Innovative Text Input Technology Swype Comes to Android

| News

Swype is coming to Android, and MobileCrunch has posted a video demonstrating a beta copy of the input-method in action. With Swype, users don't tap on keys, but rather swipe through the letters of the word they're wanting to type one continuous motion.

The software then interpolates that to determine what word you're typing, and if it's not sure, it presents a list of options. Tests between Swypers and iPhone typers have been showing up on the Internet showing the Swyper as being the faster input method.

Swype Inc.'s self-titled technology was developed by T9 predictive text inventor Cliff Kushler, and was first unveiled on Windows Mobile device Omnia II. The company recently announced a second round of funding from venture capital firms led by Nokia and Verizon, and is working on bringing the technology to other mobile platforms, including Android.

In many quarters, Swype is already being heralded as a killer app for any platform competing with Apple's iPhone. The Mac Observer contacted the company to inquire about plans for bringing the software to the iPhone, but we've not received a response as of yet.


MobileCrunch's demo of Swype's beta release for Android

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Comments

Nemo

Good work Bryan.  It is interesting to know that Nokia and Verizon are backing this technology.  That raises the possibility that Swype won’t be licensed to Apple or won’t easily be licensed to Apple.  However, on the other hand, that it is being broadly licensed (Android phones, Windows Mobile, and, I presume Nokia) may mean that Swype will or must be made available for Apple to license.  At this point, though, there aren’t enough facts to offer an informed opinion.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Swype enabled app? You mean a developer can create a service for Android and other apps can interface with it? Amazing. It’s like the Android folks don’t actually think they know everything their users could ever want or their developer might ever create. Interesting.

geoduck

I think it would take a lot of getting used to but it is an interesting idea. I want to play with it to see how it feels. One thing though, it might help those of us with larger fingers hit the right key.

Nemo

Dear Bosco:  As I am sure you know, the iPhone OS has APIs and services that are available for developers to use in their apps.  One API in particular allow medical devices to link with the iPhone so that the iPhone can either control the device or receive data from the device.  There is an API for using the iPhone’s virtual keyboard.  There are many other APIs and services available to developers.  However, there are some private APIs that Apple does not allow those outside of Apple to use.  Now, that is the way it is.

I’ve wonder Bosco, if you so dislike the way that Apple exercises its rights to control its platforms, why don’t you simply abandon Apple and move on to Linux, Android, and/or other platforms, whose policies and license agreements may better suit you?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Nemo, Stick with being a lawyer grin. I’m talking about **replacing** a key service (i.e. the keyboard) and making it possible for applications to work with that service, as shown in the video. Because that’s what these guys did on Android. And without having to get permission or approval from Google. While I’d love to see this on the iPhone, I’d also enjoy the spectacle of seeing how Apple deals with this if the developer doesn’t want to deal with them. I know it would be instructive grin.

As to what you and others here wonder about why I remain interested in Apple technologies… All of my products for the last decade have been for Mac and Windows. I develop with a 3rd party tool (REALbasic) that lets me deploy easily to both, without being locked too much into either vendor’s environments (I have to for small portions where speed counts). I take a platform agnostic position expressed by Leo Laporte on his show last weekend. If you’re a gamer, you go PC. If you’re editing video, you go Mac. Otherwise, it’s up to your own tastes because the platforms are now mostly the same. The only key differences I note are that Mac OS X has solved the flicker problem with double buffered windows, and Apple apps tend to stay a little simpler (which is good in my book) than equivalent Microsoft apps. Less than 20% of my revenue comes from exclusive-Mac customers, and about 40% from straddlers. I have a soft spot in my heart for the Mac. I don’t have any spot in my heart for the control freaks Apple have become especially in the last 2 or 3 years.

But since my answer isn’t “I’m picking up and leaving” or “I’m sorry for offending your religious beliefs”, I don’t expect many of you here in the TMO comment boards to understand or appreciate the subtleties of my thoughts on Apple, the Mac, the iPhone, etc. Your loss.

Dean Lewis

Subtlety and thought in a Bosco post? Together? I’d like to see that some day.

I haven’t ever blocked anyone on sites with more considered discussions, but your recent self-importance is about to make you an exception. Falling back on the old “Apple religion” b.s. to denigrate others here and prop yourself up does nothing for your arguments. In fact, it just makes you look silly, and takes away from any points your arguments might actually have. The loss, really, is yours.

Clemnton

It’s a pitty that this is only in English so I can?t use it.

BTW, it has great resemblance with Dasur’s SlideIT. That one is blazing fast and easy to use (and supports several languages).

TreyForSwype

Actually Swype supports 26 languages and we hope to support 50+ within the next year!

Gill Feldmark

Actually Swype supports 26 languages and we hope to support 50+ within the next year!

Actually Swype supports only English and Spanish.
But SlideIT has already 14 language packs : Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.

The keyboard is provided with primary and secondary languages, and the user can switch between them at any time

see here: http://mobiletextinput.com/Product/SlideIT/Multilanguage.php

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