Last updated: 6 June 2020 | Reading time: 6.5 minutes | Watching time: 3 minutes
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. I have been using SwiftKey and Gboard for over eight months, and if anyone asks me the difference between SwiftKey and Gboard, I can explain without any hesitation. From my experience here is the ultimate SwiftKey vs Gboard blog post.
Table of contents
- Word prediction
- Flow typing
- Search engine
- Accents and special characters
- Emoji and GIF
- Other features
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 you type you get the word suggestion quicker.
Gboard, on the contrary, checks how often you type those exact words. If very often then it remembers, otherwise it doesn’t. For my address, I had to type many times before Gboard started suggesting the street name. Another difference in prediction is SwiftKey supports numbers prediction as well.
SwiftKey calls it the flow typing, and Gboard calls it the glide typing. The job is the same, but how do both work? Which one is more accurate? To make it a fair test, I have deleted the personal dictionary and learned words. Here is the sentence we are going to type:
If you are going to the market, can you please buy some pomegranate? Also, some cheese and butter.
Both are accurate when it comes to flow typing.
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 one word. Instead of “app”, it typed “all”. Gboard, on the other hand, was fully accurate. This round goes to Gboard.
|Bing | Google|
Browsing is a big thing now. You need the internet to search all the time and both offer to do that. Gboard comes with a built-in Google search button. You can search for anything you want and send the information in messages. SwiftKey comes with Bing search, but you can change the search engine to Google.
There is a difference in how both keyboards search the web. Gboard replaces the keyboard with the web results and shows the results in a way which is easily shareable in messages. SwiftKey opens up a window which occupies about 75% of the screen. SwiftKey shows the same webpage as you would in a browser.
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. A unique thing about Gboard is it offers a 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.
Score: SwiftKey: 4 | Gboard: 5
Review: Both have the same features with some customisation differences
Both support over 500 languages. Yes, that’s right, over 500 languages. Last year, SwiftKey added many new languages and marked that point. Gboard got to this point earlier. SwiftKey allows you to type in five languages at the same time. You can swipe the spacebar to move through the 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. For my language, Gboard has a feature in which you can type in English, and the keyboard translates in my language.
Accents and special characters
Adding accents and special characters in SwiftKey vs Gboard review was essential because there is a difference in how both work. 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 hold a key. Gboard only shows one character except while holding full stop (.) key in which we find more options than in SwiftKey.
Score: SwiftKey: 6 | Gboard: 7
Review: The comparison is really a tough one
Emoji and GIF
Both come with a wide range of emojis and GIFs supported by GIPHY. Both have a counter emoji tool. 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 Stickers menu in Gboard. Both apps come with eight categorised emojis 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.
Score: SwiftKey: 7 | Gboard: 8
Check out: 5 Best SwiftKey Themes for 2020 | You Should Try These
Regarding the translation, both do a good job. Gboard uses Google Translation 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 even when the phone is offline.
- Both enable incognito mode automatically in browsers’ incognito mode.
- Both support the floating keyboard feature.
- Typing stats are available to record your typing habits.
- You can quickly send the current location in a message after tapping the location button.
- Unlike Gboard, which comes with a few keyboard sizes, SwiftKey allows you to adjust the keyboard size as you want.
- The app comes with a calendar, and you can share reminders and events with one tap.
- The app has an option for an on-screen copy, cut, paste, and select tools. The feature is available in the G icon settings.
- Gboard suggestions bar can translate emojis into stickers and GIFs.
- The app separates self-learned words and the words you manually add to the dictionary.
- Gboard comes with a search bar to search for emojis as well as a separate search bar to search for all media (emoji, sticker, and GIF).
- It suggests emoji-stickers when you add an emoji in selected apps (WhatsApp, Messenger, Google Messages, etc.).
- Gboard does not auto-correct while searching online. Depending on the user’s location, it might be a good thing or a bad as I sometimes search for terms which are not in English.
Here is the end of SwiftKey vs Gboard post. When I first wrote this post, SwiftKey was the winner, and now the scores are SwiftKey: 8 | Gboard: 9. If we consider the major 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 so we can discuss more. By the way, you can also check the comparison video here.
Image information: The images used in this comparison are the screenshots of the app. The copyright owner for these images is most likely the owner of the app.
Madhsudhan is a professional software engineer. He has been writing for over two years, and he writes about Android and PC software.