By Alexandra Burlacu | Jun 11, 2014 07:50 AM EDT
One of the top paid Android apps has just ditched its price tag, as SwiftKey is now available for free on the Google Play store.
SwiftKey is one of the most popular third-party keyboards, used by numerous users worldwide. In announcing a major update that will bring along a slew of neat new features, SwiftKey has also announced that the app will be available for free from now on. It will, however, retain its in-app purchase options via a new add-on store.
The store in question will house themes of all kinds, be they free or paid. This means that if you don't like the default set of themes that come with SwiftKey, you can access the new SwiftKey store and choose your preferred appearances.
To celebrate the launch of this new store and to reward loyal users who have so far paid for the app, SwiftKey is also offering a Premier Pack of 10 new premium themes, normally worth a total of $4.99, for free.
As for the update itself, SwiftKey just got a lot swifter. The update adds 800 emojis to allow users to share their mood or thought, and even brings an emoji prediction engine that will automatically suggest or replace what you are typing with the appropriate emoji.
In addition to fun emojis, SwiftKey is also banking on usefulness with this new update, adding a number row at the top of the keyboard for extra convenience. This means that you can now type both letters and numbers without having to switch layouts to hit the digits.
SwiftKey is also replacing its previous theme, Cobalt, with a new one called Nickel, the next element in the periodic table. The prediction engine for SwiftKey's 66 supported languages, meanwhile, gets some improvements as well, and Japanese users are in for a treat soon as well.
Lastly, the SwiftKey Flow feature, which allows users to type a message by gliding (swiping) on the keyboard, gets a new makeover as well, and it now looks nicer and cleaner.
This update is currently available only for Android users, but with Apple finally opening its ecosystem to third-party apps with its new iOS 8, SwiftKey will be reaching Apple's platform as well. Remember, however, that iOS 8 will not be out until the fall, so there's still a bit of a wait there.
For now, Android users can head over to the Google Play store to download the new SwiftKey app completely free of charge, or read SwiftKey's blog announcement at this link to learn more about the latest changes. You can also check out the video below to get a better idea about the new SwiftKey.
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