Swype is an innovative and efficient text entry method and is an alternative to a regular software keyboards of Android phones. Instead of tapping one letter at a time, Swype lets you enter one word at a time by continuously moving your finger over letters of the word and lifting your finger up at the end of the word. According to Swype, this results in typing speed of over 40 words per minute. If you haven’t used Swype before, watch the demo video:
On many phones such as Droix X, Galaxy S and MyTouch 4G Swype comes pre-installed. The rest of Android users can now for a limited time join Swype beta testing program. Swype usually limits number of beta testers, so hurry up and create an account at beta.swype.com. You will be able to continue using Swype even after registration for beta testing closes.
The latest version of Swype is very stable and supports 7 languages (English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, French and unstable preview release of Chinese Pinyin).
One caveat: installing Swype is not as easy as installing a regular Android app. Swype doesn’t offer its keyboard through Android Market, so first you need to create a beta tester account, then download the Swype installer using link from the email confirming registration, launch te installer, login with your beta tester credentials and then download the keyboard app. Registration and installation shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to complete. See full installation details (with screenshots) at swype.com.
Few useful typing tips:
- Sloppy is ok – try to get near each letter while gliding quickly from letter to letter.
- Spaces are usually automatic. Swype a word, lift your finger, and continue on to the next word. Swype will add the space for you.
- Traced paths might match multiple words, popping up a Word Choice Window. The first word in the list is selected by default when you start to Swype the next word.
- To correct a word, double-tap the word you would like to replace in your text.
- To enter a double letter in a word, just “scribble” on the key.