SwiftKey vs. Gboard | The Ultimate Showdown (2020)

Last updated: 2 Aug 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 SwiftKey and Gboard for over sixteen months, 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.

Table of contents

Microsoft SwiftKey

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

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.

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.

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

Flow typing

SwiftKey calls it: the flow typing, and Gboard calls it: the glide typing. The job is the same, but which one is more accurate? 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.

Results

Both are accurate when it comes to flow typing.

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?

Results

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

Search engine

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

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. It shows almost the same results as you would expect on a browser.

Gboard comes with a built-in Google search button. The search button can search for simple, shareable information such as location timing, address, places etc. While searching, Gboard replaces the keyboard with the web results and shows in an easy to share way.

Winner: Tie
Score: SwiftKey: 3 | Gboard: 4

Themes

SwiftKey and Gboard
SwiftKey and Gboard

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

Gboard, on the other hand, comes with a few themes, background images and styles. The robust feature of Gboard is the highly customisable store where you can add styles and background images 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 phones.

Winner: Tie
Score: SwiftKey: 4 | Gboard: 5

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 and marked that point. SwiftKey allows you to type in five languages at the same time. You can swipe the spacebar to move through languages.

Gboard also allows you to type in multiple languages. Both keyboards support different input types depending on the language such as QWERTY, QWERTZ, PC etc.

Depending on the language, one might support m0re input modes compared to the other.

Winner: Tie
Score: SwiftKey: 5 | Gboard: 6

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: 6 | Gboard: 7

Check out: Grammarly vs Word | Which One is the Ultimate Grammar Tool?

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. Both come with eight categorised emoji sections and different stickers. 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: 7 | Gboard: 8

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

Translation

SwiftKey vs Gboard - Translation
SwiftKey vs. Gboard – Translation

Regarding the translation, both do a good job. Gboard uses Google Translate, while Bing powers SwiftKey. Both translate the text very well and support over 70 languages. SwiftKey can work with Microsoft Translator to translate the text offline.

Winner: SwiftKey
Score: SwiftKey: 8 | Gboard: 8

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)



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. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below and check the comparison video here.

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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