SwiftKey Eyes The Far East With Beta Launch Of Chinese language On Android
Predictive keyboard maker SwiftKey, which is backed by buyers together with Index and Accel, has lastly launched a Chinese language beta of its software program on the Android platform. This follows the launch of SwiftKey for Japanese beta again in Might.
This time final yr the U.Okay. startup — which was based again in 2008 — advised TechCrunch the two Asian languages have been the large excellent tasks on its language help to-do listing. It additionally added a raft of Indian languages final month, in one other beta replace, so its Far East focus is obvious.
Factoring in all these numerous betas, SwiftKey advised TechCrunch its complete languages on Android is now ninety two.
The brand new Chinese language SwiftKet beta helps customers of Simplified Chinese language, Taiwan Conventional Chinese language and Hong Kong Conventional Chinese language, and consists of seven new enter strategies to offer customers a selection about how they sort the character-based mostly language — together with Qwerty/full key and 12-key Pinyin and ZhuYin (Bopomofo) enter strategies, and in addition stroke enter. Cangjie and fast Cangjie inputs are additionally supported.
In a weblog saying the Chinese language beta, SwiftKey stated it has tweaked its software program to cater for the very fact sure Pinyin sequences can symbolize a number of Chinese language characters — utilizing its machine studying smarts to foretell which phrase an the person consumer is most probably to be typing. SwiftKey’s Heatmap Correction function, which learns how a consumer varieties on the touchscreen to assist right for typos, has additionally been optimized for Chinese language, it stated.
At present there’s no help on the Chinese language beta for Move, SwiftKey’s finger-dragging enter technique. Predictive emoji can also be not but supported.
Whereas SwiftKey including help for Chinese language is definitely a key milestone on the street to opening up its software program to China’s large native market, this beta model is just a stepping stone on that street — provided that it distributes by way of the Google Play retailer it’s not but properly positioned to focus on the majority of the home Chinese language market. So the present beta is more likely to be concentrating on international customers wanting to make use of Chinese language.
Nevertheless TechCrunch understands the corporate is in talks with Chinese language cellular producers, together with quick rising Xiaomi, plus ZTE, TCL and Gionee, about getting its software program preloaded onto units. Working with Chinese language OEMs goes to be key for SwiftKey to bypass the native app distribution hurdle in China, provided that Android generally ships with numerous various third celebration app shops out there, relatively than Play.
The launch of the Chinese language beta additionally coincides with SwiftKey opening up a Hong Kong subsidiary to raised goal China and different Asian markets. It’s clearly gearing up for an enormous Asian push — to capitalize on robust regional smartphone progress.
Commenting on the launch in a press release, CEO and co-founder Jon Reynolds stated: “We’ve been clear about our plan to help Chinese language for a very long time so we’re happy to launch this beta and convey the keyboard that learns from you to Chinese language talking customers. We look ahead to listening to the suggestions of our present customers, welcoming new customers and interesting extra intently with companions in China.”
The Chinese language beta could be downloaded from SwiftKey’s group discussion board right here.