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SwiftKey, one of the world’s best known third-party keyboards for smartphones just introduced a new keyboard. And what is so special about the new keyboard? Known as Shakespeak, the new keyboard, in the fine tradition of predictive typing, would help you type like William Shakespeare, the most famous British playwright and poet who died in the 16th century.


That is, if Shakespeare had a Qwerty keyboard or a typewriter four centuries ago. So if you ever felt a twinge of envy at the writing skills of that famous British playwright, Shakespeak is telling you, ”Envy no more, for thou wouldst create strings of words in immortal fashion.” That is not Shakespeak writing. Just my poor attempt at proving I don’t need the app. I actually do because I have no clue how to write like Shakespeare.

The new Shakespeak keyboard was created by SwiftKey to celebrate the 400 anniversary of the death William Shakespeare. Announcing the development on SwiftKey Blog, the SwiftKey team started off with a typical Shakespearean phrase,

“To key or not to key… that is the question! To mark this year’s 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, SwiftKey is launching ShakeSpeak, a limited edition keyboard that lets you type exactly like the Bard would (if he’d had a smartphone in 1591, that is). It may not do you any favors in the modern world, but it does mean you can impress your friends with your learned Shakespearean prose.”

The development of Shakespeak didn’t just happen because a coder had read enough Shakespeare in school and so was able to create the app from his experiences. It actually took months of studies of several of Shakespeare’s plays by a team in SwiftKey to create this app.

“Our language experts have been hard at work analyzing Shakespeare’s complete works, from Macbeth toto The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Twelfth Night to The Tempest, enabling you to inject an authentic Elizabethan touch to the way you write. Similar to the SwiftKey app, the ShakeSpeak keyboard will learn from you as you type – keep a look out for some of his most popular phrases that are dotted throughout the app!”

shakespeakSo you want to write like Shakespeare on your Android smartphone? All you need to do is head over to SwiftKey Greenhouse and download the app to your phone. Alternatively, you can download and install it from Google Play. After installing it on your device, you need to prompt Shakespeak with a few words from Shakespeare and it would simply predict the rest of your sentence. The completed sentences would hopefully look like a Shakespearean sentence. To help you along the way, SwiftKey is recommending that users type in words like ‘thou’, ‘thee’ and ‘what ho’ to make it look more authentic.

However, Shakespeak is available to only Android devices. Users of iphones who are keen to roll like Shakespeare would just have to rush to the store and get a cheap Android phone. And they better hurry up because the app would be available for a limited period of time only. Though SwiftKey never said how limited that time would be.


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