Spotlight on...SwiftKey’s Volunteer Squad
August 28, 2014
September 3, 2012
Here at SwiftKey our users are very important to us – we believe that listening to our fans is the reason that SwiftKey is the best keyboard on Android. We have a public forum where anyone can suggest a new feature and a VIP community of dedicated SwiftKey fans where each new release goes through multiple iterations before being released to the public. Amongst the 70,000 VIPs, some particularly stand out – not just by being helpful to us, the developers, but by being helpful and friendly to all of the other VIPs.
This post is the first in a series where we recognise VIPs who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. We have chosen to showcase James because he is constantly assisting other users in the VIP community. He frequently troubleshoots issues for users, and when he doesn’t have the answer he steers the VIPs in the right direction. He’s especially friendly to new VIPs.
What’s your name? (real and VIP handle)
My name is James, but I have kept the driftinganomaly moniker for over 10 years.
Where are you from?
I have been in California for well over a decade, but I have lived in Tennessee and Missouri as well.
What’s your day job?
During the day, I work for a general contractor, doing some construction. By night, I am a student taking computer classes (with an IT focus).
How did you first hear of SwiftKey?
While trying to make a touchscreen keyboard usable for me, I did a lot of research. I saw SwiftKey mentioned in almost every review. After trying it, there was no turning back.
What do you think makes SwiftKey different?
Predictions: that is the bottom line. The VIP interaction in relation to development is awesome, but it all boils back down to predictions.
How many keystrokes have you saved using SwiftKey?
I am going to have to guesstimate: my phone says 91k since about February, but that doesn’t take 2+ months of beta testing into consideration. Also, from June to February before that, I had two different phones that each made it over 100,000 keystrokes saved. With beta testing added in and all the resets from new roms, I think that over a half million is a conservative guess, considering how much time I spent texting my girlfriend. (I started researching Android keyboards so that I could keep up with her in conversation when we had first started dating.)
What’s it like to be part of the SwiftKey VIP Community?
I have enjoyed being part of the VIP community. Not long after I started using SwiftKey, it was changed from SwiftKey to SwiftKey X. I saw settings disappear and the keyboard, that I enjoyed using, suddenly change. When I found out about the SwiftKey 3 Beta, I started using it the very first day, even though it took me several hours to get it downloaded. SwiftKey is one of the primary methods through which I interact with technology, so I want to be involved. The VIP community lets me at least interact and try to add influence to aspects of development to a small degree.
What are your three favorite apps (apart from SwiftKey)?
Hmm, well, SwiftKey is my favorite, but if I had to choose 3 more:
LBE Privacy Guard – (root) this app lets you approve or deny an app’s permission as it tries to use it or via rules to always allow or deny.
Titanium Backup – (root) this app lets you back up your apps and app data for all of your apps. You can also freeze or uninstall bloatware as well as push an app of your choosing to the system apps.
Tapatalk – this app lets you browse all of the forums you subscribe to from one place. It gives you easy access to a list of unread topics. Also, you can quickly view a list of all threads that you have participated in.
What are your 3 favorite websites or blogs?
The question of “favorite websites” is about as difficult to answer as favorite apps.
A. XDA Developers – I spend quite a bit of time researching and following directions from this site.
B. Ars Technica – is a wonderful source for tech news.
C. Waterfallswest.com – I enjoy hiking especially to waterfalls. This website is without competition the best source of information for the area that I live in.
Tell us something unusual about yourself!
When I was younger, I traveled around the country for several years living out of a backpack. I still enjoy hiking, backpacking and camping. Waterfalls are often the destination of choice for me.