Even the most loyal Android user is bound to kvetch about the stock keyboard at some point or another, and while Swype has definitely grabbed the hearts of a good many Froyo users, Swiftkey remains our third-party keyboard of choice. After escaping beta just a few months ago, TouchType has just outed an 'HD' build that's designed to cope with many of the higher-resolution displays being used on today's gargantuan Android phones. Moreover, we're guessing that this was done to look a bit better on devices like the Galaxy Tab, and there's no denying that the new design elements are a real step forward. Aside from the makeover, the app is also gaining five new languages (Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Danish, Norwegian and Polish), improved language prediction quality and a new US layout that nixes accented characters. For those who've yet to try it, the latest version can be tested for a full 31 days, after which you'll be coerced into ponying up $3.99 for the real-deal. Hit the source links below (or the QR code shown here) to give it a go.
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SwiftKey launches HD skin, five new languages and a longer free trial

New HD skin that looks sharp on big-screen phones

Introducing five new languages, Scandinavian layouts

Free trial period doubled for the holidays, to a month


SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SwiftKey™, the intelligent text prediction app for Google Android™ smartphones, received a significant update Wednesday that adds a new HD skin, UI improvements and five new languages.

The award-winning app, officially released less than three months ago and with over a half a million downloads to date, now has a refreshed HD skin that is optimized for screens of any size, its developers TouchType said.

TouchType's CEO Jon Reynolds said: "We've worked closely with UI experts to create a stunning high

definition skin for SwiftKey, and from the feedback we've already received, people are loving it.

SwiftKey brings an innovative solution to the problem of typing accurately on a smartphone, relying on powerful language technology to infer both the word a user is typing, and their likely next word. Using these techniques, SwiftKey users can skip whole words as they write, saving key-presses

TouchType said they were pleased to reveal a range of festive treats for SwiftKey users. For those who write in US English,

Wednesday's release improves language prediction quality and adds a keyboard layout without accented characters. For international users, the app now supports Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Danish, Norwegian and Polish, and has support for Scandinavian keyboard layouts.

"This new version of SwiftKey is just what our most passionate users have been waiting for," said TouchType's CTO, Dr Ben Medlock.

"We've listened to our users and delivered some fundamental improvements in time for Christmas.

We've also got some incredible new features in the pipeline, so users should join our VIP community to get early access to the exciting things ahead."

The new release comes just after TouchType won a prestigious Mobile Marketing Magazine award for SwiftKey's 2010 launch. "SwiftKey is, quite simply, one of the most innovative and useful apps we have ever seen," the judges commented, adding: "Genius – there's no other word for it."

SwiftKey is available on the Google Android platform as an unlimited, paid app for $3.99 and a free trial app, offering predictions for 31 days.

Readers can apply to join SwiftKey's VIP community at http://swiftkey.net/vip.

Current SwiftKey users should update their language modules to experience quality improvements via the app's settings menu.

See SwiftKey in action on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6poOrKoEf8

SwiftKey Version 1.1.74 Change Log:
- New HD skin with sharper graphics and font
- 14 languages now supported:
- New keyboard layouts:
QWERTY English (no accented characters on long-press)
QWERTY International (accented characters on long-press)
(AZERTY, QZERTY and QWERTZ also supported)
- New suggestions ribbon added in landscape mode for menu options (e.g. contact lookup in Gmail)
- Trial now lasts 31 days
- Various bug fixes, including:
Null Pointer Exception in resetTempLanguageModel
Fixed candidates disappearing with hard keyboard after sending a message
Added ç/Ç to AZERTY layout
Support for hard keyboard microphone key on Motorola Droid
Fix crash in QuickOffice