SwiftKey, the most popular keyboard app for Android, went free last month, following the announcement iOS8 would include third party keyboards.
The move to a free service appears to have paid off, SwiftKey announced a 54 percent increase in monthly users, a huge step that would not have been possible if the app remained at its normal price of $3.99.
This comes before the huge influx of users running iOS 8. SwiftKey is placing big bets on the free model, hoping users will pay for themes and emotes, instead of paying one time for the application.
SwiftKey may see themes as a more sustainable business , where one user could buy 20 themes, instead of just paying once for the app. It does mean SwiftKey relies on people to actually buy the themes, they are only aesthetic choices.
Over 13 million people have downloaded SwiftKey since the move from paid to free, we haven’t got any numbers on customisable keyboard and themes, perhaps SwiftKey will wait a few months before revealing those stats.
For people who already invested in the SwiftKey app, the developers offer them some themes for free. The keyboard app was $3.99, quite a good amount of money for a mobile app, but nothing people will get sour over.
SwiftKey is apparently developing some new app features for the launch on iOS 8, while Android has given the keyboard developer a good foundation, iOS is where the big money is at and more will be willing to pay for cosmetics.