Swiftkey keyboard app releases the Swiftmoji prediction app today which simplifies the painstaking process of finding the perfect emoji for every message. After a user types a word, phrase, or sentence, Swiftmoji suggests a variety of emoji related to whatever was typed. For instance, typing “pizza” yields a pizza, an Italian flag, and what Unicode fittingly calls “face savoring delicious food.”
The Swiftmoji prediction app is accessible on both Android and iOS, with slightly diverse functionality for each operating system. On Android devices, suggestions appear as an added row on top of the stock keyboard. The experience is not quite so seamless on iOS, as restrictions on third-party keyboards require users to tap the globe icon and open an entirely separate Swiftmoji keyboard.
While the Swiftmoji prediction app is still a relatively uncharted category, Swiftkey is not the only company trying to bring regular emoji pairing to our devices. Apple plans to incorporate similar features into the stock keyboard on iOS 10, and the original Swiftkey keyboard has offered emoji predictions since 2014. Similarly, Google’s Gboard allows users to search for emoji related to specific terms.
Swiftmoji is not Microsoft’s only multi-platform keyboard option. Aside from typical Swiftkey and Swiftmoji, the company’s experimental Garage group released the Hub keyboard in early April, followed soon after by the Word Flow keyboard.
Swiftmoji crowdsources its suggestions based on data from the Swiftkey keyboard, and tweaks individual recommendations based on which emoji each user frequently uses. While Swiftkey has encouraged users to report offensive recommendations, crowdsourcing still opens the likelihood for insensitive or confusing suggestions as per its review:
“While typing the word ‘feminists’ included the crying tears of laugher face, the sleeping face, the unimpressed face, the rolling eyes face, the hmm/thinking emoji and the medical mask face among the predictions. So, on aggregate, a rather negative visual assessment”.