SwiftKey for Android Now Supports Chinese!

Every so often I switch the default keyboard just to check out the third party ones. I don’t use them often, but I was happy to see that SwiftKey (one of the first third party keyboards I downloaded) finally supports Chinese input. And, perhaps just in time for Chinese New Year, they’ve also introduced a special theme just for the holiday.

After getting the app, you’ll need to go in and Add Languages. The Chinese input methods are listed by their Chinese names, so you’ll need to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the list to add them.

Screenshot_2015-01-29-17-20-49

The update brings the following support:

Simplified Chinese

  • QWERTY Pinyin input method
  • 12-Key Pinyin input method
  • Stroke input method

Taiwan Traditional Chinese

  • Full Key Zhuyin (Bopomofo) input method
  • 12-Key Zhuyin (Bopomofo) input method
  • Stroke input method

Hong Kong Traditional Chinese

  • Cangjie input method
  • Quick Cangjie input method
  • Stroke input method

I’m still on the fence with third party keyboards, but I think it’s nice to finally see Chinese language support rolling out to them. The typing experience isn’t bad, either, and the predictive text was fairly accurate, too:

Screenshot_2015-01-29-17-22-37

Although it would be nice to see a Pinyin input method for Traditional Chinese, hopefully a future update will bring that along!

You can find SwiftKey on the Google Play store here. If you happen to check it out, let me know what you think of it in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “SwiftKey for Android Now Supports Chinese!

  1. Thanks for the post. I just tried out the app and I’ve found some pros and cons to using it.

    Pros: It is very pretty-looking. It works very well. It is fast and switching between languages is easy and quick, unlike with the native keyboards. The layout of the symbols and numbers makes it easier to not have to scroll through different screens to find what you want.

    Cons: They limit you to only three languages at a time. There are very few input methods for Chinese languages. As you stated, you cannot use pinyin with traditional characters or zhuyin with simplified characters. I didn’t notice Cangjie, Dayi, which are available on Taiwanese keyboards, so I hope they add these in the future (also no handwriting). You also cannot use two or more input methods per language at the same time. You have to choose one per language and that is it. So no zhuyin+pinyin+cangjie for people who are learning or want to try out different input methods and also wish to be able to swap back and forth easily.

    I would really love to start using this app, and I will if they fix the cons or most of them. I have submitted feature requests for all three of the issues I have with the app. Perhaps they will implement them and I can start using their Beta version in the near future.

    It’s always enjoyable to learn about a new tool that can be useful to me. Keep up the very enjoyable posts. 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment!

      Yeah I’ve had a few issues with it (actually, to be honest the same ones you noticed!), but it was nice to see third party keyboards start to implement Chinese as a language. I really do wish they had the ability to switch between different input methods, like you mentioned, and go back and forth easily.

      After a few days, I’ve ended up just switching back to the stock keyboard, but I’ll be keeping an eye on it for any future updates that hopefully improve those drawbacks!

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