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SwiftKey vs. Gboard

SwiftKey vs. Gboard

Typing is a part of our life. With new social media and note-taking apps, people are typing more and more. Two apps from two major brands are SwiftKey and Gboard.

SwiftKey is experienced, but Gboard comes with Google’s machine learning. So, how do both compare? The article does an in-depth review and covers SwiftKey vs. Gboard.

Interface and themes

SwiftKey-and-Gboard
SwiftKey and Gboard

Microsoft SwiftKey comes with a store where users can download over 200 themes. The store has lots of great themes. You can add a background image, enable/disable borders, and add or remove the number row.

SwiftKey lets you create your own theme with background, key borders, and symbol options.

Gboard, on the other hand, has four theme options:

  • Dynamic color: The theme automatically chooses colors according to your homepage wallpaper.
  • System auto: The option checks your default theme (light/dark) and applies to the keyboard.
  • Default: The default light color default theme.
  • Default dark: This theme is the default dark theme.

Besides the above, it has many colors, background images, and gradients to let you mix, match, and create your own themes.

Regarding the button positions, the size of each button and the distance in Gboard are more extensive than in SwiftKey, which helps small screen devices.

Winner: Gboard | Score: Gboard: 1

Features

Resizing

SwiftKey is highly flexible in resizing the keyboard. You can adjust the height and width of the keyboard by dragging from all four sides.

Furthermore, drag and drop the keyboard anywhere on display to change its position.

Gboard, on the other hand, only allows us to customize the keyboard height according to a set of predefined options, including extra short, short, mid-short, normal, mid-tall, tall, and extra tall.

Winner: SwiftKey | Score: SwiftKey: 1

Clipboard

Swiftkey lets you copy and save text to the clipboard for later use. By turning on “Sync clipboard history,” you can synchronize clipboard data across multiple Windows devices using the same account.

Gboard, in addition to saving copied text, also saves screenshots to the clipboard. This feature makes it easy to share screenshots directly from the clipboard with other people.

When you copy something, both show you a button to paste the copied text with one when you start typing.

Winner: Tie

Spelling and grammar checking

SwiftKey only checks for misspelled words, whereas Gboard has a spell checker and a grammar checker. Gboard underlines grammatical mistakes while typing and suggests accurate results.

Winner: Gboard | Score: Gboard: 2

Incognito mode

Both offer the incognito mode, but there is one difference. SwiftKey lets you open the incognito mode at any time. The app automatically enables a mode in the browser’s private mode.

Gboard also enables the mode in the browser’s private mode but does not have an option to enable the incognito mode.

Winner: SwiftKey | Score: SwiftKey: 2

Personal dictionary

Gboard allows you to create a personal dictionary. Inside this dictionary, you can set shortcut keys for different words in different languages. This feature is not available in SwiftKey.

Winner: Gboard | Score: Gboard: 3

Cursor movement

Both support moving the cursor forward and backward by swiping the space button.

Winner: Tie

Delete words with a swipe

You can delete words from sentences in both keyboards with a swipe. To perform this, move the cursor to the desired deletion point and swipe on the last alphabetic row from right to left.

It will begin selecting words, and the selected words will be deleted when the thumb is released.

Winner: Tie

To Do

Microsoft To Do in SwiftKey
Microsoft To Do in SwiftKey

SwiftKey lets you create new tasks in Microsoft To Do. The app also has a view tasks option that goes to the Microsoft To Do app.

Winner: SwiftKey | Score: SwiftKey: 3

Tying stats

SwiftKey has had this feature for a long time. It calculates your typing stats and shows you:

  • Efficiency percentage
  • Total taps saved
  • Predicted words
  • Completed words
  • Flowed words
  • Flowed meters

You can also see the typing heat map that shows the most typed keys.

Winner: SwiftKey | Score: SwiftKey: 4

On-screen text editing

On-Screen Editing options in Gboard
On-Screen Editing options in Gboard

Gboard has the on-screen keyboard option that enables the select all, copy, paste, and other on-screen options.

Winner: Gboard | Score: Gboard: 4

Word prediction

SwiftKey and Gboard Word Prediction Test Video

The definition of word prediction is predicting a word that suits the typed word or sentence. From past data to the language, a keyboard must figure out what would be the next word.

Unlike Gboard, SwiftKey remembers the typed words quickly, and you see the suggestions the next time you type. SwiftKey also predicts and suggests the numbers.

Gboard, on the contrary, checks how often you type the exact words. If very often, then it remembers; otherwise, it doesn’t.

I typed my address many times before Gboard started advising the street name. The app does not suggest numbers.

Winner: Tie

Flow typing test

SwiftKey and Gboard Flow Typing Test Video

SwiftKey’s flow typing and Gboard’s glide typing are the same things. The accuracy of both can be measured with a test.

To make it a fair test, I deleted the personal dictionary and learned words. Here is the sentence I typed in both:

If you are going to the market, can you please buy some pomegranate? Also, some cheese and butter.

According to the results (video), both are accurate when you type the correct spelling, but Gboard uses deeper AI learning and types the correct word when it is wrong.

Winner: Tie

Auto-correction test

Gboard and SwiftKey auto-correction test video

For this test, I typed a sentence with at least one error. The test will see how both can correct the words. The penalty we are testing is:

If I purchase this app, will my phone work faster? Are there any alternatives?

SwiftKey misspelled the word “app” and typed “all.” Gboard, on the other hand, was entirely accurate. This round goes to Gboard.

Winner: Gboard | Score: Gboard: 5

Related: SwiftKey vs. Samsung Keyboard

Languages

Both support over 500 languages. Last year, SwiftKey added many new languages. The app also allows typing in five languages at the same time. You can swipe the spacebar to move through languages.

Gboard also allows typing in multiple languages. Both keyboards support different input types for so many languages. Depending on the language, one might support more input modes than the other.

Winner: Tie

Accents and special characters

Period Menu in Gboard and SwiftKey
Period Menu in Gboard and SwiftKey

Adding accents and special characters in the SwiftKey vs. Gboard review was essential.

SwiftKey has an “Accented characters” option, which allows you to see other accents when you hold a key. Gboard shows special characters when you hold a key. Those are already visible on each key.

SwiftKey shows four special characters while holding the period “.” key. Gboard, in comparison, shows sixteen special characters.

Winner: Tie

Emoji, GIFs, and stickers

Both offer emojis, GIFs, and stickers with a search feature. One thing I find helpful in Gboard is that it lets you search all media (emojis, stickers, and GIFs) altogether.

With stickers in SwiftKey, you can create collections and save them later. The app also has a basic image editor to add stickers to images before sharing.

Winner: Tie

Related: Samsung Keyboard vs. Gboard

Translation

Translation in SwiftKey and Gboard
Translation in SwiftKey and Gboard

The final round of SwiftKey vs. Gboard is about translations. Gboard uses Google Translate, while Bing powers SwiftKey.

Gboard supports 104 languages, and SwiftKey supports 105 languages. SwiftKey can work with Microsoft Translator to translate the text offline.

Winner: Tie

SwiftKey or Gboard

Gboard won the battle of this Swiftkey vs. Gboard comparison. But, it depends on the user.

Both are fine, and if you want a keyboard app that works, Gboard is for you, whereas if you want more customization features, SwiftKey is the one you need.

Wrap up

Here is the end of the SwiftKey vs. Gboard blog post. When I first wrote this post, SwiftKey was the winner, and now it’s a tie. Considering the significant rounds, most of the features are the same.

The main difference comes in those little elements which can change a user’s mind. Anyway, thanks for reading.

Nothing is more valuable than a user’s reviews about the app, so please share your views below and share the knowledge with other users reading this blog post.

Étienne

Saturday 17th of September 2022

Very interesting, thank you. To me, two things have me stick with Swiftkey. First, but not least : the arrows line, that help so much popsition the cursor while editing. Second, the ability it has to split words typed together, which GBoard can't seem to understand. For example (sorry, I'm French speaking) : "Jelaivu" or "jauraisaime" must give "Je l'ai vu" or "j'aurais aimé". Swiftkey handles this flawlessly while GBoard always fails in that kind of patern.

One thing I miss in both : the ability to insert line break instead of paragraph insertion. In Google Keep, that I use a lot, it's impossible to change line without creating another list item in checkbox mode.

Hemanth

Friday 20th of May 2022

What about password entry? I am not certain but I believe GBoard is pulling my saved passwords from my google account and entering them for me in apps or on websites. Would Swiftkey do the same?

Madhsudhan Khemchandani

Friday 20th of May 2022

Not really. This all comes down to integrations. Gboard is integrated with other Google apps, including the passwords, so you get the freedom of just selecting the account, and it auto-fills it. It's one of the things I like about Gboard. However, the feature only works while sign-in in apps because on Chrome, the browser does the job.

Kesztió

Monday 27th of December 2021

Dear Madhsudhan, you've omitted a really-really important issue for me in this comparison. The problem is that I greatly prefer GBoard over Swiftkey, but Swiftkey offers just the accented characters for the installed language(s) on long press (that is, exactly the ones I really need, e.g. Hungarian ő, ű etc.). While on GBoard I have lots of (unnecessary) Western European accented characters beside the ones I need for my language which makes typing very annoying. Do I miss something here? Or this is a flaw of GBoard I should live with?

Madhsudhan

Monday 27th of December 2021

I understand your concern. You can't change those, I believe. There is an option to deactivate the long press option, but I guess you don't want that.

Daniel Müller Trøen

Sunday 12th of January 2020

thanks for sharing things I didn't know and I have used both of them for many years ????

Madhsudhan Khemchandani

Sunday 12th of January 2020

Thanks for sharing your views. I hope you like them both.

Andre

Thursday 21st of November 2019

I would add 3 things: 1. Gboard seems lighter on my old phone; 2. SwiftKey can split the keyboard in landscape mode; 3. SwiftKey is more aggressive on autocorrect.

Madhsudhan

Thursday 21st of November 2019

Thanks, Andre for adding those helpful points.