Microsoft Buys Swiftkey, a Popular Keyboard App for $250 Million!
If you don’t know about Swiftkey, it is possible you have been using a Windows or a Blackberry for a very long time. Swiftkey is one of the most popular keyboard applications available on iOS and Android and is being used by over 300 Million users. Swiftkey went free for Android last year which sent a smile across all Android users, owing to the fact that Swiftkey introduced a bunch of innovative features for mobile keyboard.
Microsoft has announced the acquisition of Swiftkey at $250 Million, to improve its keyboard application and generate more innovative ideas and features through collaboration. Microsoft’s own stock keyboard is quite famous amongst users as well, and such a collaboration will make situations easier. Swiftkey’s features will be gradually integrated into Microsoft’s own keyboard and updated will be released subsequently.
The company was started by two people in 2008, who wanted to play around with the way users interact through keyboards, to solve a simple problem of less space (on smartphones) and simplify the typing process. Swiftkey keyboard was launched with a beta version on Android Market back in 2010, and supported seven languages. It provided settings to adjust audio feedback volume and regulate the length of haptic feedback vibrations. As the version improved, new features were introduced for iOS and Android across different devices like tablets and smartphones.
There were improvements in keyboard sizes and options to increase of decrease keyboard size depending on one’s hands, split-keyboard layout to improve typing using thumbs, word prediction using cloud-based personalization technology and auto-correction.
The most popular feature of Swiftkey till date has been swipe to enter word. It became very popular amongst avid texters and has been known to save over 10 Trillions of keystrokes. The latest update from Swiftkey is based on neural networks and is known to have the best auto-correct feature by far.
The Swiftkey blog talks about the acquisition and the fact that it is excited to join Microsoft to improve its commitment and services towards the goal of innovation. Talking about the sale of Swiftkey, the blog mentions, “Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Our mission is to enhance interaction between people and technology. We think these are a perfect match, and we believe joining Microsoft is the right next stage in our journey.”
Microsoft has made an excellent acquisition in terms of innovation and we can see the growing popularity of Swiftkey. It is possible to see more ergonomically designed keyboard with more machine-learning techniques built in to make typing intuitive.