Our survey of 17,000 smartphone users, carried out with Pocket-Lint and Mobile Nations, reveals that Android users and iPhone users are becoming more alike – at least when it comes to buying apps.

In 2011 Apple were well ahead in the paid app stakes, with 39% of iPhone users having more than 20 paid apps, and only 3% having none. Android users, on the other hand, were more likely to have no paid apps at all (12%) than they were to have more than 20 (10%).

This year sees twice as many Android users having a large number of apps, while iPhone users are not quite so app-happy. 19% of Android users and 26% of iPhone users in the 2012 survey say they have over 20 paid apps on their phones. When it comes to paid-app refusers Android and Apple are now almost identical, with 6% of iPhone users and 7% of Android users having never spent money on an app.

Why do you think Android users are so much happier to buy apps? Is the quality of apps on offer improving? Let us know in the comments!

Samsung users are happier with their phones now than they were in 2011, while those with HTC and Motorola phones are much less happy.

Our survey of 17,000 smartphone users, conducted in June in partnership with Pocket-Lint and Mobile Nations, asked users to rate their phones on a scale from “excellent” to “unusable”. The rankings of the top Android manufacturers shows a significant shakeup from when we asked the same question in April 2011.

In 2011 the best-rated Android phone manufacturer was HTC, with 86% of users saying their HTC phone was “very good” or “excellent”. In fact in 2011 HTC users were just as happy with their phones as iPhone users! Next came Motorola with 80% approval. Samsung lagged behind with 78%.

In our 2012 survey HTC and Motorola’s satisfaction ratings plummeted to 67% and 64% respectively. In contrast Samsung users were more likely to say their phone was “very good” or “excellent”, with 82% giving their Samsung phone the seal of approval. The date of the survey (late May / early June) meant that only three out of our 6,500 Samsung users surveyed had the new Galaxy SIII.

iPhone still leads the pack, with a slight drop in satisfaction from 86% to 84%. In spite of a bad year for RIM, Blackberry users show good brand loyalty, with a slight increase in satisfaction from 68% to 70%, putting Blackberry (ranked last in 2011) ahead of HTC and Motorola in the satisfaction stakes.

Are you happier with your phone than you were last year? Let us know in the comments.

Hi there SwiftKey fans!

We hope you’ve been enjoying your summer – to celebrate we’ve got a great new update to SwiftKey for you with two new summer-inspired themes, the integration of Google continuous voice typing, fixes to bugs with apps such as Chrome, and two new languages!

Today we’re unveiling two beautiful new themes called Sky (blue) and Fuchsia (pink). Check out our how-to video to see how to change your theme.

SwiftKey fans who like to dictate as well as tap can now use the Google voice typing tool in ICS and Jelly Bean, simply by long-pressing the comma key. We’re also rolling out two new languages – Malay and Urdu – which takes our current total to 44.

There are also a host of new bug fixes today that will make your SwiftKey experience better than ever. This latest version includes improvements for when you’re using SwiftKey in Chrome, Jelly Bean and GTalk or on a Samsung Galaxy S3 device. To see a full list of bug fixes, click here.

The new version, SwiftKey 3.0.1, is available from Google Play, Amazon Appstore, and AndroidPIT. If you’ve previously purchased SwiftKey from any of these stores, just log in with the same credentials you used to purchase the app and the update should be available for you to download under “My Apps”. If your friends, family, or colleagues are not using SwiftKey yet they can try it for one month for free with our free trial.

The team is working very hard to make SwiftKey function with the thousands of different devices and apps available on Android. As you can imagine, we can’t always test out every single combination before we release, so we need your help. If your SwiftKey is acting funny, please go to our feedback forum and add a comment to the appropriate thread with details. The more information we have the faster we can fix the problem. And if you have an idea for a theme you’d like to see you can add the suggestion on our ideas forum.

Enjoy the rest of your summer, while we dream up even more new ways to improve your SwiftKey experience.

Cheers, Charlie :-)

PS If you love SwiftKey, have you ‘liked’ us on Facebook yet?

Rhodri Thomas, Chief Commercial Officer, was invited to represent SwiftKey at the ICT day for the Olympics at Lancaster House – the British Business Embassy in London – last week. We at SwiftKey were very pleased to have been selected as an example of a British success story and Rhodri gave a five minute talk to business leaders which he summarises in the post below. 

You can watch a video of his speech here: 

And CEO Jon Reynolds discussed the impact of these events – and the Olympics – on businesses like ours in this short video by Sky News:

Over to Rhod:

My talk focused around three subjects – why input matters, why SwiftKey is the leading innovator in this area, and why the UK is the best place to do business. I wanted to share these ideas with you and it would be great if you wanted to join the conversation.

1. Input is important.

Smartphones these days are really quite unbelieveable in terms of functionality and richness of experience. Most users (72%, according to our research) are very happy with their overall experience. However, text input – typing – is a key feature of the device and users are generally unsatisfied.

On the one hand, users state that typing is more important than price, appearance or brand. On the other hand, only 27% of users rate their typing experience as “very good” or “excellent”. This is a big problem, when mobile phones are beginning to match – or exceed in some areas – the capabilities of desktop computers.

2. SwiftKey is the leading innovator in the field of text input.

We are a very young company (have you seen pictures of our youthful founders? Makes me feel positively ancient), but in a short space of time we have brought a number of significant innovations to market. These include highly accurate Next Word Prediction, social-media personalisation and learning and most recently Smart Space (which means you can run words together without worrying about the spacebar). We have some serious language expertise in SwiftKey that we have channeled directly at one problem – “typing on a touchscreen” – and we think it shows in the quality of our predictions and corrections.

We have a great product – and customers love it. We’ve been the number one paid app on Google Play for five periods of time since last summer. We’ve won “Most Innovative App” at Mobile World Congress and a Webby – beating Google to the gong both times. We are one of the most downloaded and highly rated apps available.

3. Great Britain is a great place to build a business in technology.

There has never been a better time to beat the drum for “Team GB” after the astonishing sporting performances we have seen in the last two weeks! The UK is a global leader in computer science with a powerful legacy from the likes of Babbage and Turing. But we are also a global hub specifically for language and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies. Cambridge Computer Laboratory and the University of Edinburgh have world class, globally respected research groups. In total, there are at least 22 University faculties dedicated to NLP research.

The talent pool here in the UK is both deep and wide – making the UK a great place to be when it comes to building technology businesses for the future.

What do you think? Join the debate in the comments below or over on www.facebook.com/swiftkey.

The SwiftKey Game is a fun way of finding out what predictions you get for particular words and phrases – sometimes the results are surprising and hilarious, more often they are spookily accurate!

We thought we would celebrate this summer of sport by playing a round on Facebook and Twitter – what do you get when you type “winning is” and then press the middle prediction key to complete the sentence?

We’re compiling some of the best here:

Happy playing!


PS You can ‘Like’ SwiftKey on Facebook here and follow the team on Twitter here.

PPS We updated our English US and UK language packs recently, find out why…