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Microsoft To Acquire SwiftKey Predictive Keyboard Technology Company For $250M (hothardware.com) 118

MojoKid writes: SwiftKey has been one of the more popular predictive keyboard offerings in the mobile space since it was first released in beta form on the Android market back in 2010. What made SwiftKey so appealing was its intelligent predictive texting technology. SwiftKey isn't a simple keyboard replacement. Rather, the software uses a combination of artificial intelligence technologies that give it the ability to learn usage patterns and predict the next word the user most likely intends to type. SwiftKey refines its predictions, learning over time by analyzing data from SMS, Facebook, and Twitter messages, then offering predictions based on the text being entered at the time. It is estimated that SwiftKey is installed on upwards of 500 million mobile devices. According to reports, Microsoft is apparently buying the UK-based company for a cool $250 Million. What Microsoft intends to do with SwiftKey is not clear just yet, but the company has been purchasing mobile apps at a good clip as of late.
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Microsoft To Acquire SwiftKey Predictive Keyboard Technology Company For $250M

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  • The app market is where the smart money is now.

    (Not games though, Zynga's $180M purchase of Draw Something was insanely moronic.)

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      The app market is too tiny to tickle MS's books. I rather think that they are buying apps to make sure they appear on MS's alleged phone in a bid for it to stay relevant in a market that is cannibalizing to some extent PCs.

      • Perhaps they're not content with grabbing all your data from Windows and now want it from Android as well? I wonder how long Swiftkey's statistics-gathering will remain opt-out?
    • The app market is where the smart money is now.

      Ironic. MS success is because Windows had more "apps" than other PC OSes.

    • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

      I'm surprised there's still a 'market' for SwiftKey these days. The native Google keyboard in Android does the same stuff pretty well nowadays. I'd be surprised if Apple didn't also do the same.

      • Swiftkey is still a helluva lot better than the Google native one. And every time I use Apple's keyboard I feel like I've stepped back into the past.

        Swiftkey is a pretty good product. Sad to see it in the hands of Redmond.

  • Watch the police and the tax man miss me
  • Abandon ship (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @10:06AM (#51429771)
    So what's everybody's favorite alternative, since SwiftKey is owned by a company that is nowadays renowned for its spyware and keylogging?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      So what's everybody's favorite alternative, since SwiftKey is owned by a company that is nowadays renowned for its spyware and keylogging?

      My favourite is my new BlackBerry Classic that actually has a keyboard. Please enjoy the incoming BlackBerry hate below.

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        After long lamenting the death of physical keyboards, gesture typing (tracing the words) made me finally decide there was something better *for mobile**. Tiny physical keyboards were better than touchscreens, but still terrible. Tracing the words is terrible and error prone, but better than tiny keyboard (even really good ones like Blackberry).

        Now get up to the scale where my fingers can actually fit on a keyboard, physical keyboard wins hands down for speed and accuracy.

        • Re:Abandon ship (Score:5, Informative)

          by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @10:32AM (#51429973) Homepage

          gesture typing (tracing the words) made me finally decide there was something better *for mobile*

          I find I can "type" almost as fast with the Google keyboard by tracing my finger over letters as I can on a keyboard.

          It's actually my preferred form of mobile input.

          Now get up to the scale where my fingers can actually fit on a keyboard, physical keyboard wins hands down for speed and accuracy.

          Bluetooth keyboards. They're easy enough to find.

          If you're doing enough typing on your mobile device that you need to type faster, get an actual keyboard.

          I've got a case for my Nexus 7 I paid like $30-$40 at Wal Mart (been a while, can't remember how much). It's got a Bluetooth keyboard in it, which you can sync with pretty much anything. I've actually got it paired with a couple of different things because they'll never be in use at the same time.

          If you need a physical keyboard, they're cheap enough that you can solve that problem [thewirecutter.com] ... apparently Logitech makes a unit you can get for $30 if you look around.

          This is a solved problem, and has been for some number of years. A kickstand case to prop it up, and a Bluetooth keyboard turns any tablet into a "convertible" where you can type at properly.

          You could do this long before companies started attaching keyboards to tablets. And you can do it a hell of a lot cheaper.

          • by Junta ( 36770 )

            Yes, just I don't want to bother always making sure I have a physical keyboard, just in case. If I'm carrying around a big keyboard, I might as well have a full fledged device and not a small tablet. Now I wouldn't mind a detachable tablet (a la surface pro, thinkpad x1 tablet), but I'd rather not get a big keyboard accessory for a handset or a small tablet, settling for a small screen even though I'm paying the price in mobility with a comfortable keyboard anyway.

            • My Bluetooth keyboard has the same footprint as the case for my Nexus 7, barely weighs anything, charges from USB, lasts for hours, and disconnects from the case because it's only held on with 4 magnets. It weighs less than the tablet.

              You can even get ones which fold to the size of a phone [pcmag.com].

              The iClever Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard measures 10 by 3.5 by 0.3 inches when open. When closed, it measures by 5.75 by 3.5 by 0.75 inches. It weighs 6.24 ounces, making it one of the most compact and lightweigh

              • by Junta ( 36770 )

                Well, I should be extra clear, if I find myself wanting for a full fledged keyboard, I personally find myself wanting for a bigger screen. A 7" screen isn't that useful for the sorts of things that have me wanting a real keyboard. 12" will do in a pinch, but below that and it's just not enough work area for me. Things I can do on 8" or smaller display I don't really see a need for a big keyboard so much.

                • Sure ... my desktop is two 23" monitors ... my latop is a 15.5" screen ... and when I go on vacation I only bring my wee little tablet, because I have no intention of working on it, but with the Bluetooth keyboard if, in a pinch, I need to do something more it's better than a plain tablet.

                  At a 7" screen, it's for finding restaurants, getting driving directions, or other things which aren't going to need heavy typing.

                  I can't imagine trying to do work on a tablet of that size, at least not if I had other choi

                • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                  Having read your comments to here... I don't think you're entirely alone. I've bought tablets. I've bought a bunch of them - hoping each one will be better than the last. So far? No dice. (We can say that about Slashdot now - No Dice!)

                  I don't mind my phone but I don't do much on it. I read, email, text, and make phone calls. Anything else? I tether. I prefer a slide-out keyboard but that's not always the option I want to take in regards to the rest of the hardware - but I do prefer it and will opt for it if

                  • by Junta ( 36770 )

                    Actually, that's an interesting thing too. I am interested in my next system having a detachable keyboard that still works when pulled (e.g. the x1 tablet claims it will do this). For one, I want to be able to tote just the screen around if I feel like it, but also so I can position the keyboard independently of the screen to use. I hate how on a laptop that my screen is so low even if I have room to put the monitor higher. I could use an external keyboard but the screen still has this area in front of

            • "Yes, just I don't want to bother always making sure I have a physical keyboard, just in case."

              Then get a keyboard case for your tablet. Some tablets come with one.

          • It's got a Bluetooth keyboard in it, which you can sync with pretty much anything. I've actually got it paired with a couple of different things because they'll never be in use at the same time.

            You're making a good point. I have a bluetooth keyboard and many Android devices (including an Android TV), but unfortunately, I find I bought the wrong bluetooth keyboard for them.

            I should have bought one of the bluetooth keyboard that comes with a switch on the side. This way, you can set it to device 1, device 2, device 3, by pushing the mechanical slider around. As it stands, my current cheaper bluetooth keyboard can not even remember the pairing of more than one device at a time, so I am forced to rese

          • Now get up to the scale where my fingers can actually fit on a keyboard, physical keyboard wins hands down for speed and accuracy.

            Bluetooth keyboards. They're easy enough to find.

            I use one of these Bluetooth keyboards [adafruit.com]. It's nice to type on, but has got me some strange looks on the bus.

        • TextBlade [waytools.com]?

          • by Junta ( 36770 )

            Interesting looking concept, though I'm skeptical after trying a number of similarly exotic things making same promises. Also, it seems after a year of 'orders' (not preorders) they've managed not to ship a single unit...

          • by Aaden42 ( 198257 )
            That's a joke, right? Tell me that's a joke... Ordered mine on April 15, 2015. Still nadda... Debating if their vapor will ever coalesce or if I have any chance getting a chargeback considering they hit my card & missed their more-than-thirty-days-later ship date.
            • Well I'm not interested in buying one so I've only heard about it, after seeing all these videos with what looks like functional units I thought it was already shipping.

      • So what's everybody's favorite alternative, since SwiftKey is owned by a company that is nowadays renowned for its spyware and keylogging?

        My favourite is my new BlackBerry Classic that actually has a keyboard. Please enjoy the incoming BlackBerry hate below.

        I have nothing against physical keyboards. But do you have any reason to believe that BlackBerry Ltd isn't keylogging you (after all, they proudly backdoor their products to cooperate with governments)?

      • Man, as much as I hate Blackberry, the physical keyboard is one thing I wish other phones would do again.
    • by johanw ( 1001493 )

      I hate predictive keyboards because I type in more than one language and they always mix those up. I use Hacker's Keyboard, which has some nice extra keys present on PC keyboards when you use remote access tools.

      • by allo ( 1728082 )

        That's what swiftkey is great in. Two dictionaries, two layouts (switch by swiping the space key) and correct completion for both. Composite words are still a problem, as most keyboards assume a space between combined words, like the english language uses it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Swype. On my G3 I have both Swype and Swiftkey.
      I generally use Swiftkey, but if Microsoft kills it on Android, Swype will do the affair just fine.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yup. Sadly, this means the end of the usefulness of Swiftkey. At least its founders made some money from the sale, but it is a loss for the rest of us. Ten million bugs and 50 different spy service connections will be introduced tomorrow.

      • It will start bloating and requiring bigger and faster phones to just barely run. It will also be integrated with all MS services and you'll require a Microsoft account to use it.
    • by Aaden42 ( 198257 )

      I've tried (and tried (and tried...)) to like NinType [jormy.com]. Main differentiating point is that it allows you to use gesture based typing with two fingers. So you can hold the phone in two hands and use two thumbs to type. Less stretching to reach the opposite side (especially on phablets) when you can just finish a word with your other thumb.

      I've never quite been able to get comfortable with it, and honestly it has an interface only a Gentoo user (or nuclear control room tech) could love. Soooo many button

    • So what's everybody's favorite alternative, since SwiftKey is owned by a company that is nowadays renowned for its spyware and keylogging?

      I've been a fan of Swype since the WinMo 6.5 days; stuck with it ever since. It's owned by Nuance now, the folks behind Dragon NaturallySpeaking and who provide some of the underlying tech behind Siri.

      If you're a fan of SwiftKey, and want to keep it, and you have a rooted phone, you can use DroidWall or Xprivacy to deny it network access. It obviously won't pull language updates (and you won't be able to dictate with it), but your data stays on your phone - it's what I do for Swype.

    • by p51d007 ( 656414 )
      You can always download the apk from the mirror and keep it, turn off permissions so it won't update. http://www.apkmirror.com/apk/s... [apkmirror.com]
    • by ichthus ( 72442 )

      So what's everybody's favorite alternative, since SwiftKey is owned by a company that is nowadays renowned for its spyware and keylogging?

      The Google keyboard (comes with google apps) now does swype-type input.

    • On Android, I use "Thumb Keyboard". Mostly because it was the first keyboard I tried that allowed me to customize pretty much everything in both landscape or portrait, also has directional keys which is really handy when editing files in nano over ssh in ConnectBot.

    • If you're concerned about keylogging, using SwiftKey isn't a great choice even before it was M$ owned. Check out all they capture about you when using the keyboard. https://swiftkey.com/en/privac... [swiftkey.com]
  • Data? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ohnocitizen ( 1951674 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @10:07AM (#51429781)
    Does SwiftKey phone home what users are typing? $250 million seems a lot for an input method, more reasonable for a large set of data for them to analyze.
    • They all do (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @10:12AM (#51429819) Journal

      It's how they make predictive typing work.

      Half of me is delighted that W10 could actually get a useful keyboard. Half of me thinks they will utterly fumble the transition and, like most things MS tries to bolt on, it will suck horribly but will become the standard (And only) keyboard on W10 touch.

      All of me knows that they will be using the data to improve their marketing side of the business. I'd worry about that, but I sold my soul (or at least all of my worldly data) to Google a decade ago, and it's always easier the second time.

      • Re:They all do (Score:4, Insightful)

        by pr0fessor ( 1940368 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @10:42AM (#51430095)

        I imagine they are getting more than just a predictive keyboard there are probably licensable patents as well services they can sell to more than just windows users.

        If I where running Microsoft with the way windows mobile is perceived now I would be looking to get as many services, apps, and patents as possible that could be licensed in every other mobile OS and mobiles apps.

      • by chihowa ( 366380 )

        It's how they make predictive typing work.

        There's more than enough data and processing power on a phone do accomplish that without phoning home. The reason they phone home to to monetize your data, one way or another.

    • by Kkloe ( 2751395 )
      yes, but you can turn it off, but as it comes on by default I guess few people turn it off
      20 bucks ms gona take out the option to turn it off by claiming that not so many turn it off so the function is not needed

      https://support.swiftkey.com/h... [swiftkey.com]
      • by _merlin ( 160982 )

        It doesn't phone home if you don't sign in to a Google account on your phone. Annoyingly it doesn't learn words if you don't allow it to phone home. Samsung replaced their internally developed predictive keyboard with one powered by SwiftKey. The net result for me was that it's more sluggish and doesn't learn words any more, since I don't have a Google account and wouldn't sign in to one even if I did.

    • by xeoron ( 639412 )
      They, also, license their tech to companies and provide a SDK for developers to include their prediction engine in products. BB10 even uses Switfkey tech in it.
    • Sure does. Their privacy policy explains a bit about how they send what you type to the cloud and analyze everything. https://swiftkey.com/en/privac... [swiftkey.com]
    • Does SwiftKey phone home what users are typing? $250 million seems a lot for an input method, more reasonable for a large set of data for them to analyze.

      Actually, it does way more than that.

      It syncs between your different devices. And you give it access to your gmail (if you want) so it can mine data you inputed years ago, which is weird they didn't mention the gmail part. I have far more data on my gmail account than anything on Twitter, SMS, or Facebook.

      Personally, I sync my gmail with it, plus everything else, but I don't mind. That app is super intrusive, yes, but it's also why it is so good. It knows what I am going to type before I type it and it's th

  • Microsoft really wants everyone's keystrokes, don't they? What other rationale is there to spend even $1 on a company that develops and maintains a product only to give it away to its customers free of charge? If decide to ever go back to Android, it'll be stock keyboards for me from here on out!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      has it ever occurred to you why android phones are all twenty cores and 8GB of RAM and still freeze all the time and the battery drops like your credit card available balance in a casino?
    • They could log keystrokes without buying SwiftKey.

      Maybe they just want to add a great keyboard to their windows phones, without allowing 3rd party keyboard support.
      • by gnupun ( 752725 )

        They could log keystrokes without buying SwiftKey.

        How? They need to control a dominant mobile keyboard for that. SwiftKey has decent market share in Android, but Microsoft, prior to this purchase, has no dominating keyboard.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by halivar ( 535827 )

      Microsoft really wants everyone's keystrokes, don't they?

      This has been debunked. There is no keylogger. If you have a packet capture that says otherwise, feel free to correct everyone that bothered to look into it.

      What other rationale is there to spend even $1 on a company that develops and maintains a product only to give it away to its customers free of charge?

      Intellectual property.

      • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @10:47AM (#51430149) Homepage

        This has been debunked. There is no keylogger. If you have a packet capture that says otherwise, feel free to correct everyone that bothered to look into it.

        Purely to play Devil's advocate, but why would a keylogger show in a packet capture?

        Microsoft sends home enough payloads of data that, if one was designing a super secret key logging mechanism, you'd just save up the data and send it with that stuff.

        Sending packets with every keystroke would be wasteful and obvious.

        Without seeing every data payload of what MS is including in their telemetry and other crap they've pushed into the OS, and accounting for all of it, I fail to see how you can make that conclusion.

        If there's chunks of binary data MS won't tell you what it is, you have no way of knowing what's in it.

        I have no idea what MS does and doesn't send, because I've never looked into it ... but hiding a keylogger from packet sniffing when you already call home?

        That's not exactly rocket science. In fact, it's the kind of obvious solution when you're already sending other data.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Then please tell me what the hell these addresses do, which I blocked in my router:
        134.170.30.202
        137.116.81.24
        204.79.197.200
        23.218.212.69
        65.39.117.230
        65.55.108.23

        or these ones which I blocked in my hosts file:
        127.0.0.1 dns.msftncsi.com
        127.0.0.1 ipv6.msftncsi.com
        127.0.0.1 win10.ipv6.microsoft.com
        127.0.0.1 ipv6.msftncsi.com.edgesuite.net
        127.0.0.1 a978.i6g1.akamai.net
        127.0.0.1 win10.ipv6.microsoft.com.nsatc.net
        127.0.0.1 en-us.appex-rf.msn.com
        127.0.0.1 v10.vortex-win.data.microsoft.com
        127.0.0.1 client.wns.windo

        • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

          or these ones which I blocked in my hosts file...

          Hope you don't mean the Windows's Hosts file. Wasn't it already found that Windows can ignore the Hosts file if it wants to for certain addresses?
          That's just a case of the fox guarding the hen house.

          • by kmg90 ( 957346 )
            Notice the first sentence... Unless Windows 10 can now bypass router blocks (at the IP level)
        • Arghhh.... I can feel apk's footsteps coming down the hall...
      • This has been debunked.

        Ah, the drive-by "debunker". A poster whose first sentence is authoritative (always uses the word "debunked") and will put an end to all the rabble and their conspiracy theories.

        There is no keylogger.

        These are not the droids you're looking for, huh? Not only did you authoritatively state my conspiracy theory was debunked without any link or reference, you also refute the subject without any references. This tells me that the statement is usually pretty bunked! [pcworld.com]

        If you have a packet capture that says otherwise, feel free to correct everyone that bothered to look into it.

        Of course! Unless I can decipher the mounds of binary uploads Win

      • By default, SwiftKey sends everything you type to their cloud service to analyze. https://swiftkey.com/en/privac... [swiftkey.com]

        The SwiftKey personalization service, which is a feature of SwiftKey Cloud, accesses your recent content from online services that you specify, such as Gmail, Facebook and Twitter. It uses this content to build a personalized language model on our servers, which is then transferred to your device. This is an optimized view of the words and phrases that you use most often, and reflects your unique writing style. Your use of our personalization service means we may store and use data provided by you to develop and improve our Products. You have the right to have this data destroyed, as outlined below.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, now we can have predictive key logging. Microsoft will know what you are going to type before you type it.

      Imagine how much money they can make off that by buying things before you press the buy button and then selling it to you at a markup - all the stock brokers already do that.

  • by c0d3g33k ( 102699 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @10:12AM (#51429829)

    ... is not clear just yet

    Based on recent attempts to push telemetry via updates and the monitoring built in to Windows 10, using SwiftKey as a key logger to gather information on mobile users seems possible.

  • What Microsoft intends to do with SwiftKey is not clear just yet

    Ruin it, then stuff it full of Windows/Office money in the vain hope that this will hide their incompetence at diversifying.

  • Go figure (Score:4, Informative)

    by c ( 8461 ) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @10:17AM (#51429875)

    Microsoft learned a long time ago that buying stuff that people already like is far easier than creating stuff that people like.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, they should be like Google which does wonderful things like creating YouTube.

    • That would be cool if they don't kill the new acquired company, product and philosophy in few years.
    • At a certain size, you can lo longer directly spend research money fast enough on just your own work. The only way get enough research results is to buy up results where you find them.

  • So, what's a good alternative to Swiftkey?

    Actually, I'm going to wait and see what happens. I use Swiftkey on my tablets (swype on my phones), and I'm not going to knee-jerk abandon it.

    • I am using the Android keyboard on my Nexus7 and it has no flaw... why use a 3rd party keyboard?
      • by Jethro ( 14165 )

        Been using them for so long, at this point going to the built-in Android keyboard would be switching.

  • by Crowd Computing ( 4269575 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @10:24AM (#51429931)
    Maybe Microsoft is acquiring more weapons for its mobile patents [swiftkey.com] war chest. Or defense, given the madness [wikipedia.org] of the IP landscape that ensures only the big boys can innovate.
  • I find the Windows Phone's default swipe keyboard to be the best I have used. I find it marginally better than both HTC's swipe keyboard and also Google's keyboard.

    • Swiping is better than non-predictive touch screen typing, but it is extremely inefficient when you can accurately predict the entire next word and simply tap once to type it. By the time you finish swiping one word you could have typed an entire sentence with SwiftKey. SwiftKey even supports swiping if you still want to do it.
      • Except ever since they went "free" swiftkey's performance has been absolute shit. It lags even my S5 so badly that it would take almost a minute just for the screen to respond to the power button and turn off. I finally got sick of waiting 30s-several minutes just to type something or close a messenger bubble that I switched to the stock keyboard.

        • Then your S5 is on the fritz. Both my wife and I have an S5, and Swiftkey has zero lag. I even have over 100 apps/games installed, and Swiftkey still does not lag.
          • I've been considering for a while that Samsung's having some kind of shitty QA problem where some Galaxy phones work great and some constantly suffer from memory leaks, lag, and the like.

    • I find the Windows Phone's default swipe keyboard to be the best I have used. I find it marginally better than both HTC's swipe keyboard and also Google's keyboard.

      Totally agree. I don't understand why they don't add the feature to the Surface devices, too. I use the full keyboard in a conventional fashion, but I have become so used to swiping short notes that I find it to be faster than typing.

    • This. It took nearly to the end of the page to find someone who actually uses a Windows Phone, for which the swipe keyboard is one of the best features. It seem pretty obvious to me that for chump change MS have bought a nice bit of IP that will help them improve their keyboard more cheaply than they could develop it themselves.
  • by Pseudonymous Powers ( 4097097 ) on Wednesday February 03, 2016 @10:35AM (#51429999)
    Predictive keyboard? Sounds like autocorrect to me. And I hate those things. They make too many assumptions. I mean, how does it know I wasn't going to write about my "gigantic throbbing coconspirator"?
    • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

      My brother and I like to trade spoonerisms. Spelling is often intentionally a little creative. I think I spend more time retyping the thing I put in there and it "fixed" for me than it saves in fixing things I mistype.

    • No, it's *worse* than autocorrect. If you look at twitter, Facebook, or any social media, you'll find that people have completely horrible spelling and grammar. Swiftkey will try to make your posts look just like theirs.

      I'm sure that after replying to their boss with a "Like totally dude, sounds rad" text message, most people will turn this feature off.

    • Slide + prediction is the greatest thing about these keyboards. You can disable autocorrection.
    • They make too many assumptions. I mean, how does it know I wasn't going to write about my "gigantic throbbing coconspirator"?

      Camera facing downwards?

      (never underestimate Clippy-ji)

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Predictive keyboard? Sounds like autocorrect to me. And I hate those things. They make too many assumptions. I mean, how does it know I wasn't going to write about my "gigantic throbbing coconspirator"?

      When I try and type "plates" into my Nokia dumbphone, the T9 predictive text input assumes I want to say "slaves" first. Which can lead to some interesting sentences when talking about shopping.

  • "Ok let's try this out, M, swipe I, swipe C"
    [clippy appeaers] "Say, it seems like you're trying to type Microsoft, should I just add it to the text box for you?"
    "Go away you little..."
    "Say, are you trying to type Fuschia? Let me add that for you..."

  • Microsoft is trying to 'innovate' another revolution it missed.

  • If an app has learned enough about your working vocabulary and writing style to predict what you're going to type next, I bet it can figure out where you're doing the typing, no matter how anonymous you think you are.

  • If the deal does go thru, I will be uninstalling Swiftkey.

    Problem is, I doubt the stock GOOGLE keyboard is an exemplar of anonymity and privacy either.

I've got a bad feeling about this.

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