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SwiftKey vs. Gboard (2021) | The Ultimate Showdown

Last updated: 13 Mar 2021 | Reading time: 6.5 minutes | Watching time: 3 minutes

SwiftKey vs. Gboard
SwiftKey vs. Gboard

Google has developed over 70 apps for Android. One of them is Gboard, also called Google Keyboard. It sure is a great app, but there are other apps just as good as Gboard. Another keyboard is SwiftKey. I have been using both for over two years, and if anyone asks me the difference, I can explain without any hesitation. From my experience, here is the ultimate SwiftKey vs. Gboard article.

Table of contents

Word prediction

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 suggest 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 and numbers.

The video above shows how both predict the next words. No words were typed in the above example.

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

Flow typing

SwiftKey’s flow typing and Gboard’s glide typing are the same things. The accuracy of those can be measured by doing a few tests. To find out, I took a test. To make it a fair test, I deleted the personal dictionary and learned words. Here is the sentence we 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. Anyway, the result of this test is a tie.

Winner: Tie | Score: SwiftKey: 2 | Gboard: 2



Auto-correction

For this test, a sentence will be typed with at least one error in each keyword. 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 misspelt the word “app” and typed “all”. Gboard, on the other hand, was entirely accurate. This round goes to Gboard.

Winner: Gboard | Score: SwiftKey: 2 | Gboard: 3

Related: SwiftKey vs. Samsung Keyboard (2020) – The Ultimate Battle

Search engine

Searching on SwiftKey and Gboard
Searching on SwiftKey and Gboard
SwiftKeyGboard
Bing | GoogleNone

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, it opens up a window occupying about 75% of the screen and shows the same results as you would see on a browser. 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 | Gboard: 3

Themes

SwiftKey and Gboard
SwiftKey and Gboard

Microsoft SwiftKey comes with a store where users can download over 300 themes for free. You have options to add a background image, enable/disable borders, and add or remove the number row.

Gboard, on the other hand, comes with a few themes, background images and styles. Gboard, compared to SwiftKey, is highly customisable where you can add styles, colours, and a background image to any theme. The size for each button and the distance in Gboard is more extensive than in SwiftKey, which helps small screen devices.

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

Related: Google Messages vs. Samsung Messages | Which One is Better in 2020?

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 comes with 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. Gboard comes with nine categorised emoji menus, and SwiftKey comes with eight.

With stickers in SwiftKey, you can create collections and save them to use 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

Check out: 5 Best SwiftKey Themes for 2020 | You Should Try These

Translation

Translation Service of SwiftKey and Gboard
Translation

The final round of SwiftKey vs. Gboard is about the translation both offer. Regarding the translation, both do a good job. Gboard uses Google Translate, while Bing powers SwiftKey. Gboard supports 105 languages, and SwiftKey supports 79 languages as of 2 November 2020. SwiftKey can work with Microsoft Translator to translate the text offline.

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

Other features

SwiftKeyGboard
Typing stats
Send the current location quickly
Flexible size options
Calendar
Incognito mode (auto enables in browser’s private mode)
On-screen copy, cut, paste, and select tools
Convert emojis into stickers and GIFs
Separates self-learned and manually added words
Search for emojis, GIFs, GIF altogether
Suggests stickers in selected apps (WhatsApp, Messenger, Messages etc.)
Incognito mode (auto enables in browser’s private mode)
Some Other Features

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 its a tie. If we consider the significant rounds, most of the features are the same.

The main difference comes to 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.

12 thoughts on “SwiftKey vs. Gboard (2021) | The Ultimate Showdown”

  1. I find this review confusing especially the points made about word prediction. I’ve always used Swiftkey though for some odd reason, their data storage for users isn’t functioning like it used to especially if you have to reinstall the app. Regardless, you state SK remembers words and numbers immediately, while Gboard has to have them entered several times before it uses them for predictions..this in itself is a big advantage for SK.

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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