Monday, September 15, 2014

SwiftKey - The Worst Virtual Keyboard

I had heard a few raves about this new virtual keyboard (some even touted it as the best virtual keyboard on Android). So I wasn't very surprised seeing people go a little crazy when SwiftKey announced a free version for android.
I took the dive and installed it right away, fearing the offer was not going to last long.  The initial setup looked kind of polished and very welcoming.  The UI was certainly a notch better than stock/Google/Sammy keyboard, with a some amazing color/visual customizations.  Cool!

But it had one FATAL flaw... right from the very first sentence I typed, it would misspell about every 3rd word!  No kidding, I had to erase the word over and over only to find myself giving up on 4th or 5th retry and typing one alphabet at a time rather than swiping (or like I like to call it, Swype'ing).  Total disaster ~~~sigh~~~.  I thought I was typing obscure words, I toned down my vocabulary but SwiftKey's accuracy didn't improve.  It didn't even remember or learn that I'm constantly correcting what was interpreted of my swipe, or what I had chosen the last time on the same swipe pattern.
And if I ever wanted to spell out non-English words, then the feeling was nothing short of having entered the gates of hell!  I'm not kidding or exaggerating.  It is indeed that bad.  More than once I felt I would rather prefer the T9 Predictive Text of older feature phones from last decade (which, for the record was amazing for the time on phones).  After raving about swipe'ing keyboard when it first came and showing it off to friends, I started feeling sheepish and embarrassed in front friends when had to correct over and over AND over.  Not to mention the horror of adding an apostrophe(') to any word, you have to fight hard against SwiftKey to NOT add a space, and if you go back it often, due to mind of its own, change the word, auto-(in)correct (tm)!

But I wasn't ready to give it up yet, the critical self inside of me questioned me, I thought it was probably my swiping, or my words, or my usage, or something in me that was horribly wrong, so I kept using it for good 3 months.. But one fine day my patience crossed its threshold (not to be confused with Windows Threshold! Bad joke!).  But seriously, I reached a point where I said just !@#$ it, I don't want to retype every 3rd word any time I type a sentence.  I didn't want to spend enormous amount of time correcting or updating SwiftKey's dictionary, esp. when I knew my last virtual keyboard was awesome.

So, that very instant, before steam would start coming out of my ears and nose, I switched back to my good'ol Swype (Google Play, official page)!  Boy did I miss you!  With tears in my eyes (of happiness, of course) I whispered into her caring ears, I missed you so bad, I really did!  Glad to have you back in my life! ~~~hugs and kisses~~~ (yes, I'm known to sometimes talk to inanimate objects in cases like this)!

I'm now re-experiencing the joy of fast and error-free typing, Swype'ing!! ~~~muah~~~
I highly doubt the claims that SwiftKey is the most popular virtual keyboard out there, in my opinion it's the worst virtual keyboard I have ever used. AdiĆ³s SwifyKey!  At this point, I don't feel like checking out the blogsphere as to why SwiftKey wasn't good for me, esp. because I know a perfectly great virtual keyboard is sitting right in front of me!  The rational part of my self is hating me for sticking with it for so long and wasting so much of precious time, but the un-rational(uhh? what?) part is happy I gave it a good shot.

If you haven't tried SwiftKey, then don't worry, you haven't missed a thing.