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SwiftKey for iOS gets emoji, new languages

The third-party iOS keyboard gets improvements in latest update, including gesture-typing for the iPad.


Popular third-party iOS keyboard SwiftKey gets an update today that brings emoji, Flow support to the iPad, support for more languages and general bug fixes. The free keyboard app debuted with the launch of iOS 8, the first version of Apple's mobile operating system to let you use a keyboard different than the one that's built-in. The update is available today in the App Store.

Instead of switching between the stock iOS emoji keyboard and SwiftKey, you can now access those tiny smiley faces, food and other expressive symbols right in the keyboard. Just like in the Android version of SwiftKey, the app will predict emoji for you, as it learns how you use them. For instance, after you type "I love you" it might suggest the heart emoji.

For access to more than 800 new built-in emoji, tap the smiley face at the bottom-left of the keyboard.

Another major update is that you can now use SwiftKey's gesture typing, called Flow, on the iPad. This feature was previously only available on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Using Flow, you drag your finger on the screen to connect letters together to form a word. You can switch between using Flow and tapping the keyboard to type constantly, as the keyboard works both ways at all times. Flow also uses SwiftKey's prediction features to help you type faster.

SwiftKey's Android app includes keyboard click sounds, so it sounds like you're using an old-school typewriter when you type. That sound is now available in the iOS app too, but it's thankfully turn off by default. If you want it on, just head to the app's advanced settings menu.

Also included in the update is support for 11 new languages, for a total of 35 available languages in the iOS app. The 11 new options are Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Hinglish, Icelandic, Indonesian, Latvian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak and Turkish.

Lastly, the new version of the app brings bug fixes. However, there's no word on if the update will fix common problems that users have complained about, such as sluggish loading when you open the keyboard or the keyboard not appearing at all in certain cases.