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SwiftKey Note review: Awesomely fast typing, but limited to just one app

Leah Yamshon | Feb. 3, 2014
Apple's native iOS keyboard isn't bad. It's actually rather good, with solid autocorrect and its ability to learn your most commonly typed words. But Apple is a little, well, territorial with iOS, and hasn't allowed other third-party keyboard developers to create apps that can replace it entirely.

At any time, you can add a particular note to an existing notebook, or create a new one. If you're linked with Evernote, new notes will automatically sync to your Evernote account across the board, allowing you to access that note on other devices. You can also add tags, and Note handily suggests tags for you based on key words you've entered. When you're finished with a note, you have the option to export it via Message or Mail, or you could copy it to paste elsewhere. Note's main landing page has three columns to sort your notes, notebooks, and tags, so you can easily find past projects there.

I have to admit: SwiftKey's prediction feature is smoother and smarter than Apple's native autocorrect. Typing with SwiftKey doesn't feel drastically different either, though selecting words from the bank takes a bit of getting used to.

The finger motions to select a word are pretty much the same in Note as they are with the native keyboard, but I find myself focusing on the word bank and waiting for it to predict a word instead of just typing as normal. In Note's advanced settings, you can customize what the spacebar does, if you'd prefer to keep using the spacebar this way. However, the more I use it, the more comfortable I'm getting with this new workflow.

(Speaking of flow, Android's version of SwiftKey has a nifty feature called Flow that is nowhere to be found in Note for iOS. Flow is similar to Swype and lets you slide your finger from letter to letter across the keyboard instead of typing. I reckon this is a feature we might find in a future update of SwiftKey Note.)

Overall, your experience with SwiftKey Note will depend on your individual use. As an Evernote user, I love that Note helps me type faster and integrates with my existing notebooks, so it improves my workflow instead of disrupting it.

However, if you don't use Evernote or prefer another note-taking platform, you might not appreciate Note's bare-bones notebook style. Its focus is on the typing, not on the notes themselves, and there are certainly better apps in the App Store for note organization. Hopefully, Note is just the beginning of SwiftKey, because its robust predictive text only makes typing better.


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