’s ambition to reach millions of new users, especially in developing economies“, says the London-based company in a statement.
Going forward, how will it make money? By selling upgrades — like themes. As a gesture towards users who did pay for a previous version, Swiftkey offers them, free of charge, a “premium pack” of 10 themes normally priced at $4.99.
Available worldwide, today’s updated version of the app includes:
- an optional dedicated number row
- an improved word prediction engine
- additional languages being supported, to a total of 66 languages now.
Swiftkey is only available on Android devices as of now but, with iOS 8 supporting alternative keyboard, an iOS version is in the works.
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