Skip to Content

SwiftKey vs. Gboard

SwiftKey vs. Gboard

Typing is a part of our life. With new social media and notepad 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, do both compare in 2021? The article does an in-depth review and covers SwiftKey vs. Gboard.

Quick comparison

SwiftKey advantages

  • The clipboard is more advanced than Gboard’s.
  • 4 different types of keypress sounds
  • The keyboard size option is more flexible.
  • The app records typing stats.
  • You get over 300 themes.

Gboard advantages

  • The top emoji row makes it easier to pick your favorite emojis.
  • The app can be integrated with the Bitmoji app.
  • You get on-screen options, including cut, copy, and select
  • You can search for emojis, GIFs, and stickers altogether.

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.

Compared to Gboard, SwiftKey remembers the typed words quickly, and the next time you type, you see the suggestions. 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. For my address, I had to type many times before Gboard started advising the street name. Gboard does not suggest numbers.

Winner: Tie | Score: SwiftKey: 1 | Gboard: 1

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 | Score: SwiftKey: 2 | Gboard: 2

Auto-correction test

Gboard and SwiftKey auto-correction test video

For this test, I have typed a sentence with at least one error. The test will see how both can correct the words. The sentence 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: 3

Search engine

Bing-Search-on-SwiftKey-Keyboard
Bing Search on SwiftKey Keyboard
SwiftKeyGboard
Bing | GoogleNone
Search engine option table

Browsing is a big thing now. SwiftKey comes with Bing and Google search. By default, Bing is selected, but you can change that to Google.

When you search, a new window displays the search results. It also comes with an option to screenshot the current page and share it in other apps.

The Gboard app used a Google search button that could do limited searches for events, movies, restaurants, parks, etc., but the app no longer offers the button.

Winner: SwiftKey| Score: SwiftKey: 3

Related: SwiftKey vs. Samsung Keyboard

Themes

SwiftKey-and-Gboard
SwiftKey and Gboard

Microsoft SwiftKey comes with a store where users can download over 300 themes. The store has lots of great themes. You can add a background image, enable/disable borders, and add or remove the number row.

Gboard, on the other hand, comes with an editor to create your own themes. The benefit Gboard has is mixing backgrounds with styles giving you many customization options.

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

Winner: Tie | Score: SwiftKey: 4 | Gboard: 4

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 | Score: SwiftKey: 4 | Gboard: 4

Accents and special characters

SwiftKey and Gboard Accents and Special Characters
SwiftKey and Gboard Accents and Special Characters

Adding accents and special characters in the SwiftKey vs. Gboard review was essential. Regarding showing hidden accents when you hold a key, SwiftKey does a better job. The option is disabled in the settings, but it shows other accents and special characters when you press and hold a key.

Gboard only shows one character except while holding the period (.) key, in which we find more options than in SwiftKey.

Winner: Tie | Score: SwiftKey: 5 | Gboard: 5

Emoji and GIF

Both come with a wide range of emojis, and both support GIFs. SwiftKey suggests emojis as you type, while Gboard uses an emoji search tool. Gboard also suggests the emoji while typing, but it’s not consistent.

Swiping the space bar from right to left opens the emoji, GIF, and sticker menu in Gboard. The tool also offers an emoji row that shows the most used emojis, while you can integrate the app with the [popup_anything id=”18551″] app and share your personalized emojis.

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

Winner: Tie | Score: SwiftKey: 6 | Gboard: 6

Related: Samsung Keyboard vs. Gboard

Translation

SwiftKey-vs-Gboard-Translation
SwiftKey vs Gboard Translation

The final round of SwiftKey vs. Gboard is about the translation. Gboard uses Google Translate, while Bing powers SwiftKey. Gboard supports 108 languages, and SwiftKey supports 79 languages. SwiftKey can work with Microsoft Translator to translate the text offline.

Winner: Tie | Score: SwiftKey: 7 | Gboard: 7

Which one is the winner?

The score of this comparison is the same, so it depends on the user and the experience with either or both.

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

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.

martin

Thursday 24th of October 2019

SK is not good in chinese (pinyin) word prediction compared to Gboard. As I ‘m a multilingual user in English,Chinese,etc. I will prefer Gboard.

Madhsudhan

Sunday 2nd of August 2020

Glad to know that Gboard works well.

Will

Monday 30th of September 2019

Dear MK, I have used Swiftkey for many years, it's a wonderful keyboard. I am not sure if you know that the BIG PROBLEM with Swiftkey that I have as well as many users all over the world are mentioning in hundreds of post is that Swiftkey DOESN'T SYNC the predictions, words, expressions, themes, all historical data, etc even if you login with the registered account. Each time when you change your mobile or reinstall the app you LOSE EVERYTHING that you saved in years of work. Also, there is no answer from Swiftkey support, I tried many times and they ignore the users. Due to that, I am moving to Gboard. I agree with you that regarding showing hidden accents when you hold a key, SwiftKey does a better job. And also I prefer Swiftkey when deleting fast entire words than character by character in Gboard. I will miss the Cobalt theme from Swiftkey. The Swiftkey terrible support is unfortunate. Gboard could improve the keyboard if reduce the "space" key and add "@" and ".com" as Samsung keyboard does.

Madhsudhan Khemchandani

Monday 30th of September 2019

Hi Will. Thanks for the feedback. I also had issues managing my data on the SwiftKey website. I wish they can improve their services regarding support and flexibility. Gboard is also not a perfect keyboard. But, looking at the recent updates, Gboard has improved a lot. Hopefully, they will add @ and .com features soon.