Steve Ranger of Tech Republic reports, “Qwerty [the standard keyboard layout] was a compromise from the start. And as such you’d expect it to be swept away as the technology changed. And yet this odd layout became the standard, used since on billions of devices from typewriters to tablets and PCs. Even as the cold steel of the typewriter was replaced by the cool glass of a touchscreen smartphone, Qwerty has continued to dominate. That is, until now. A number of companies are rethinking the keyboard for the digital age, led by a small UK startup called SwiftKey, so that a mere 150 years after it was first created, the keyboard could finally be made to behave just how the user wants it to.” Read more
Posts Tagged ‘SwiftKey’
Parmy Olson of Forbes recently reported, “SwiftKey has just made a gutsy move. The popular Android keyboard app has dropped the $3.99 price tag that’s driven its revenue over the last few years and is going free from here on out. It’s the kind of make-or-break decision that could help it scale up in fast-growing developing markets, and in SwiftKey’s case, also help it in going head-to-head with similar, free technology that Apple will soon offer to iPhone users. ‘We’re focused not only on reaching more users with our powerful technology, but on building great content and features to engage them,’ said the company’s CEO Jon Reynolds in an official statement.” Read more
Karsten Strauss of Forbes reports, “Your phone or tablet’s keyboard may seem simple to you but to Ben Medlock and Jon Reynolds it’s a universe of mathematics and algorithms. Their company, SwiftKey, has spent the past five years pushing to streamline the texting process using a special typing technology that some say is downright creepy in its ability to figure out what word you’ll type next. With 15 million downloads since 2010 – 3 million for the $3.99 pricetag – SwiftKey’s been the bestselling productivity app on Google Play for over a year and topped the download charts in 57 countries. This spring the company inked a multi-year licensing deal with Samsung to power keyboards on 100 million of the mobile giant’s phones by year’s end (including the Galaxy S4) and just closed a $17.6 million series B this July, led by Index Ventures.” Read more
In the United States, the app economy, as of late 2012, had created close to 530,000 jobs and served as a significant economic driver for a number of states. A study released by CTIA-The Wireless Association and the Application Developers Alliance, dubbed The Geography of the App Economy, reported more than 2.4 million apps available on more than 11 different operating systems and the stat that by 2016, mobile app revenue would be more than $46 billion.
Europe wants in. No wonder, when you see stats like the one from ABI Research this year that point to the combined app revenue from tablets and smartphones being projected to reach $92 billion by 2018, and to the app economy growing at 44.6 percent on average annually. But the continent needs some data to help it get its spot in the limelight, which is where Eurapp comes in.
The newly launched venture, Eurapp, was birthed by the European Commission, and is being run by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway in conjunction with tech industry analyst firm GigaOM Research. It’s part of the Startup Europe initiative of the European Commission’s Digital Agenda, which aims to help tech entrepreneurs start, maintain and grow their businesses in Europe. NUI Galway’s Dr John Breslin, SIOC creator and co-founder of iPad news and social reader app StreamGlider (see our story here) is leading the Eurapp project at DERI.
The new and long-awaited Blackberry 10 line from Research In Motion (RIM) makes its debut today. The company that once defined the smart phone market has a lot riding on it, and it remains to be seen if the new models debuting today will revive its fortunes. It’s already revived its name: Thorsten Heins, President and CEO, revealed at the launch today that “from this day forward, RIM becomes Blackberry.”
The two models that kick off its re-engineered approach to mobile computing are the Blackberry Q10 with a hybrid touch-screen/keyboard and the Z10 with a full touch-screen and onscreen keyboard, powered by the Blackberry 10 platform. Of the Q10, Heins said, “We built this for all those people who told us, ‘we just have to have a physical keyboard typing experience’.” Given Blackberry users’ well-known attachment to traditional keyboards, getting the onscreen keyboard right is going to be a big concern for tried-and-true Blackberry users.
As on the Blackberry Playbook before it, SwiftKey – the best-selling Android app of 2012— is reportedly behind the virtual keyboard technology on the new models. Though that vendor wasn’t named in the launch presentation during the demo of the touch-screen keyboard capabilities, the features Blackberry demonstrated pointed to the company’s leveraging the cross-platform SwiftKey software development kit for at least some of the new devices’ capabilities.
And what’s behind SwiftKey is natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning technology to speed up touch-screen typing.