Swiftkey, the specialized keyboard application for smartphones, has received a new update for its Android version that adds support for five new languages. The update brings no new features, but only support for the five languages as well as some minor bug fixes. We won’t blame you for not particularly caring about the new languages though; the five languages are: Alsatian, Fongbe, Norman, Walpiri and Urdu (English).
For users in India, perhaps the only language that might be of some consequence in the new update is Urdu. While you still will not be able to type in Urdu script, it will be possible to type phonetically in English and generate Urdu words. Urdu is widely spoken in India by over 65 million people, and has official language status in seven Indian states. The other languages that are part of the update are from different parts of the world, including France (Alsatian and Norman), West Africa (Fongbe) and Australia (Walpiri).
Swiftkey, first launched in 2010, is one of the most popular third-party keyboard apps for smartphones, and is available on both iOS and Android. It gained popularity on Android well before iOS opened up support for third-party keyboards on its platform, and is today considered the best alternative to Gboard and the default iOS keyboard on the two platforms. While it has had a paid version in the past, Swiftkey is entirely free to download now.
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The company was acquired by Microsoft in 2016 for $250 million, and supports typing in dozens of languages apart from English. In India alone, Swiftkey supports multiple regional languages including Hindi, Gujarati, Bangla and Punjabi, to name a few. The addition of Urdu will benefit Indian users of Swiftkey who speak and understand the language.