SwiftKey keyboard now free on Google Play

SwiftKey has revealed that its popular Android keyboard will now be available free to download from the Google Play store, days after Apple revealed its own predictive keyboard for iOS 8.

The app previously cost 2.99 but will be free going forward. Fresh features will include free and premium themes in the SwiftKey store, hundreds of Emoji to choose from (and predictive Emoji), new languages (bringing the total to 66) and an optional number row.

Features such as next-word prediction, accurate autocorrect and SwiftKey Flow have made the app incredibly popular with users.

In a statement, SwiftKey's CEO John Reynolds said: "We're focused not only on reaching more users with our powerful technology, but on building great content and features to engage them."

Launched in 2010, the app is one of the best selling Android apps of all time, being number one on Google Play more than any other paid app, but it has never been available to iPhone users.

As revealed at last week's WWDC keynote, third-party keyboards will soon become available on Apple devices with the upcoming iOS 8, but Apple have also developed their own keyboard with similar predictive features QuickType.

Upon iOS 8's release, QuickType and SwiftKey will be in competition, and making the latter free to download will even the playing field at least in terms of pricing.

SwiftKey has previously been free to use for the first month, but will now remain that way even after the trial period is up. Those who have already paid will be compensated with a bonus Premier Pack of 10 free themes.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

You can get in touch with Caroline via email at caroline.preece@futurenet.com.