SwiftKey now lets you personalise keyboards with your own photos

SwiftKey users can now personalise the keyboard app with personal pictures, the company has announced.

Photo Themes lets people upload their own images to create a keyboard that’s unique to them.

To launch the new feature, SwiftKey, a British company owned by Microsoft, has teamed up with professional adventure photographer Keith Ladzinski. Users can download some of the images he has taken while working for National Geographic, Discovery Channel and ABC, among others, to use as a theme on their keyboard.

“The possibilities for Photo Themes are limited only by your creativity,” SwiftKey said in a blog post. “While we hope you love the pictures that Keith pulled together for you, we’re also hoping that this inspires you to capture your own pictures with your own style to personalize SwiftKey. Keith’s nature photos are stunning, but you may prefer more personal photos of your family, pet or hobby. For those with an artistic side, let it show – illustrations or abstract photos make for great photo themes, too.”

The new feature will be available on iOS and Android devices. Android users can also customise whether their keyboard has borders on the keys; just open “SwiftKey Settings” and click on the “Themes” tab on SwiftKey for Android to get started.

Meanwhile, iOS users can also customise the colour of their keys; just open the SwiftKey app and select “design”.

SwiftKey is also running a Photo Themes competition in a bid to find its most creative users. Entries will be collected on Twitter with the #photothemes hashtag and winners will be chosen each week. Prizes include a gift card worth $150 and a limited edition SwiftKey hoodie sweatshirt.

SwiftKey features on more than 300 million devices across the world, and last year launched a new system based on neural networks that is better at suggesting words as people type.

The app can now “capture the relationship and similarity between words”, the company said. Having previously seen the phrase “Let’s meet at the airport”, the technology is able to infer that “office” or “hotel” are similar words that could also be appropriate predictions instead of “airport”.

It also understands that “Let’s meet at the airport” has a similar sentence structure to “Let’s chat at the office”. This allows SwiftKey to offer users the most appropriate prediction or autocorrection based on the sentence being typed.

The technology is available in SwiftKey’s English, French, German and Spanish keyboards.