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Swype is finally freed from it's OEM / Beta shackles... too late?

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Swype, the gesture based input method, has finally been freed from it's OEM / limited Beta shackles and has made it to the Play Store... but is it too late?

Once upon a time, Swype was a truly innovative piece of software. It's gesture based input was completely unique and users longed to have it on their devices... however Swype pursued a strategy of licencing their product primarily to OEMs and not making it available elsewhere (with the exception of those in their Beta programme).

Fast forward to 2013 and things have changed - SwiftKey now have their 'Flow' offering which is very similar and even the standard Jelly Bean keyboard has a swiping input mode. Are people still going to buy Swype?

There's quite a few reasons they might... even aside from the 99c introductory price!

All of the features you'd expect in a top end keyboard are there - typing, swiping (in 60 languages) and voice dictation modes, the latter using Dragon Dictation voice technologies, making it - for me - one of the most accurate voice input methods around (not to mention including support for 36 languages). That said, I don't really use voice input features in general but someone must do? Right? Is it you?

As well as an extensive dictionary on device, Swype includes a couple of neat features. The first is 'cloud sync' for your personal dictionary which, if you change devices a lot like me, is a real killer feature. In addition to the on-board dictionaries, you can opt in to a crowd sourced dictionary for 'the hottest words and phrases'. ;) Quite cool for popular names and the like.

One plus point for Swype over it's SwiftKey competitor is that both phone and tablet keyboards are included in the single purchase, with the tablet keyboard offering regular, small and split keyboard layouts for convenience.

A feature I noticed in Swype that originated in one of my previous-favourite input methods (TouchPal) is gesture support... specifically swiping down on a key to enter the punctuation on that key. Such a useful feature and one of a number of gestures in Swype.

At 99c to buy and with a free trial available, it's definitely worth trying out. I have to confess that I personally am a SwiftKey convert nowadays so while I have shelled out to buy a copy and i'm giving it a fair crack of the whip, i'm not sure there's enough to tempt me over. That said, I know there are some really big Swype fans out there.

Head on over to the Play Store to buy / try. Let us know how you get on! :)

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Posted · Report post

I'm a big Swiftkey fan, but figured 99c is neither here nor there - got it bought and have set Swipe as my default keyboard for a few days. Gotta say, I don't particularly like the look of the keyboard - hopefully they'll come up with some new skins. Must try the voice recognition

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I've been a Swype beta user since it was first released. Over the years I've tried lots of competitors, but ALWAYS returned to Swype. It's always seemed more accurate, easier to add custom words to its dictionary and, to me at least, in use it seems faster than any other keyboard.

Despite being happy with the beta I immediately purchased the version they released today, mainly to show my appreciation to Nuance, but also because I guess the beta will probably get dropped soon.

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I've been a Swype beta user since it was first released. Over the years I've tried lots of competitors, but ALWAYS returned to Swype. It's always seemed more accurate, easier to add custom words to its dictionary and, to me at least, in use it seems faster than any other keyboard.

Despite being happy with the beta I immediately purchased the version they released today, mainly to show my appreciation to Nuance, but also because I guess the beta will probably get dropped soon.

Likewise. I've tried all the popular keyboards and none of them come close to Swype's accuracy for gesture input.

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Posted · Report post

They could do with some new skins I think.

P

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Came with my Huawei U8800 over 2 years ago, and it's been real great though these days I use Swiftkey

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I am typing this on my nexus 7 with Swype, I am a Swiftkey Flow user. Going for a week, installed on a few of my Androids. The syncing between user dictionaries is the take home feature for me.

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Spent the past four days with Swype.

Switching back to SwiftKey. Swype has nice features and I like all the keyboard shortcuts, but realistically it's just a keyboard - I can't be arsed to memorize them all. Little things, like the way it never gives an auto-space after a full stop, are annoying and slow me up.

The combination of phone and tablet versions into one app is good and cloud back up is a nice gimmick, along with handwriting and voice recognition (both fairly accurate but sufficiently slow and error prone to mean I wouldn't really use either), but overall it just feels a bit gimmicky and slightly less useful than SwiftKey.

It's been in beta since the earth cooled so I don't expect killer new tweaks to improve it madly (though the skins are all either bland or garish - revamping them would be an easy improvement) but I'll keep an eye on it -plus if I start using a tablet again it'll probably get a look in.

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Ahh! Just switched back to SwiftKey - much nicer! It's like stepping back into your own shoes after a day in someone else's!

Less fussy with fewer unnecessary features clouding the goal of the app - ie writing! Thinking about it, you shouldn't really notice your input device, I reckon - it should be a pretty invisible conduit between your brain and the device. Swype just seemed to get in the way a bit more than SwiftKey (for me, at any rate) - I was much more aware of the app, which I don't really want to be, in the case of a keyboard. Maybe that's down to familiarity, but if that's so, Swype have missed out by delaying their launch so much and letting the opposition become entrenched in my head....

Edited by The Soup Thief
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