SwiftKey has released a new version of its software keyboard for Android devices, SwiftKey 3 Beta. The main new feature is an enhanced auto-correction algorithm that is able to detect multiple words at once, intelligently inserting a space where necessary. What this means, essentially, is that if you miss (or simply skip) hitting the spacebar, the software will compensate for that instead of just correcting each word individually. As with previous versions, the predicted text appears in a suggestion bar above the keyboard, so you can see if what it's guessing is accurate. In our testing, we found that for simple words it works to just skip over hitting the spacebar about half the time. However, the qualitative feel of just being able to bang away that much faster felt much better than we expected — it's certainly a bigger update than the last version of the software.

In addition to the new auto-correct, SwiftKey tweaked its keyboard layout and added some new themes. Unfortunately, the company still insists on keeping voice-to-text a long-press away —in favor of a popup dialog button that seems more geared towards branding than entering text. Voice-to-text is also unfortunately built using Google's method of voice entry from Gingerbread, the real-time voice entry from the Android 4.0 keyboard isn't supported. On the bright side, SwiftKey now supports a few more languages (including Korean), bringing the grand total up to 42.

For Android users on 2.3 and earlier — especially those who haven't taken to Swype's interface — it's definitely worth a look. The small percentage of users on Ice Cream Sandwich may be interested as well, but the lack of ICS's implementation of voice-to-text may send you on the stock keyboard. Either way, SwiftKey isn't releasing version 3 into Google Play just yet, but you can register for access on its "VIP" site at the source link below.