SwiftKey goes with the Flow, gives Swype some much needed competition

Mobile software makers can make a keyboard look however they want, but the most successful virtual keyboard designs we’ve seen thus far have involved some form of letter tracing. Even if your phone didn’t come with one of those apps, you can quickly amend it.

Keyboard replacements are one of the more common downloads on the Google Play app store because, put simply, not everyone likes the keyboard their smartphones comes with.

On the iPhone, you’re more or less stuck, but on Android devices, you can quickly change it with one made by a different developer.

In some of the first few premium Android devices, Nuance’s Swype was installed, offering the first real letter swiping system, offering a keyboard experience that can actually result in faster typing.

Google has created its own version of a letter tracing keyboard for Android 4.2, which can currently be seen in the Google Nexus 4 – but you need the very latest version of Google’s Android “Jelly Bean” to use this.

On the other hand, there’s SwiftKey’s keyboard, which now in its fourth version, comes with a similar letter tracing solution which you can choose to use, or just keep going with a swipe-less keyboard.

The addition to Android is pretty easy to setup, and includes instructions, as well as the ability to learn commonly used words of yours from Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, SMS, and even an RSS feed if you’re into writing or blogging.

People who already own a copy of Swiftkey get the update free, but those without can find the swipe-enabled keyboard replacement on Google Play now.