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Android User Demand For SwiftKey 3 Beta Crashes ServersBy Mark Long
Posted: April 4, 2012 3:24pm PDT
When TouchType rolled out a new beta version of its SwiftKey virtual keyboard on Wednesday, the company's Web site was immediately overwhelmed with thousands of requests from Android smartphone and tablet users eager to get their hands on the latest software release.
"So many people want to try SwiftKey 3 Beta that despite tripling our server capacity, it's struggling to cope," the U.K.-based company said in a SwiftKey Twitter post. "Please keep trying!"
Perhaps the most significant user benefit under SwiftKey 3's hood is the way the upgraded software effortlessly tackles one of the hardest problems that exists in the mobile text entry field today. According to TouchType Chief Marketing Officer Joe Braidwood, the beta app's upgraded methodology can determine when a user has missed spaces and automatically render corrections.
"With our new Smart Space technology, SwiftKey 3 figures out when you've missed spaces -- or maybe hit a letter instead -- across long strings of sloppy text," Braidwood said in a blog post Wednesday. "It makes typing much, much easier [and] you can even type a whole sentence out without hitting [the] space [bar] once."
Other Beta Features
TouchType's new SwiftKey 3 beta release for Android smartphones and tablets -- including devices running Google's new Ice Cream Sandwich platform, also known as Android 4.0 -- sports a larger space bar as well as a typing user interface makeover. Also on tap is an online service for automatically backing up the phrases learned on each and every Android mobile device running the new beta app.
The U.K.-based start-up also has added seven languages to the 35 already supported in the company's current commercial release. Additionally, SwiftKey 3 beta users no longer need to long-press the period to get to the question mark or exclamation point characters.
"Just quickly slide left" on the period, the company explained in a SwiftKey Twitter post. "Once you adjust, it's awesome."
Following the crash of SwiftKey 3 beta's main download page on Wednesday, Braidwood apologized to users and directed them to a temporary URL from which Android device users can access the new software release. "It's [because] thousands are accessing it at the same time," he said.
More Than Just Another Mobile App
TouchType is also making it possible for Android device makers, mobile service operators and enterprise app developers to harness the full power of the company's innovative touch-screen keyboard technology.
Earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona -- where SwiftKey won the show's most innovative mobile app award -- TouchType unleashed a new SwiftKey software development kit (SDK) to demonstrate that the startup's technology for the Android platform is more than just another mobile app.
"Our new SDK empowers engineers in hardware and enterprise companies to use a suite of tools designed to provide an excellent typing experience in a wide range of contexts," Braidwood wrote in a blog post in February.
For example, the new SDK enables Android device vendors, mobile service operators and enterprises to plug SwiftKey's language engine directly into their devices or services.
"It's cross-platform and highly flexible, and we're really excited about what partners across the mobile, consumer electronics and enterprise industries will be able to do with it," Braidwood said.
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