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SwiftKey vs. Gboard | The Ultimate Showdown (2020)

Last updated: 2 Nov 2020 | 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. Many companies are dominating certain areas of Android and iPhone. I have been using Microsoft SwiftKey and Gboard 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 blog post (2020).

Table of contents

Microsoft SwiftKey

Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard
Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard

An experienced keyboard helping Android users type faster and better for over nine years, SwiftKey was first released for Android in 2010, and then for iOS in 2014. The reason for late release for iOS was because of the limitations for third-party keyboards.

It has constantly been improving, and after the 2016 deal in which Microsoft purchased SwiftKey, many new features have been released.

Google Gboard

Gboard Keyboard
Gboard Keyboard

Google’s keyboard app now pre-installed on millions of phones. It was released in 2013 according to Google Play Store, while the official release year for Gboard according to Wikipedia is 2016, but it got popularity after a long time. It has over 1 billion downloads making it one of the most downloaded apps.

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SwiftKey vs. Gboard

Word prediction

The definition of word prediction is predicting a word which 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 when 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 I feel that Gboard uses deeper AI learning and types the correct word when the spelling 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 in other apps.

Gboard app used to come with Google search button which could do limited searches for events, movies, restaurants, parks, etc., but the company suddenly removed the feature from many devices. The feature is not available on devices such as Galaxy Note 10, Nokia 8.1, and Google Pixel devices.

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 is helpful on 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 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 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

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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

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

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 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 | The Ultimate Showdown (2020)”

  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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