If you use the incredibly popular third-party keyboard Swiftkey on your Android phone or tablet, prepare to be disappointed in future as Google looks to be removing Gmail access to Swiftkey in early July.
Google has sent out emails to anyone that uses Gmail linked with SwiftKey, informing them that the app could potentially lose access to Gmail as soon as July 15, 2019. The email states that the Swiftkey team will need to adhere to new data policy requirements to retain access to Gmail (via Bleeping Computer).
Although you don’t need to do anything, we wanted to let you know that the following apps may no longer be able to access some data in your Google Account, including your Gmail content. If these apps are unable to meet the deadline to comply with our updated data policy requirements, they’ll lose access to your Account starting July 15th, 2019.
We are making this change as part of ongoing efforts to make sure your data is protected and private.
You can always view, manage and remove apps you’ve given access to your account by visiting your Google Account.
Thanks, The Google Accounts team
This issue could be resolved ahead of this date but should the problem not be rectified, Swiftkey won’t be able to suggest emails and contact information from your Gmail account. Google hasn’t actually specified which policy Swiftkey has violated though. It’s also worth noting that Swifkey doesn’t appear to need Gmail access to function, while the new Google policy applies to those that require permissions to function.
For those that maybe didn’t already know, Swiftkey has been owned by Microsoft since 2016. We would be very surprised if Microsoft were to allow Gmail access to drop off by July 15th — but stranger things have happened.
Assume it's because I've given access to learn from Gmail, to Sync my settings to also.
Have Google decided SwiftKey are up to something with data. Or is this something else? pic.twitter.com/RMWekD4YZm
— James Pearce (@jp_hero) June 26, 2019
The email was shared by several people on Twitter, although as a Swiftkey user I still haven’t seen it in my inbox as yet. It’s not quite clear if this is being sent out just to those that allow access to their email accounts — such as Gmail. Doing so does allow for better personalization and contact suggestions when typing or swiping on the excellent keyboard so it would be a shame to disappear. This could lead some jumping ship for another third-party keyboard option. Gboard will undoubtedly benefit if that does happen.
We’ve contacted both SwiftKey and Google to better understand why access is being revoked and will update should we receive a response.
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