Swype vs Swiftkey vs Fleksy: Android – Best Keyboard App?

Out of all the apps for Android, for some reason I get most excited about the keyboards. Why? It’s not because I enjoy typing that much, but because I still can’t get enough of the Swype style keyboards that predict what you are thinking and continue pushing the boundaries for how quickly people can type.

I honestly still miss the days of the Blackberry keyboards, since my fingers could fly on those things–even though the rest of the Blackberry phones were pretty awful. There are tons of keyboard apps that we’ve outlined in the past, but now it’s time to dive in deep to understand the best. It’s the Swype vs Swiftkey vs Fleksy Android App battle, and I’m going to help you understand which one is perfect for your phone or tablet.

A few of these keyboard apps include free and paid versions, but I would highly recommend starting with the free versions. I included the free version links below so you can test them out and see how they feel. After that, feel free to purchase the paid versions, but as you’ll read below, some of them don’t even offer that much, particularly the paid Fleksy version.


Our Ratings:

Swype: 4.3 out of 5 stars

Swiftkey: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Fleksy: 4.0 out of 5 stars

Google Play Ratings and Links:

Swype: 4.3 out of 5 stars


Download on Google Play

Swiftkey: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Download on Google Play

Fleksy: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Download on Google Play


Swype – The Crisp, Clean and Original Swype Keyboard

The Good

You can get a paid version for 99 cents with additional options like language downloads and themes. They sell themes as in-app purchases, so you can always update the way your keyboard looks. These themes are simple and to the point, just like the Swype interface. Getting started with the Swype keyboard app was actually quite a treat. It walks you through the three steps of setting up your keyboard and all of a sudden you are working with the Swype keyboard without having to do anything technical.

The main reason I enjoy this Swype keyboard so much is because it’s the original Swype keyboard. Do you remember how revolutionary the Swype technology was when it first came out? This app sticks to that technology and makes you feel comfortable.

swype setup

A strong point for the Swype keyboard is the ability to change the size and placement of your keyboard. For example, you might want to try the split screen keyboard, where you can use just your thumbs on either side of the screen. You can also shrink the keyboard or move the entire thing to the left or right. When you start typing into the keyboard you’ll notice that it predicts your thoughts quite well. It taps into your emails and social content to see exactly what types of words you are more prone to use.

split swype

You can back up and sync with your other devices through the cloud, and the Swype app has some nice tutorials and support features that pop up right when you start playing around with the app. Like stated before, it’s the original Swype app, so you aren’t bloated down with anything unnecessary. The app runs smooth and the accuracy is impeccable. You also receive a free trial of the Dragon dictation software in case you want to talk instead of typing into your device.

swypekeyboard

The Bad

The worst thing about Swype is that it reaches into your contacts, messages, accounts and locations. In short, out of all the keyboard apps, it is the least private. The app could quite possibly look at your email, figure out where you are located and even take your contacts. In my opinion there is no reason for a keyboard app to know all this information about its users, so I would assume that the company is selling the information. Obviously that isn’t verifiable, but I can always have my assumptions, based on the fact that they are running a simple keyboard software.

The Bottom Line

Swype gives everything the average user needs. Although it’s not exactly the best in terms of privacy, it’s definitely my favorite in terms of smoothness and accuracy. Since the app comes from the company that developed the original Swype technology it truly is top-notch for the person who just wants the Swype-style keyboard. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you would find with Swiftkey, but it’s for the more average person.


Swiftkey – The Keyboard With All the Features

The Good

With just a three-step process Swiftkey integrates with your email and social networks to enable better predictions when you type stuff in. You can change languages and themes, which is nice because everyone all over the world can use the app and customize it to look as they see fit. The predictions work nicely. They are definitely the best compared to the other two apps we are reviewing.

Since the Swiftkey app syncs with the cloud it reaches into your typing tendencies to understand exactly what words you like to use the most often. The app also searches for trending topics and words since people tend to use these words in their messages. If you look at the image below you’ll see that I chose a dark blue theme, but the app includes tons of crazy colors for you to choose from. It also brings up predictions within seconds, so you don’t have to sit there and wait for the app to figure out what you are trying to say.

swiftkey predictions

Swiftkey offers a settings button right in the keyboard which allows you to change the size and location of your keyboard. You can also pick and change a theme within just a few clicks and go to the full settings page instead of staring at the keyboard the whole time.

different swiftkey keyboards

In that settings page you have the opportunity to change the location of your keyboard. For example, I changed it to the split screen thumb setup, making it easier for thumb typers to send quick emails and text messages. I enjoyed the fact that all of these different settings took place instantaneously. I noticed in the other keyboard apps that when you chose a setting or tied to modify something it would be little laggy or flash a few times..

swiftkey split

The Bad

All of these keyboard apps have privacy issues, so it’s worth mentioning that Swiftkey can tap into your messages such as emails. It also has access to your accounts, so if you send emails through your phone then they might not be all that secure. Swiftkey has lots of features that might not be used by the average user. It might end up seeming overwhelming for those who just want to send a text.

The Bottom Line

Swiftkey is by far the best keyboard app on the market, at least in terms of features and support. It runs smoothly and you don’t have to worry about slow predictions or poor response times. If you are looking for the simplest keyboard on the market, this is not your keyboard. There are plenty of themes and settings to modify, so if you get confused easily by apps, it might be wise to stick with one of the other keyboard options. The quick settings tab makes Swiftkey unique, so you don’t have to exit out of the keyboard in order to change things. You can learn more about Swiftkey in our extensive review.


Fleksy – A Minimalistic Android Keyboard Choice

The Good

Fleksy is the one keyboard I had never heard of before starting this keyboard review. That said, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, since you can sign in with Google and tap into your social accounts to improve your predictions. The setup is quick and flawless, just like the other options. The starting tutorial is one of the areas that makes Fleksy stand out from the rest of the options, since it’s completely interactive, using a digital instructor who walks you through how to use the app, After the instructions it lets you try out the app yourself so that you know exactly how to use it.

So if you look at the screenshot below you can see that the app is trying to show me how to make a space without clicking the actual space bar.

fleksy tutorial

The main reason I like Fleksy is because it decreases the amount of buttons by using gestures to do things like delete. For example, the app doesn’t even include a backspace button. Instead, you just swipe to the left and it starts deleting stuff for you. This requires a little learning, so some people might not like it, but if you take the time to learn this system it makes you more productive and versatile on your phone or tablet. Think about when you learn shortcuts on your computer. It takes a while to get used to them, but they always make you faster on the keyboard, instead of moving around on your mouse and trying to find the right tab.

fleksy predictions

The Bad

The predictions in the Fleksy app weren’t popping up that quickly for me. This might have had something to do with my device, but it was clearly noticeable compared to the other apps. If you have any different experiences with Fleksy then just let me know in the comments section. The main reason I like these new keyboards is because they seem to read your mind. However, if the app is slower than my brain, then it really doesn’t serve me any purpose at all.

Another problem with the Fleksy keyboard is that you don’t receive the Swype technology, so if you like moving your finger along the keyboard to create words then you will not enjoy this app. For example, I can’t get enough of Swype technology, so this is a no go for me. Finally, Fleksy has some pretty rough privacy infringements. It’s not as bad as the Swype app, but it can reach into your contacts and find out who else is in your phone. It can also see your messages and accounts such as your email addresses. If you are a privacy freak you might want to avoid this keyboard. That said, all the other keyboards seem to tap into your personal information as well, so you don’t have much of a choice.

I’m also not certain what you get for the paid Fleksy version. They still sell you themes in that version, so what’s the point of paying? There isn’t anything else that is noticeably different in the paid version.

The Bottom Line

Fleksy is my least favorite of the keyboard apps, because it doesn’t offer Swype technology and it still takes your private information like the other more bloated apps. It’s a shame too, because this is the best looking app out of the lot, and it uses shortcuts nicely so that you can type and work more efficiently. So, who should use this keyboard app? I would recommend it to people who really can’t stand the Swype technojlogy. The support for this sapp is quite interactive and savvy. I’m hoping the app improves on its word predictions, because I wasn’t all that thrilled with how it guessed my words. It actually chose the right words, but it took painfully long for the suggestions to pop up.


Conclusion

Here’s the deal: If you are looking for tons of customization and lots of features for your keyboard then go with Swiftkey. If your can’t stand Swype technology, go with the Fleksy keyboard. The Swype app is best for those who want a simple and effective way to use that Swype technology. It’s a tried and true keyboard that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you would find on Swiftkey.

Let us know in the comments section if you have any questions about the Swype vs Swiftkey vs Fleksy Android app battle. If you have ay input about these apps share your thoughts with everyone.

 

Comments (26)

  1. Daniel Wu on

    Honestly, I don’t see the advantages of Swiftkey over other keyboards.
    If I’m typing, say, in Spanish, and try to swipe “Yo sé”, most probably Swifkey would insert “Yo se”, which is sth completely different, without allowing me to select the proper (accented) word. With TouchPal X, you either keep swiping the next word to confirm the prediction is correct or select the correct one from the list. Selecting candidates is only possible in Swiftkey if you’re typing letter by letter, not swiping, and even so it just provides 3 prediction candidates. The only option you have is to delete the last space and see if you’re lucky enough to have the correct word between those 3 candidates. If not, delete the word (letter by letter) and try again.
    After years of using Swype I’ve switched to TouchPal X, and what might seem minimal extra features (being able to have +3 candidates, delete a whole word just sliding left from the delete key and so on) make a huge difference for me. Other than that, it also features themes, and the “Wave” sentence prediction feature which I’m not very fond of and have always disabled BTW.
    IMHO, Swifkey is just a keyboard with a cool interface, so saying that it “has lots of features” when you can’t even slide a key to Space to have an interrogation mark directly inserted as Swype and TouchPal do.. It says a lot about how long you’ve tried the keyboards.

    • Dani on

      Hey Daniel, thanks for the feedback. I don’t actually speak Spanish, so it’s nice to hear how the keyboards like Swiftkey falter with something other than English. When an app says it supports all languages it’s difficult to actually test them all out unless you have a dozen people using different languages during the testing. I’m not as familiar with Touchpal since we decided to choose three of the most popular keyboards based an downloads and user requests, so some other options, like Touchpal, got left out, but we are interested in reviewing the keyboard to see how it works. And judging by your feedback it has some nice advantages. I especially like the idea of a quick slide left to delete a whole word. In terms of features, I’d still argue that Swiftkey is pretty jam-packed even though they aren’t all prevalent on the front end, like the prediction engine, cloud syncing and layout customization. I think the reason Swiftkey is so popular is because it automatically customizes in the background and there aren’t as many things that you have to learn. It’s similar to why some people like iOS compared to Android – iOS is more cookie-cutter, but it works just the way many people want without many changes, so that’s why so many people turn to it. For people concerned with changing things based on personal tendencies, Android is usually better, similar to your choices based on personal tendencies with TouchPal. Thanks for the feedback, and I’ll certainly take a closer look at Touchpal.

    • Sean N. Brown on

      But I don’t understand most of the issues you mentioned are on SwiftKey are issues that are also on touchpal X. For instance, do you not have to insert text corrections in touchpal X in the same manner that you would for SwiftKey? I’m not sure that there’s a keyboard out there that doesn’t insert corrections in the same manner as this. And while many keyboards support foreign languages, very few of them automatically insert accent marks in their correct places.

  2. zyreno on

    I like the new ‘Voice Typing Keyboard” app. It lets you do truly hands-free voice guided typing and editing in any text field on an Android device. On your phone or tablet, you can input text with either normal speech or letter spelling. Insert punctuation, typography, symbol and emoticon with voice. Move cursors freely in a text field with voice. Erase/insert/revise freely in a text field with voice. Format text with desired capitalization with voice.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hulala.android.VoiceTypingKeyboardFree0

  3. Ahmad Imran on

    I have tried a few and ultimately settled for the SWYPE. You have mentioned it in your review as well that the Swype is smooth and accurate – exactly what I want from my keyboard.

    I actually reviewed it on my blog for my readers and recommended them to use the Swype as well.

    Nice blog, first time I have been here, I will surely return as your niche is something I am passionate and write about as well.

  4. Sean N. Brown on

    I agree, SwiftKey is by far the best keyboard app I’ve ever used. It’s predictions are the best I have ever seen which is one of the reasons it’s the best. Swiftkey’s ability to take the data from Google services and like accounts is Brilliant. What I don’t understand is how people can complain so much about SwiftKey collecting data, if it didn’t collect from collect data from the various services it synced, next word suggestions not be as effective. I don’t know why people are so concerned with privacy all of a sudden? SwiftKey isn’t the NSA, neither is swype or Fleksy; so maybe we should stop acting like it.

  5. Ham on

    Just use Google Keyboard, it is really underrated and I always come back to it.

  6. Mario on

    To me the comparison between Swype and swiftkey just different. I’ve used both for several months and years.

    Swiftkey provides more options to the user in the settings while they are more hidden in the Swype environment. But I find common options in both, like NOT doing correction if I don’t choose to do so or don’t insert punctuation on space. Swype handles German (my mother’s tongue) quite well, very high hitrate. Swiftkey sometimes insists in a completely different word even I typed it letter by letter, really not a single letter I typed gets used. I use multiple languages on them both, these totally crazy candidates happen in all of them using Swiftkey.
    The prediction of Swype is much more accurate and I have to correct maybe 1/5 of the time when compared to swift. The gesture control of Swype are awesome too, everything noted in the article as well as in the comments is supported be Swype, just have a look in the help file. The only reason I use swift often is because it eats less resources and my mobile isn’t the newest. Swype often takes several seconds to actually pop up, other than that it’s more advanced in every aspect. It has gestures for almost everything, including copy&paste, even launching other apps straight out of any text field. It has specialised keyboards like a numpad like swift has, but also it has an editing view with cursor control, voice and handwriting was mentioned already. It offers more then 3 candidates and let’s you scroll the candidate list to the right to find even more, if you have to correct a word you typed earlier and place the cursor somewhere in between the letters and select another candidate the word gets replaced instead of prefixing it with the candidate where you manually have to delete the rest,I could go on and on…
    What I don’t like on Swype (beside the resource hunger) is that it deletes the whole last word after typing by one press to the back button. If you want to correct the ending that is annoying, but a single move of the cursor fixes that.

    This text was swiped and I had to correct about ten times where the keyboard didn’t get what I meant.

  7. Mal on

    Fleksy doesn’t offer predictive text. It provides autocorrect and replacement suggestions for misspelled words.
    In addition, if you look at the screenshot you took, you can see the backspace button right next to the enter key.
    I don’t particularly care for Fleksy, but you reviewed it thinking it was something it wasn’t.

  8. Akash Ali on

    For me Fleksy is the best.. I love everything about the keyboard.. Unlike other keyboards it learned my regional language quite quickly.. And for predictions and auto-correct .. I will say.. Fleksy is the best for that too.. Plus it has the extensions feature.. Which is very use full to me.. And to be fair.. I actually hate swiftkey

    • Judy on

      Akash Ali,
      I am happy that you found a keyboard that works for you and has the features you need. Congrats on learning your regional language quite quickly, but what makes you hate swiftkey?

  9. vikram singh rawat on

    I have used swipe for few years and it never corrected the words I type. SwiftKey does it a lot and worst part is the hindi keyboard doesn’t have punctuation marks of Hindi but of english.

    I felt cheated specially when the was no option of feedback to SwiftKey. now as Ali have said I will try flesky.

    what matter most is the keyboard that can adjust with my language as it had got

    33 consonant
    12 vowels
    12 symbles
    plus punctuation

    I can type week on normal keyboard but on mobile this is quite hard and I don’t really think SwiftKey is the answer.

    I will surely go for flesky…

    and if you find anything wrong in the message remember I topped it from SwiftKey

  10. vikram singh rawat on

    i finally settled for swype because it at the very least has all the punctuation marks.including ( ॥ । ऽ ॰)

    And just so you know fleksy doesn’t have a hindi keyboard and swift key automatically adjusts what i am typing. and fyi i also tried touch pal but it didnt offer swype system for hindi.

    do with some adjustment swype is so far best.और मैं आसानी से लिख सकता हूँ।

    • Judy on

      Hi Vikram,
      I am happy that you found one that works for you. Good thing that there is more than one app for that since one may cover our needs better than another. I am also glad that you can write easily with Swype.

  11. I can't tell you my name... on

    I actually recommend FancyKey because you can have settings ttoturn on and off many different things, and it’s actually pretty good. I don’t think many people use it and it’s not that popular but I hope you try it out. It has emojis, autocorrect, different languages to change to, tons of different fonts and you can change the themes to a picture you want or just something they already have. I just found out about the swipe today and I’m surprised I never found out about it! I really hope you’ll try it out and give it some feedback cause it’s awesome!

  12. Bcaka on

    I’ve used SwiftKey for about a year and have really like it but a couple of days ago it just quit working (the KB wouldn’t pop up). I’ve uninstalled/reinstalled to no avail. Now I’m using Swype and it works ok so I suppose I will eventually get used to it but I sure wish SwiftKey still worked. I’m running Android 4.2.2. which is kinda old but not really, but AT&T doesn’t offer an upgrade for my phone so I’m stuck unless I bail to another provider.

    I enjoyed this review of KBs and will continue searching for a replacement

    • Judy on

      Hi There,
      Have you tried clearing the apps or your phone´s cache? Hopefully that helps and you won´t have to look for a replacement.=-)

  13. Vi on

    Hi,

    One of the points about the keyboards here is about privacy.
    Can we not deny keyboard apps permission to access other apps’ data in the Permissions Settings?
    Not only for keyboards, we can restrict (allow or deny permission for) any app to use any other apps’ data, thus restricting the privacy. Doesn’t this work effectively?

    Vi

    • Trevor on

      granting permissions to apps, especially keyboards is always a risk. This risk is something we need to accept for the sake of convenience or not for reasons of security. Most people put their faith in the devs and companies that they won’t do anything nefarious with the apps to steal information.

      Most apps need certain permissions to work as designed. You can try to limit the permissions, but the apps or keyboards might be limited in the features or functionality.

  14. William Wolley on

    Typany is perhaps another keyboard that should be on the list. It is very simple to use and has quite good auto-correction as well as word prediction, well, at least in English. There is a lot of things that you can customise on the keyboard. And above all, it is super small and is never a burden for your limited storage.

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