Nuance brings super-fast and intelligent Swype keyboard to Android smartphones and tablets

by Doug Drinkwater

April 24 2013

Swype is currently available on Google Play for $0.99
Swype is currently available on Google Play for $0.99

Typing on any virtual keyboard can a frustrating experience but that is something Nuance’s Swype is now hoping to improve with a new app that is fast and which even picks up on local dialect and trending phrases.

The text-predicting Swype keyboard is available at $0.99 for a limited time on Google Play (there is also a free 30-day trial available), and claims to cater for a number of different keyboard users, from the “swyper” and the "typer” to the “tapper”.

What makes Swype so user-friendly (and fast) is the ability to quickly form words by swiping your finger from letter to letter in a continuous motion, a feature which since come to SwiftKey and other virtual keyboard Android apps.

But as well as this, Swype offers next-word prediction based on context, predictions based on local dialect and an opt-in Living Language cloud service which automatically updates the keyboard’s dictionary on a daily basis based on trending words and phrases.

For example, Nuance executives told AllThingsD that “Tsarnaev”, the name of the brothers behind the Boston Marathon bombings, was added last week.

The predictive word engine goes even further by backing up and syncing your personal dictionary, so it doesn’t have to relearn your common words and phrases if you switch devices, while the Smart Touch feature bids to learn what letters you often use together.

For instance, if you often used “G” followed by “H”, Swype would – when appropriate – offer the latter after the former was typed.

In addition – and as you would expect given Nuance’s own Dragon dictation software – Swype users are able to hit the Dragon button to dictate a message using their voice, although they will need to have Nuance’s Dragon Mobile Assistance app installed on their device.

Prior to Nuance taking Swype under its wing with the $102.5 million acquisition in October 2011, Swype could only be found pre-installed on select smartphones and to users who signed up to be part of the beta program.

Smartphones which ran the Swype software included Samsung’s first two Galaxy S models and the Windows Mobile-based Omnia, which launched back in 2009.

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