What you need to know
- SwiftKey Beta now has an Animoji-like feature called puppets.
- Puppets lets you record messages as several animals.
- The update also brings support for the Shan language.
SwiftKey Beta users can now play with Puppets, a 3-D animation feature that's similar to Animoji's on iOS (via Neowin). Users can record themselves as a dinosaur, cat, owl, dog, or panda and have their phone's camera track their face so SwiftKey can animate their facial movements.
Because Puppets is inside your keyboard, it works with just about any app, though the ease of use varies. For example, sending a video through Slack, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram requires you to select the recipient again even if you're already in a message thread with them.
As you can see in my test video, Puppets is still very rough. It doesn't track mouth movements very well and seems out of sync. It is in beta, so this will likely improve over time.
In addition to the Puppets addition, SwiftKey Beta now also supports the Shan language. You can update SwiftKey Beta (opens in new tab) by checking for an update in the Google Play store.
Portable (and affordable) power accessories we love
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VisionTek 8,000 mAh micro-USB power bank (opens in new tab) ($13 at Dell)
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Panasonic eneloop AA batteries (opens in new tab) (From $13 at Dell)
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Belkin Qi Wireless Charging Pad (opens in new tab) ($30 at Dell)
This unobtrusive Qi wireless charging pad looks good (and kind of like a UFO …) and easily charges all your Qi-compatible device up to 5W. Its LED indicator lights up when you're charging. And it costs just $30.
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com (opens in new tab).
All could've been great on WP
Oh boy. And here comes the bloat. Would much rather it had something like Chrooma keyboard auto-app theming, or the ability to slide across the text line with the space bar ala Gboard. This sorta Puppets nonsense is just gimmicky bloat, which will only be appreciated by 12 year old Girls.
Yep. All they need to do is port over the WM10 keyboard. Job done. Why they persist with this SwiftKey thing when they have the best keyboard ever in the licence cupboard I can't understand.
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