New Material Design themes hit the SwiftKey Store

23rd October 2014

Hi everyone,

I’m Scott Weiss, SwiftKey’s VP of Design, and I wanted to tell you about a couple of great new themes that are available today. Following last week’s release of two graphical and fun Halloween themes, we’re debuting two themes this week of a new family inspired by Google’s Material Design guidelines. Here’s a snippet from Google’s introduction:

“The material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by the study of paper and ink, yet technologically advanced and open to imagination and magic… Surfaces and edges of the material provide visual cues that are grounded in reality… the flexibility of the material creates new affordances that supercede those in the physical world, without breaking the rules of physics.”

We designed these Material Design themes, Material Dark and Material Light, in the spirit of the upcoming Android L keyboard, but with our own unique SwiftKey touch.

Material Dark 1SwiftKey Keyboard for Android features secondary characters available on long press for each key. For example, the QWERTY row features ‘0’ – ‘9’ and the ASDF row features “@#&*”. We show the secondary characters in a subtle yet readable way. Keys are surrounded by the faintest of key boundaries, marking the tactile edges of the touch area.

The number pad is another great feature of SwiftKey Keyboard for Android, which we brought out with bright outlines to make it easier for people entering phone numbers, addresses, and even IP addresses. We kept the color distribution quite simple: a plain background with a contrasting color for the top prediction, function keys, and matching flow trail. We also pop the punctuationMaterial Light 1 slider that appears on press of the period (‘.’) key with bright tones of each theme’s hero color.

This theme family is distinctly different from Minimal, which is very popular with SwiftKey users. We wanted to appeal to Minimal users who like simplicity, but also to add in the handy secondary characters and contrasting number pad, as well as surprising touches of bold color.

If you haven’t already, download SwiftKey Keyboard for Android from Google Play, and check out the new themes in the SwiftKey Store.

We hope you like the new themes, and we’re hard at work on introducing new ones soon. We’d really like your input too: tweet color requests with hashtags #swiftkey #material and we’ll try them out as we design themes for this new family.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Scott and the Design Team

139 responses to “New Material Design themes hit the SwiftKey Store”

  1. Arthur Machado says:

    And what about iOs? :/

  2. Oliver Bastholm says:

    So… I paid for Swiftkey when I got it (before you pissed all of us off and made it free!) and now you expect me to pay AGAIN to get a theme?!

    • Specially when it’s a theme that what it does it’s just follow the guidelines from google for the next android version.

      • Chris says:

        its just that guidelines, does not mean anyone has to follow them, Google is not like apple and enforces developers to follow guidelines…

        I really wish you nerds will understand that,

        • I know, but:

          This just seams silly to me. Sure I bought the keyboard. It’s great. They made it free and in return they gave me a bunch of themes that I hate, and I’m not sure anyone really likes them.

          I just don’t like this way to doing things, were at some point something is paid, then it’s not. I would prefer if the keyboard was paid and everything else in it was free. Or even everything being paid. That would be better than, something being paid for a time, then its free.

          What can ensures me that I buy this theme and 3 weeks from now the theme is available for free?

          Happened before.

          As for the guidelines, sure they are not enforced to follow them. However, we must not forget that normally these guidelines become the standard. So that only makes it easy for this to be the default theme in the future. As in also being free.

          • JazliAziz says:

            This is a business. The price of products drop all the time. Do you go into a retail outlet and yell at the manager if something you bought last week gets a discount? Developers have no obligation to keep paid apps as paid apps, and vice versa. If you bought a paid app and it goes free, deal with it.

          • meh says:

            I sure as fuck would if it all of a sudden was free

    • Armando Rodriguez says:

      We all got a paid theme pack for free.

    • JazliAziz says:

      If you don’t want to pay for a theme, then don’t Whose forcing you to?

    • Chris says:

      no one is holding a gun to your head telling you have to buy this theme besides they gave us a pack of themes for free, so im not sure why you are even complaining.

    • Andyroid says:

      Your employer pays you a monthly salary.

      He already paid you for one month, why should he pay you for another month for the work you did?

      Don’t be cheap.

  3. Sebastian Zuchlke says:

    u can’t spoil a perfect concept of ios 8.1 with some stupid keyboard themes, enjoy what great Ive gives you 😉

  4. Яков says:

    Finally. New theme which doesn’t look like crap. Sad, that it’s not free tho.

  5. MurdocNicalls says:

    They look amazing, thanks guys!

  6. vitriol says:

    Very nice, you have my money :-)

  7. lalala says:

    is this theme free or paid?

  8. Tony Wilson says:

    keep up the good work Glad to support the keyboard I can’t live without.

  9. subhramani says:


  10. The option numbers row looks like it picked up styling from another theme. It’s oddly dissimilar to the rest of the Material design theme here.

    Was this a mistake?

  11. Brandon D'Souza says:

    Sweet, now i won’t need to use modded versions. The flow line could be thinner though.

  12. el_smurfo says:

    Can I trade the 10 terrible themes I received as a long time paid supporter for just one of these?

    • Josh, SwiftKey Community Team says:

      @el_smurfo:disqus sorry to hear you are not enjoying the 10 free themes we provided. We aren’t offering exchanges but these new Material themes are available for purchase in the store. Enjoy!

      • Josh – somehow I’m not upset at being a paid customer and also paying an entire 99 cents for this theme.

        Is something wrong with me for being so satisfied with Swiftkey and thinking that it’s a great bargain?

      • el_smurfo says:

        Come one, Josh…nobody is enjoying the 10 themes, and they are not free…we paid for them when we paid for your now-free app. I posted a throw away comment and it’s now the most “upvoted” in the thread. If I thought the refund would come out of Swiftkey’s pocket vs google’s at this late date, I would have refunded my purchase the moment you went free…as it is, Swiftkey just doesn’t work as well as the other keyboards (how many times do I need to correct “cab you come here” to “can you come here” before it “predicts” something useful to me) and the new sales model is insulting to long time supporters.

        • Chris says:

          In the end it’s up to SwiftKey. Be happy they provided themes for free. No one is telling you you have to use these themes or even use SwiftKey in the first place. Can’t always get what you want

          • Matt says:

            Are you a fking idiot?

            It wasn’t free, he had to buy it…HE BOUGHT IT.

            SwiftKey needs to do whats right here, and fast.

        • Mark G. says:

          Josh can’t fight that logic…and I triple dog dare anyone from Swiftkey to try.

        • jubia says:

          The problem is that this logic becomes a slippery slope: “nobody is enjoying the 10 themes, so give us the new ones free” will soon turn into the next “nobody is enjoying the new themes, give us the new new ones free” and on and on.

          I am also in the camp of “bought when it wasn’t free” and also think the 10 free ones are lackluster, but I also understand that my keyboard still works with whatever theme I’m using. The new ones may look better, but that’s just it: looks.

        • Przemek Jozwiak says:

          I even bought it twice. The tablet and the phone version.

          • GhostArcher says:

            I download Super SwiftKey apk on ucbrowser on my phone(xiaomi) install it n use it n its work flawlessly(u need u unistall SwiftKey from playstore first). All material design is free n its didn’t need to be downloaded

      • Jimmy Russells says:

        Josh, Josh, Josh. Those ten free themes are garbage. That design team needs to be removed. I could make a better theme by smearing my diarrhea all over my IBM keyboard from the mid-90s, then taking a picture of it.

        I paid for Swiftkey long ago, then you made it free once it was ready to be used on iOS. Now this? You are making us pay to have a keyboard that looks the way it’s supposed to look? That’s absurd. Material Design should be the default.

      • kamiller42 says:

        I have had some terrible prediction problems. It seemed the formula just before they introduced the cloud service. The problem is usually goes like this: If I draw a word, SwiftKey chooses the least likely word to go into the sentence. Sometimes it chooses I have never used or even heard. Probability of match on those should be near 0 if not 0. This doesn’t happen all the time, but it should happen less than it does.

        On the themes, I am enjoying the free ones. Pumpkin looks great on my Note 4’s screen. :-) It’s the season for pumpkin.

        • el_smurfo says:

          My experience exactly. I have turned off cloud stuff and whatever they call their trending language updates, and it still picks the least likely word possible. Swiftkey used to pride itself on predicting the next word, now it can’t even predict the current word in full sentence context (which Swype and Google Keyboard do way more accurately). Watching google now correct my voice input on the fly is amazing, and the kind of functionality that should be in Swiftkey…instead we get a free pink theme and more lag with each release.

          • Chris says:

            Maybe get a better phone from this decade?

          • el_smurfo says:

            LOL…If Swiftkey needs more hardware than a stock Nexus 5, then it has more problems than lag, terrible themes, a dumb business model, poor predictions and a bunch of pissed off long time customers.

      • qriusme says:

        actually I think prediction on swiftkey works great. I’m often choosing the next word from the predictions. I’ve tried the stock one and some other one I can’t recall, but this is the best. Also, are you guys really upset over 99 cents?

        Remember these guys are a company that employ people who need to get paid just like the rest of us. The other option would have been for them to keep it a paid app, but I don’t mind what they’ve done.

      • jibust says:

        I hate the fact that an app for which I had to pay, turns around and becomes free and starts charging for features. Even before you guys started the free with IAP model everyone who had paid for SK was requesting better themes. I remember reading the SK team’s never ending “they’re coming soon” answer.

        Not only did you stab in the back the customers that got you where you are by going free, but you also fucked us over by offering the features that we had requested and asking us to pay, and on top of that SK is lagging more with each release.

      • Seyitcan Ucin says:

        You know, I bought Swiftkey for full-price and used those terrible looking themes for 4 years. Now you release the first decent looking theme after you make the app free and have the audacity to charge for it? This theme is literally fulfilling a design specification created by Google for the new version of Android. It should be the default. This proves that you all don’t care about your fan base. I hope your greediness leads to your demise.

      • oilfighter says:

        Josh, instead of dictating which 10 themes us loyal users get, can’t we have the option to choose? I don’t even want 10 themes, just give me the option of downloading ANY 2 themes and most people will be happy.

      • el_smurfo says:

        Josh… Used the beta for a week and the prediction… Swiftkey’s strong suit just sucks. So, bad themes, poor performance and terrible predictions… Nice app

      • Could you guys make a bundle of both of these with a small discount?

    • White Razor says:

      Think of your payment as paying for the ability to use SwiftKey services for the long time before the free users could.

      Because that is pretty much how paid products work.

    • Chetan Gole says:

      Let’s start rating them 1 star on Playstore

  13. David Costa Oliveira says:

    Os temas estilo Lollipop são pagos. Não tenho cartão de crédito internacional.

  14. carleeto says:

    If they follow the standard theme, they should come standard. Don’t care about the others.

    When I get Lollipop, if I have to pay to make Swiftkey look the same as my other apps, I’m just going to stop using it.

    Design guidelines are there for a reason – a consistent user experience. Making users pay for that is nothing but brain dead.

    Somebody in Swiftkey made a really bad call and now you’ve pissed off customers. Your move, Swiftkey.

    • Eastern37 says:

      It costs $1! Buy a medium coffee instead of a large and you’ll be fine. Not everything should be free.

      • Chris says:

        Kids today think they can get everything for nothing. Ita sad

      • carleeto says:

        You miss the point by a mile. Swiftkey is an above average keyboard.

        Following design guidelines is expected of an average app unless you have really low standards.

        I guess you would pay for a car that came without a stereo? Maybe that’s the difference. I wouldn’t.

        • Mookie says:

          Yes, I would pay for a car without a stereo. Stereos cost a few hundred dollars, cars are multiple thousands. And I put an aftermarket stereo anyway.
          You don’t buy a car for the radio, you buy it to drive. The radio is a perk. Like a keyboard theme.

          • carleeto says:

            You buy the car for the experience it offers. If you just need it to drive, you don’t need paint on it, do you? I suppose you get that done after market too.

            Like I said, our standards are different. We will agree to disagree.

          • Mookie says:

            If a car does not have paint it rusts out in a week. It is necessary. A radio is not.
            A theme for a keyboard does is not necessary for usability, it’s fluff. Does it make the “experience” better? Sure. But I don’t get mad at Ford if my car doesn’t come with a free sub a year after I bought it.
            And if I don’t like the paint I still have to pay for a repaint.

          • carleeto says:

            Like I said, our definitions of what is acceptable in terms of usability differs. Let’s leave it at that.

            If you practice what you peach, you would have bought the theme by now. If it’s not free when Lollipop comes out, I’m going to switch keyboards.

            As a user, I expect an app like Swiftkey to exceed the standards set by Google. Making people pay for the way it is supposed to look in the first place is effectively not even meeting those standards. Making the theme free when Lollipop is out will meet my expectations, if only barely.

            If Swiftkey wants to lower the standards they deliver against, that’s fine. They will also end up lowering the number of people who use their keyboard.

    • Chris says:

      Standard? Google is a not apple nerds developers are not required to use the guidelines..

    • dwasifar karalahishipoor says:

      Sooner or later at least one Material theme will have to be free. As Lollipop takes hold, KK and JB-looking apps will look dated and old-fashioned. SwiftKey will have to make a Material theme the default. It’s inevitable.

  15. Please, please for god’s sake, make this free if not anything else.

  16. Josh says:

    Bought the dark one, but not a fan of the outline around the numbers in the number row. The numbers are secondary keys, they don’t need to be outlined so they distract from the muted look of the rest of the keyboard!

  17. Sergio says:

    no free no party D:

  18. create812 says:

    I’m really tempted to buy, but what does the flow line look like? Is it thick and solid, or thin and wispy?

    I was hoping this post would contain a gif to show it off.

  19. Frank Beans says:

    Why does it say “Coming Soon” for me in the store?

  20. KOLIO says:

    I like the pulse-themed options, but, would like to see more color options for it.

    SwiftKey is a business,not UNICEF, I get it.
    Free is cool, but, the cost of a theme is negligible.
    However, those who believe that having a theme available that matches the current/latest version of ANDROID, at no cost, have a valid point, especially us early adopters who paid for the PRO version.

    • Eastern37 says:

      It’s only $1…and we got 10 free themes for being early adopters.

      • KOLIO says:

        I already said as much, what part of that didn’t you glean from my post?

        • Eastern37 says:

          Well you made it out like swiftkey still owes us for being early adopters but they have already given us free content. I don’t think there is a valid point about wanting the new theme for free.

          • KOLIO says:

            I guess SwiftKey has to draw the line somewhere,it’s not gonna please everyone,that’s for sure.
            Another point I’d seen in another forum was that SwiftKey’s base theme hadn’t ever blended-in w/the latest O/S at any point in time,so,the argument for a free theme to match ANDROID 5.0 is moot.
            You both make valid points!

            However,I still think it would make sense to start this now,w/o charge & still have the current base themes as options.

            I don’t mind paying for themes,especially those that are without a doubt a bit outside of what would be considered norma;/mainstream/etc….I’ve bought about $5.00 wroth myself.

    • Chris says:

      Only the Android nerds in their mothers basements seem to be throwing a fit

  21. Sam Thurgood says:

    I bought the light one and love it, thanks!

  22. Daniele says:

    Make it faster and smoother instead of make new themes that are useless if the keyboard is unusable.

  23. Kirk shelton says:

    I think the writing is on the wall here SK. I like some of the new themes but none of the free ones. It would have been nice to let the paid users at least chose 10 they liked. Oh and material needs to be a free theme.

  24. Christopher Modiano says:

    Despite the fairly ugly themes, which I got for zero dollars (that’s free), I still appreciate that swiftkey is the best keyboard on the android market. You guys don’t owe anybody here anything, so I hope you don’t get too stressed out with these comments.

  25. Michael B says:

    In the US the price of each of these themes is 99 cents, with is approximately 3.7 NIS. How come I have to pay 5NIS just because I live in Israel? I guess it’s the same for other countries. At least make it 4 NIS – why are you trying to take more money from your costumers only because they live in other regions?

  26. Jowitness says:

    I would also like to trade my 10 crappy themes for 1 good one. I have a galaxy S4 and swiftkey is laggy and gets worse with each update. I paid for an app that is now free and now i have to pay for themes too? Jeez, i am moving on pretty soon.

  27. meh says:

    Perhaps you can fix the utter stupidity that is auto correction for contractions and numbers with commas in them. if i type it’s wrong and get it’s’it’s’it’s one more motherfucking time…

  28. alissonlwb says:

    Why do we need more themes when the app performance is driving the users crazy? Please, give a special attention to the poor performance of the app, as far as I know, on Android. I’m runing kit kat 4.4.4 on moto X.

  29. Norman says:

    loving the new material inspired themes! 😀

  30. Cedic White says:

    I think for the material design you should remove the key boundaries but keep the secondary characters visible

  31. Jon Chambers says:

    I don’t see what everyone is complaining about, I like all the themes that came out, free or otherwise. Only ones that weren’t really my thing were the pink or purple ones, and that’s only because they’re not my kind of colors. As far as predictions, you have to teach the program properly, based off of words you are most likely to use. It does take time.

  32. Collin says:

    I keep getting “There was a problem communicating with the SwiftKey Store”. Any ideas on how to solve this?

  33. Laila Al-Haj says:

    I can’t even find them? Where are they located?

  34. Laila Al-Haj says:

    seriously? where are these material themes? i cant find them on the swiftkey store

  35. I bought the dark theme but didn’t see any indication of the number key outlines in the screenshot. If I’d have known, I wouldn’t have purchased the theme; wish that SwiftKey had better screenshots for themes, a trial period, or some other refund policy other than “when themes fail”. This looked great in the smaller screenshot in the store, but I don’t feel that the smaller picture accurately reflects what you receive.

  36. scarecrowsyn says:

    I’m a fan of form, but function has to come first. I have 10 ‘free’ themes that are functional but ugly, and now we get two new ones that are pretty but much less practical. Can we just have a community tool to make our own themes? I can’t imagine the ‘store’ is seeing much revenue with what’s in there now.

    Great keyboard, by the way – it’s just a shame that all but three or four of the available themes look like throw-away toys.

  37. LokiBartleby says:

    While I like the general appearance of the material themes, there are some issues:
    1) For some reason the accent colors on both material themes look odd. The mint green (?) on the dark theme should be light blue and so should the dark blue on the light theme. It just doesn’t really fit imho.
    2) The dark themes looks more like washed out.
    3) The gray for the outlines and stuff is hardly visible, it could be a bit brighter (at least on the dark theme, I don’t have the material light theme).
    4) You should really consider making a true black material theme (AMOLED, you know) with the classic Holo dark blue as the accent color.

    I’d buy that in an instant.

  38. Andi Darmawan says:

    Awesome theme, it just replaced my Element Teal theme :)

  39. Bhokali says:

    Those developers at XDA designs far more better keybaords than what you do. You are creating shityy themes since the beginning and now when you have managed to make two not ugly themes, then you are charging for it. I feel like one day, a company is going to come along and make a much better keyboard the Swiftkey. All themes for free and it will be really smooth.

  40. Mat Ali Mohamed says:

    In the arabic keyboard, why does the number did no turn up in arabic numbering?

  41. Well, nice but I can’t see anything in theme store. Just that SwiftKey store is not available.

  42. vs8 says:

    This keyboard is an insult, it has always been. I paid for this and the tablet version years ago because I was an idiot thinking the tablet version would have tablet focused features, it didn’t. Then you go freemium and insult long time users like me once again.

    Swiftkey, you’re the worst.

  43. Виталий says:

    Очень плохо прорисованы дополнительные символы – их совсем не видно.

  44. Виталий says:

    Very poorly drawn additional characters – they can not be seen.

  45. Eddie says:

    To everyone complaining about SwiftKey’s horrible themes. Install this one: and donate to these guys that actually makes nice useful themes for free. This is a modified version of the latest SwiftKey.

  46. Angela DeBoxtel says:

    I absolutely love SwiftKey keyboard. My only complaint is that I have NO emojis!! Why?

  47. Hoang Huynh says:

    Please fix this critical bug in your Vietnamese keyboard. Sorry for spaming but there is no way else to reach you.

  48. Big Tony says:

    Josh, I bought this app and have used it for some time. It has been a must have app for me for some time now. I need an issue addressed. After flashing stock Lollipop to my Nexus 7 2013, SwiftKey has had terrible predictions. SwiftKey on my N5 running 4.4 Paranoid Android is working perfect, like my Nexus Flo did before Lollipop. SwiftKey changes words for no reason. This has me looking towards a new keyboard for the first time in a long time. I should not have to confirm every word to avoid SwiftKey changing words like car to can, for no reason. It’s making my ability to offer free tech support all but impossible. Do you plan to fix it, or no?

  49. vwbeetlvr says:

    My material themes disappeared.

  50. dlwilliams12 says:

    When are you going to fix the store errors? I can’t download the material minimal dark theme. Says google play can’t handle the purchase. I can download and buy other themes, which I don’t really want, just fine.

  51. Cn Se says:

    i don’t have access to swiftkey themes store due to regional restrictions
    is there any other way i can use and enjoy free themes ?

  52. peg_c says:

    I’m very confused. I have no Store available in my settings and only 3 dreadful choices. No matter what I choose it reverts to the black theme (ghastly). I’m patiently waiting for ai.type keyboard to get their act together and fix all the bugs for the iPhone 6 (I have the Plus) and if they ever do, that’s all I’ll use. I don’t understand why anyone raves about SwiftKey!

  53. kizi3 says:

    I really find this information really helpful for me. Friv Thanks a lot,
    dude, for putting up this vital information on the internet for
    everybody to use.

  54. Antoni Gawlikowski says:

    I will buy swiftkey the instant you update the dark material theme to really show the secondary characters.

    As it is now, while looking nice, it loses 70% of usability because of not being able to see the secondary options.

    Please, please change it! It looks great on the screenshots you provided, I see no reason why it can’t be implemented.

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