By granting Full Access to SwiftKey, this does not mean everything you type is transmitted off your device, despite a warning message that shows when you allow the permission (explained below). No language data or words that you type will ever leave your device or be transmitted while using SwiftKey Keyboard unless you specifically create a SwiftKey Account (also explained below).
On iOS, SwiftKey’s keyboard extension requires Full Access in order to share data with the “container” app on your device, i.e. the SwiftKey app on your home screen. This is because we house key components of SwiftKey in the container app, as explained below, and need to obtain your permission in order for the keyboard extension to be able to access these components.
For more information on how to grant Full Access please read our article on this.
What is Full Access?
Granting an iOS keyboard extension Full Access is the permission that allows it to share data with its broader “container” app and gain network access. We request this permission to allow SwiftKey’s keyboard extension to share data with its container app in order to provide you with a full SwiftKey feature-set and simplify how settings are managed.
Do you transmit anything I type?
SwiftKey Keyboard does not “transmit anything you type,” as Apple’s warning message may lead you to think. That warning message (which is displayed before a user allows Full Access) is there to make sure you are aware of what is technically possible before making a decision about whether to trust the developer of a keyboard extension. We hope this article helps give you confidence that at SwiftKey we have your best interests at heart, and have taken several measures to protect your privacy and security.
What exactly is Full Access used for?
We require Full Access because SwiftKey Keyboard stores language models, personalized learning and keyboard preferences outside the keyboard extensions framework on your device, as part of the broader SwiftKey app, and without this permission the keyboard extension would not be able to read or write to these files.
Architecting SwiftKey for iOS in this way allows us to make sure the keyboard is both as user friendly and powerful as possible. It allows you to manage your settings in a clear and simple way from the app on your home screen, have access to a library of frequently updated language models, have further customization of the keyboard with themes, and ensure all of this is presented within a reasonably-sized app.
To give you added peace of mind, you can delete learned language data from your device (or your SwiftKey Account) at any time.
By having Full Access, we’re also able to seamlessly improve both language predictions and our feature-set in the future; for example, we can roll out new or improved languages without disrupting your typing by requiring the app to be updated. In order to keep up with how quickly language evolves, we update our language models from time to time.
By creating a SwiftKey Account, SwiftKey learns from your typing. Your predictions are securely backed up to our servers and synced across other devices that you opt in with. You can link your SwiftKey Account to your Gmail, Facebook, Twitter accounts to enhance the personalization of word predictions.
You can read more about the benefits of a SwiftKey Account here.