The Greatest App of All Time Day 21: SwiftKey vs. Duolingo

Welcome back to Gizmodo’s March Madness bracket challenge to name the greatest app of all time! Yesterday’s tournament brought us our biggest upset to date with Venmo crushing Twitter’s dreams. RIP Twitter. Today, we have SwiftKey taking on DuoLingo.

If you’re just tuning in, you can read all about our selection criteria for this historic contest right here. Check out the full bracket of contestants embedded below. And as always, if you think we missed your personal favorite app of all time, yell at us in the comments. Now, let’s get into today’s contestants.

Pentagon Employees Too Horny to Follow Rules

Here’s what we said about SwiftKey in the first round:

When Apple first launched the iPhone, its approach to an onscreen keyboard was the beginning of the end for the clicky tactility of the BlackBerry’s physical keys. But for some users, just clicking virtual keys wasn’t enough, they wanted to really merge with the machines. SwiftKey used predictive text and machine learning to guess what you were trying to say as you dragged your finger around the keyboard. For people who could get on the app’s zen wavelength, this was rocket fuel for mobile typing. It was also, for a few years, something that Android users liked to point to as an advantage over the iPhone.

But that didn’t last too long. In 2014, Apple opened up the iPhone to allow third-party keyboard integration and eventually, the Cupertino giant added features to its own keyboard that were similar to SwiftKey. But diehard fans still love the OG.

And here’s what we wrote about Duolingo:

Duolingo is sort of our bracket’s representative for the whole ecosphere of educational apps. We don’t know whether the various efforts to gamify learning in the mobile era have been all that effective, but it couldn’t hurt, right? Most research seems to agree that using an interactive app like Duolingo is a great way to get started with a new language but you’ll need to immerse yourself in the real world if you really want to gain fluency. It seems safe to say that Duolingo has seamlessly helped millions of people quickly learn to ask where the nearest bathroom is in a new language right before a trip abroad. Combined with the rising use of real-time translation audio apps, gamified language apps are helping us get closer to a world where we can all communicate at the most basic level.

Here are the nominees. Choose your fighter.

Here are the nominees. Choose your fighter.
Graphic: Vicky Leta

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