News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday June 11, 2014.
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Since it debuted on Android several years ago, SwiftKey has been one of the best paid apps available on the platform thanks to its gesture-based typing and smart word prediction. Now the app has dropped its $4 price tag and gone completely free to use, but it will still cost if you want to style the keyboard into something more to your liking.
SwiftKey has decided to embrace the in-app purchasing model by introducing a free app that includes themes can cost $0.99 for one, $2.99 for five, or $4.99 for a pack of 10. It's part of a change in strategy that asserts SwiftKey already has the mechanics of typing down and it wants as many people as possible using the app to experience it. The rationale is that enough people will enjoy that experience on a wider scale and feel the urge to change the appearance of the keyboard. With enough people paying money for new themes, the company can potentially make more money.
The new version of SwiftKey adds more than 30 new themes. Some themes inject a huge splash of color with gradients, others introduce flat and seamless surfaces, and others follow a familiar design but change the accent colors. It also adds new languages, improves the accuracy of predictions, has an optional numbers row, and raises the number of included emojis to 800.
Previous buyers of SwiftKey will be able to download the Premiere Pack that gives them 10 free themes that normally cost $4.99. First time users can still access a small number of free themes but will have to spend $1-$5 to get the better options.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.