The keyboard that lets you type a text message in the least time possible is now on the Play Store and only for 99 cents.
I am always on the phone when I am not blogging and hence I have been trying quite a lot of keyboards since I have been using an Android smartphone. SwiftKey made its home on my device for the longest duration and now, though it still resides there, it has a new mate – Swype.
Going back to the history of Swype, it was a great innovation by Swype Inc. three years back as it was the only keyboard that allowed gesture input. Though Android users wished to get their hands on this keyboard, Swype Inc. wasn’t interested in selling the keyboard to its end users. Instead, it decided to sell its keyboard only to hardware manufacturers. Later, Swype was acquired by Nuance Communications, makers of the Dragon Naturally Speaking software who decided to make more money and hence sell the keyboard to the end users.
Swype is currently available as a trial version and a full version on the Play Store. I’m not sure what limitations the trial version has, but I purchased the full version after I read the reviews by its users ($0.99 is pretty cheap, isn’t it?).
Once installed, Swype guides you through a few screens that teach you how to use the keyboard. The automatically updates your dictionary with the latest trending words. You can also sign up using your Google account to sync your personal dictionary. This makes sure you don’t lose the app data if you uninstall it (by any chance).
A tap in the dragon key lets you go hands free and turns your voice into text pretty accurately though it mostly depends on your accent. A sentence is completed when you stop speaking and this is optional. I don’t use voice to text and hence I’ve hid the voice key in the keyboard. The keyboard can recognize 36 languages.
The handwriting feature seems good as it can recognize my handwriting (which is pretty bad). However, I don’t find it much useful on my Android phone thought it would be very useful for tablets.
The smart editor is intelligent as it analyzes the entire text and flags errors. An example can be seen from the screenshot below:
The settings are no extra-ordinary – auto capitalization, auto spacing and next word prediction which are found in almost all keyboards.
Next Word Prediction Isn’t Better Than SwiftKey
Talking about the Next Word Prediction feature, I must say that SwiftKey is the best and Swype isn’t better. Here is why –
We usually type a few sentences pretty often and it would be great if the keyboard can predict our next words based on the sentences we have typed in the past. Swype doesn’t does that but SwiftKey does. I heavily rely upon next word prediction when I am replying to my emails, probably to address those that came in for guest post proposals. When using SwiftKey, I type only the first two words and the rest is predicted by SwiftKey.
While everything on Swype works great, the next word prediction feature dissatisfies me and hence I cut down one star from my review about Swype on the Play Store. It is great for people who don’t wish to take their fingers off the device while typing. We give it 4 stars while the average rating of Swype on Play Store as of now is 4.7.[box type=”shadow” ]Download Swype – Full Version ($0.99) | Trial Version (Free)[/box]