Unify Phone and Tablet builds
Why is there two separate apps, Swiftkey and Swiftkey Tablet? The only reason this whole separate “HD” app or “Tablet” app idea exists is because of iOS, and it's tablet development community taking off first. Applications should never be separated because of screen size, unless the SDK requires it. This is not the case with Android (or even iOS, although they do it differently). What is the reasoning behind having two separate apps? Are smartphones and tablets different, besides screen size? Not at all. Some tablets even have phone radios, and can make phone calls. Some phone-sized devices don't have phone radios, and are wifi-only. If there is simply no reasoning behind this, why not go a step further and produce separate apps for each screen resolution? Swiftkey 480 x 800, Swiftkey 640 x 960, Swiftkey 1920 x 1080, etc. Most people can see how silly that would be, and there is no reason to as the SDK has all the tools available to make 1 app handle all of those scenarios. Why not Swiftkey for devices with the obsolete physical menu button, and Swiftkey for devices without menu buttons? Again, the SDK has all the tools available to make 1 app that can display the action overflow button within the app on newer devices without a menu button, and hide the action overflow button on older devices with a physical menu button. All of this also applies to small and large screen sizes. The SDK has all the tools available to display different layouts depending on the screen size and density. A 7" device runs the same basic Android operating system as a 4" device. Why should they require separate apps? PC software developers sure don't sell separate software for laptops and for desktops. 1 piece of software works on both, regardless of screen sizes. Android is the same way. This kind of nonsense needs to stay away from Android, because it doesn't benefit the Android community at all, and hinders both users and developers.
I quote Google’s development guidelines:
“Distribute as a single APK. It's recommended that you publish your app as a single APK for all screen sizes (phones and tablets), with a single Google Play listing.”
A unified SwiftKey (4.3) is now out (available as an update/to purchase on Google Play, Amazon App Store, and AndroidPIT) – this version has better layouts for all screen sizes and works on both phones and tablets.
What if I've already paid money for BOTH versions?
JD Fisher commented
Now if you would just unify the settings. Tablet says "Extended Layout" (and if checked screws up the keyboard), phone says "Arrow keys".
How long will the swiftkey tablet be available at play store? Did I just just got screwed by swiftkey because I just purchased this 3 months ago and now I lost its auto-update and also lost the ability to search it from play store.
Do I have to pay again to get the unified version?
Are the arrow keys still only half done in the unified version for tablets along with the whole keyboard getting shifted left?
I don't want to update away from the phone version on my tablet if it decreases functionality.
In case you have a tablet version and cannot find the update:
If you purchased SwiftKey Tablet from Google Play, you will be updated to the unified version. Go to the Google Play Store on your device, log in with the account you used to purchase SwiftKey Tablet, and look through your list of "My Apps" under "All" (it may not show up under "Installed" even if the previous version is installed). SwiftKey Tablet will be in this list available to download at no extra cost. Unfortunately SwiftKey Tablet will not show up in search - this is a limitation of the Play Store.
If you purchased SwiftKey Tablet from the Amazon Appstore or AndroidPIT, please contact their customer support teams at www.amazon.com/appstore-support or http://www.androidpit.com/faq to request that your purchase be transferred to the main SwiftKey app.
How can this be started when the phone version has all four Nav keys, but you are dumbing down the tablet version to only have left and right with no up/down?
Philippe Raemy commented
I totally support this request. It would remove weird differences such as arrow keys not available on tablets...
One absurd difference:
with the PHONE version running on a tablet you can get the cursor keys. You don't have these one the TABLET version!
Luigi Mantellini commented
I agree (even if I already purchased both versions because I love this keyboard)
Give this guy a job.. Right on point..
What I mean, is that developers have two ways to support multiple screen sizes. Either multiple apk files or one apk file that adapts. The latter being the most efficient.
If a dev uploads an apk for a particular screen size, they can upload multiple for other sizes. That's how it's handled. Alternatively, they can just make the apk scale automatically. However, you are incorrect. Google Play won't allow Swiftkey a way to move purchases over. There isn't a way to do that. You will have to pay again if they did this. How do do I know this? I have a developers account on Google. The way package names are handled wouldn't allow it to work as easily as you think.
Of course it's possible. I refuse to support the app if you are going to continue down this path. I realize it would be painful to combine the two, but it has to be done sooner or later. There is no such thing as separate "tablet" apps on Android, and continuing down this path is just digging yourself deeper into a hole. One app should work on all screen sizes. Think about devices like the Asus PadFone. Sometimes it's a phone, and sometimes it's a tablet. Think of the mess SwiftKey would be on a device like that. Having the server send you specific apks depending on your device is a bad solution too. It should be ONE apk that works with all screen-sizes. The Android SDK has all the tools available to change the layout and assets depending on screen resolution and DPI. There is no excuse not to do it right.
This isn't possible. At the time Swiftkey was released (sometime during Gingerbread I assume, maybe earlier)--these guidelines were nonexistent. The Android Market didn't have a way of handling multiple apks and displaying it to the user as one (for example, there are some apps that technically have two separate apk files, but you only ever see one; when you go to download it, the servers decide which apk you get based on your device). However, by now--it's too late. There is NO way to move the existing users of either keyboard to retain their purchase. You just can't do it. If they did, we'd all have to buy a new-er version that had the unification. I don't think that would sit well with a lot of people. This isn't that big of a deal anyways. This keyboard is top-tier, and above all, if you enjoy using it, you'll support development by spending about $8 (or however much).
I support this, but please be careful to make sure that the purchases already made before that switch are retained as valid for the new APK (I really don't feel like shelling out another $2.99 just to continue getting updates). Also, here's my two cents here:
I agree with a lot of what Jake says regarding his 7 inch tablet, and the main reason why I don't ever use split keyboard (other than the inability to decisively switch off Flow, or just turn it off in landscape mode) is because of how it splits. I personally wish it would split even more (small hands and all that) if I'm going to use my thumbs, since that is much easier for me (and is the reason why I use Flow so much on my tablet).
I like this idea, but for very different reasons that. the OP highlights. I am using a 7 inch tablet, which in my mind has to be the Achilles heel of a project like SwiftKey. Too big go be small and too small to be big. The phone version works best but I want the split keyboard very much. Unfortunately on my 7 inch screen, the keyboard splits too much. It would seem to me that one app with a touch of user customization would be the best answer. Give me the best keyboard you've got, let me set the height, let me choose to split it or not, and let me set how far to split the keyboard so that it matches both my device and my thumbs.
'Course that's easy for me to say..... But I think it deserves consideration at least.
More different apps = more money.
They can also fix tablet problems and smartphone problems in their own apps, so there are no daily updates.