SwiftKey 4.3 beta: hands-on with the full, thumb and compact keyboards

October 17, 2013
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The folks at SwiftKey dropped the latest beta update earlier this morning. This was the v4.3 release, specifically the APK has been posted as version 4.3.0.139 and it brings what is being referred to as "layouts for living." Basically, SwiftKey 4.3 has added some new options in terms of keyboard layouts. This means users now have keyboard layouts to include full, thumb and compact.

Each of these sort of fit where they would be expected based on the name, but they each seem to serve a rather nice purpose. For example, the full keyboard is what many would already be familiar with -- a full keyboard that stretches from side to side. The thumb keyboard splits things in two and while we suspect it could be useful on an oversized smartphone, this one is likely intended for those using two thumbs to type on a tablet.

The last keyboard option is the compact. Given we are seeing phones growing in size these days, it is becoming harder and harder to comfortably type with one hand. That begin the case, the compact option should be good. As we show, this works especially nice on the Galaxy Note 3 and it can even be moved from left to right.

Otherwise, as you will see in our hands-on video below, SwiftKey 4.3 also added options to undock and resize the keyboard. Perhaps best of all, these features are all wrapped up in a single APK that works across tablets and smartphones. Not to mention, these new features are simply building upon what we have already been seeing including goodies such as Flow and Cloud.


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  • hurrpancakes

    I wish it had the option for a number row on the keyboard without having to hold to select. That’s the only reason I still use the default keyboard on my G2. It’s the best keyboard (that I know of) with a dedicated number row.