I’m on a lifelong hunt for the perfect smartphone keyboard. Nothing out there is perfect — the right key layout always comes with the wrong prediction engine or the option key in the wrong place.

But as it turns out, Swiftkey has secretly been working on an Android keyboard with emoji support that is, technically speaking, the perfect medium for communication.

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Swiftmoji (some branding agency worked overtime on that one!) is pretty simple: a standard QWERTY keyboard that adds a top line of emoji. Which emoji come up on that bar depends on what you’ve been typing. Just like auto-predict will show you the most likely three words for you to use next, Swiftmoji will show you six emoji that you might want to use.

It’s a clever solution to a very real problem. I’m forced to use emoji in conversation because most of my friends are Snapchat-personality-wannabes, but I find the built-in emoji keyboard takes way too long to scroll through, and as a result my emojicabulary consists of seven different smiley faces.

Swiftkey’s emoji prediction engine (not a phrase I thought I’d ever type) isn’t perfect, but it provides a good source of inspiration to help spice up a conversation.

The keyboard is still in beta, but you can download it now onto any compatible Android handset, provided you join the trial program first. Swiftkey has a history of trialling features as standalone betas before integrating them into its main cross-platform keyboard, so with any luck, we’ll be seeing more emoji on iOS and Android sometime soon.

Chris Mills has loved tinkering with technology ever since he worked out how to defeat the parental controls on his parents' internet. He's blogged his way through Apple events and SpaceX launches ever since, and still keeps a bizarre fondness for the Palm Pre.