TMCnet Feature
April 24, 2013

Nuance's Swype Keyboard Lands in Google Play

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Many users have already come to love the Swype (News - Alert) keyboard app for its ability to learn as it goes and help a user essentially draw a word on the keyboard instead of interacting one letter at a time. Now, the app is about to get a whole load of new fans as it makes its way to Google (News - Alert) Play for the low price of $0.99. That's going to open up a big new field for Swype but it won't be coming with just a keyboard app.

Swype's move to Google Play isn't coming in alone. It's being paired with Dragon Dictation, allowing users to speak messages and transform that speech in to printed messages, thus providing a wide variety of options when it comes to using a mobile device's keyboard. Thanks to Swype and Dragon Dictation, Nuance (News - Alert) can offer up a complete solution, whether users are already skilled in typing on a touch screen, prefer to swipe fingers across a display to form a word—Swype has a learning algorithm built in that allows it to better learn which words are being made from a series of swipes or use the tapping approach of looking at the keyboard and striking each key individually. Even those who'd rather not use a keyboard at all can be accommodated here.

But despite all that functionality, there will be even more afoot thanks to Swype's move to Google Play. There's also an extra degree of dialect support, meaning that those who make language choice that are unfamiliar to some—in some places, for example, "arvo" reportedly means "afternoon"—won't be stymied by Swype's unfamiliarity with the terms. Indeed, Swype is a wonder of multiculturalism, offering support for dialects across Singapore, Australia, the United States and France, among 20 total dialects in all.

Swype on Google Play will also boast the Smart Touch system to better adjust to a user's style of input, as well as a smart reselect system to make for easier editing of specific words that didn't quite come off well.

Swype previously was only found through either a phone manufacturer directly or through access to a beta app, so for those who have wanted to try out the Swype system, this may be the first such chance to do so. Nuance is still, of course, keeping its various partnerships, but it's also opening up the app for other users to get in on the action themselves. Better yet, there's even a 30 day free trial so each user can see if the app provides the desired level of functionality, but at last report the $0.99 offer was for a limited time only.

Indeed, trying to do any degree of word processing on a touch screen device can be extremely frustrating, with lots of back and forth to get just what's needed. A service like Swype, which allows for a simpler method that actually learns along with the user, can go a long way toward improving the adoption rate of touch screen devices. It may not be for everyone as yet, but anything that a tablet can do to remove objection is probably going to go quite a long way toward improving already brisk adoption rates.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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