SwiftKey lets users remove search bar in latest update, claims 20% faster loading than rivals


SwiftKey, the famous keyboard whose predictive algorithms used to be the stuff of legend back in the day, has undergone lots of changes since its acquisition by Microsoft. Its prediction algorithms, driven by deep learning, and the main reason why the Redmond giant was interested in it in the first place, have gotten better with an overhaul, 2 years ago, bringing Artificial Intelligence smarts to every bit of the keyboard app’s functionality.

Even better, last year, Microsoft Translator, the real-time AI-powered language translator, was integrated into the app, removing the need for users to switch to another app for their translation needs. While that is all positive, such moves almost always run the risk of making what was previously a lean app, bloated and, well, laggy.

While that hasn’t been the case with SwiftKey, at least outright anyway, its makers have still been hard at work to make it faster.

According to SwiftKey, the renowned keyboard app now loads, on average, 20% faster than its “closest competitor” on a range of devices where it’s been tested on ranging from basic, dirt cheap Android Go smartphones like the Nokia 1 to mid-rangers like the Huawei Y7 Prime to heavy hitters like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro (which arrives in Kenya this month).

To make sure that the keyboard works best on the aforementioned Android Go smartphones, SwiftKey notes that the app “has the smallest app install size on fresh install – without sacrificing features or functionality”.

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What if you don’t have any of the shiny new hardware from 2018 and are still holding on to your dated device from ages ago? Relax. SwiftKey says that the keyboard’s lag on older devices has gone down by over 50%. Bad news if you were looking for an excuse to justify a much-deserved upgrade. Good news if you’re keen on squeezing your current smartphone to the last drop – every coin is worth saving this year.

Users of the app are currently receiving an update that in addition to factoring in the performance improvements mentioned above also walks the talk in terms of trimming the fat by letting users disable the search bar as well as a few bug fixes.

Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard
Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard
Developer: SwiftKey
Price: Free

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