A new, clean heatmap starts off looking like this. At the centre of each key is a perfect circle.
As you use your keyboard, SwiftKey learns how you interact with your screen and adjusts its behaviour accordingly. If you tend to hit a little high on one key, a little low on another, a little to the right or left with others, SwiftKey will compensate for this and figure out which key you were aiming for. We call this “Input Modelling” and it’s just one of many ways that SwiftKey makes typing easier and faster. There’s no need to be accurate. Just aim at roughly the right keys in roughly the right order and SwiftKey will take the context of what you are writing, put it together with its knowledge of what you’ve written before, and work out what you meant to type.
The blobs on your heatmap become morphed to fit the region that you tend to press when you want to use that key, thereby representing the unique way in which you use your keyboard and the unique way that your SwiftKey responds to your presses.
Let’s see some examples, starting with Patrick’s heatmap. Patrick is one of our developers and he’s the best at explaining how heatmaps and input modelling work.
Patrick says: “I’m a fairly typical rapid thumb typist. My SwiftKeyX heatmap shows how my typing style is quite haphazard, aiming for maximum speed, letting SwiftKey do the hard work. However, there are a few features which SwiftKey can use to really zero in on how I type. It’s clear that I am a lot more accurate with my right thumb than my left, due to the fact that I support most of my phone with my right hand, so the keyboard position relative to my right thumb is more constant than to my left thumb. You can also see a fairly typical “over there Q” as I like to call it! When I want to hit Q I know that it’s in the top left, so I just hit somewhere over there! This leads to a fairly spread out blob, which represents how variable my touch can be when I want to hit Q. Only SwiftKey X knows my typing style well enough to keep up!”
I think his accuracy is pretty good, especially compared to mine!
This is my heatmap from my phone. I am a hunt-and-peck kind of typist, I hold my phone in one hand and type with the index finger of my other hand. What you can see here is that I often aim a bit too low when going for the keys. So SwiftKey will adjust for that and know that if I hit somewhere between two keys I was probably aiming for the higher of the two. I also suffer from what Patrick refers to as an “over there Q”.
One more heatmap, this time from our Community Manager Evan.
Evan tends to type one-handed with his right thumb, and you can see how his keypress areas skew from the bottom left to the top right. You can also see how he is less accurate when bending his thumb back to hit the L in the middle right and when stretching across to reach the A all the way over on the left-hand side.
We hope you find this useful, and we’d love to see your heatmaps and hear what you make of them. You can find your heatmap by going to Settings> SwiftKey stats > My typing heatmap, and you can tweet us by using @SwiftKey. Remember – the messier your heatmap the more SwiftKey is working to make typing easier for you.