SwiftKey beta 4.4 arrived earlier in the month and it looks like the beta has already graduated. Available beginning today is SwiftKey beta 4.5 and it brings a few new features. This time around the update has added what SwiftKey refers to as “some of your most requested features.”

In this case, that means emoji support and an optional number row. The number row is just that, the ability to add a dedicated number row on the top of the keyboard. This can be turned on (or off) by heading into the settings by tapping and holding the 123 key in the lower left of the keyboard. Once in the settings, head to Theme & Layout and then look for the Number Row option.

Shifting over to the emoji and it looks like this support will include 500 emoji across five categories. These break down as people, objects, nature, places and symbols. Users will be able to use the emoji through the popup panel or by using the word matching. One example here, typing “Santa” will show a Christmas emoji in the word predications. From here, you would then just tap to select.

Some others mentioned include; sleepy, pizza, broken, cheers and kiss. The emoji support also includes references to time. Those typing 10pm (or any other time) will be presented with an option for the relevant clock symbol. Otherwise, those who are planning to never use emoji — these can be turned off completely by heading to Settings -> Advanced. The one other catch with emoji is device support and the bit about them needing Android 4.1 or later.

Anyway, as always the latest SwiftKey beta can be downloaded, installed and used for free. The link to the APK is available using the source link below, but remember, this is a beta release and as a result, there may be an issue or two during your experience. We should also mention these beta releases do expire, so be prepared to update in the not to distant future to keep things running in the SwiftKey beta world.

SOURCE: SwiftKey Blog