Switkey 5.0- Freemium

If you have been following Android for nearly as long as I have, you will probably have come across (in one way or another) the popular keyboard app Swiftkey. Only recently, the app got updated to 5.0, and it introduces the freemium model, but not in the way that you'd expect...

Swiftkey was previously an all-paid app, you would pay and get a certain amount of themes and the prediction along with it. Now, Swiftkey has introduced a freemium model where the intelligent autocorrect aspect of the app is free, however you have to pay to purchase themes, or you can buy theme 'packs'. That said, the themes that came with the paid version before are now available to all users.

It may sound insane giving away your incredibly complex algorithm for free, however there are a couple of reasons why Swiftkey may have wanted to do this:

1. Reduced Piracy- With the introduction of IAP, it is now even harder than ever to crack the app and as a result Swiftkey benefits.

2. Way to get money from existing customers- I think that this is the biggest reason. Swiftkey's growth in the Play Store has now plateaued so as a result they may not be getting in a lot of income from existing customers. Doing this would mean that 'loyal' paying customers are more likely to splurge out on the new themes.

Don't fret if you have been a Swiftkey user since it was paid- you get a theme pack containing 10 themes for free! Some of the new themes that have been introduced are really colourful (as you can see from the picture on the right).

I still think that this is a first step for Switfkey in terms of its major rebuilding process and attempt to tackle piracy but I am still a sceptic on how Switfkey will benefit from it. Most of the Android users I know prefer to have a more functional keyboard rather than a good looking one (form over function), and I think that the themes they give away to all of the users are still fine for most Swiftkey users.
If you haven't already installed Swiftkey, you can do so by clicking here (Android link, iOS version is "coming")

So what do you think about Swiftkey? Is Google Keyboard or Swype better? Let us know in the comments