Everybody’s Kung Fu Swyping!

When we’ve discussed Swype in the past, it’s always been a good news/bad news story. The good news: it’s an innovative, gesture-based virtual keyboard whose users profess a love for it that was illegal in several states until quite recently. The bad news was that it was only legitimately available pre-installed on several handsets and to a select group of beta testers, leaving many to pine for it unrequited.

Well, now it’s all good news, as TechCrunch reports that Swype will be available to “anyone who wants it” later today, June 16. It sounds like the release will still be considered a beta, and it’s not mentioned whether we’ll find it in the Android Market. But it will be available directly from Swype. Keep checking beta.swype.com for details on downloading it. A price isn’t mentioned, but we’re assuming that it will continue to be free if it continues to be labeled beta.

[Edit: The open beta sign-up is now live. Don’t dawdle: beta sign-up will be open for a short time, “probably a few days.” To participate, head over to beta.swype.com and register. Swype will email you a link to download teh app.]

One tip for those of you trying Swype for the first time: don’t skip the tutorial! It’ll shorten your learning curve quite a bit. Soon you’ll be breaking records like the guy in this video:


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AndroidGuys 4639 posts

Founded on November 5, 2007, we've enjoyed bringing you the latest in Android news and rumors. Updated daily, we strive to deliver reviews, opinions, and updates on all things related to Android.

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  1. andre
    June 16, 06:11 Reply

    How does Swype compare to Shapewriter? I'm using Shapewriter since months now and I'm quite happy with it.

  2. sd card
    June 16, 06:42 Reply

    Trust me, it is faster than a physical keyboard and the other a virtual keyboard. The previous record was 41 seconds something, and it was a physical keyboard in my opinion. Why Samsung flat broke, check out my video in my channel. Guinees already sent a request and expect to hear back from them.

  3. JoAnn
    June 16, 11:34 Reply

    Raise your hand if you've ever tried to swype on another device (for me it's the iPod Touch) and then cursed the thing because it didn't have it.

  4. Greg Lambert
    June 16, 13:39 Reply

    It's most excellent. On my first try I typed at least as quickly as my laptop. It's much faster using swype that the flip out keyboard on my Motorola Droid.

  5. BigHeat
    June 16, 16:36 Reply

    My beta invite made my day yesterday. This news made my day today. Personally, I find Swype to be much better than ShapeWriter.

  6. @thecolor
    June 16, 17:52 Reply

    well, so far, I'm underwhelmed. :( I installed it as soon as I got my beta email, and while the application comes up, and the swype keyboard works like a normal keyboard (with swype lines)… the "swype" feature seems never to type by, "swyping". :( And for some reason it will not register.


  7. John
    June 16, 23:10 Reply

    If you have problems with it not actually typing anything when "swyping" reboot your phone. That's always fixed it for me.

  8. Test and Compared
    June 17, 01:27 Reply

    I have tested Swype and Shapewriter. Here's what I came to.

    Swype has a bigger keyboard in landscape mode but it's also harder to use when your thumb will only go so far if you have a 3+inch screen and ends up being slower than shapewriter to type. Shapewriter in landscape mode is more compact on the right side with your word selection on the left. so if you misspell words, it's super fast and easy to select the word.

    Deleting typed words in Swype may take some time to get used to because it does it super fast that it may delete some words that you don't want deleted. That needs to be tweaked so it doesn't delete words that you don't want deleted. I've done that many times using Swype. When I use Shapewriter, it's easier because the delete button when pressed once, deletes 1 letter but if you press delete twice, it deletes the whole word.

    Spacebar!!! In Swype, you have to press the spacebar to actually get a space between your words. I didn't see any option otherwise, unless I missed it which I don't think I did since i double checked. In Shapewriter, when you let go of a letter and start another word, it automatically puts a space between your words. That is 1 less button to press. Also, in Shapewriter, when you press the spacebar twice, you end your sentence with a period.

    Adding words to the dictionary in Swype and Shapewriter is about the same. Long hold the word that is not in the phone's dictionary. I noticed Swype takes like 3-5 seconds to even add the word which is kind of odd. Shapewriter, the keyboard asks if you want to add the word to the dictionary and takes less than a split second to add it. So Shapewriter is faster at adding words that are not in the dictionary.

    Swype keyboard in landscape mode feels more polished up but the whole selecting from multiple words is annoying because it takes up a lot of space and covers up your typing so you can't see what you just typed.

    Accuracy vs Speed
    The accuracy on Shapewriter is almost perfect. It even gets down all of the punctuations right. The accuracy on Swype i really didn't think it was as accurate as it should be.

    What did I think of both of them overall?

    I thought both of them work better than the stock android keyboard. I liked the Shapewriter better than Swype because Swype sometimes didn't recognize that I had my finger on the screen and pressing down on a button and swyping my finger. Shapewriter recognized my finger every time. I do love the Swype landscape keyboard layout but it seemed TOO big for my thumb to reach across my phone and i have big hands. When I had to use the letter A or letter S, it felt like my thumb was stretching too far out. The Shapewriter landscape keyboard layout was just perfect because you don't have a popup asking what words you want to use since its on the side already. and my thumb actually reaches EVERY letter unlike Swype. The accuracy on Shapewriter was better than Swype.

  9. Duncan Booth
    June 17, 07:54 Reply

    "Test and Compared", did you actually go through the Swype tutorial? just ignore the space bar, Swype enters a space between words automatically. If you want to end a sentence then Swype from '.' to the space bar.

    I find it interesting that you complain about your thumb not stretching: I've been using my index finger to Swype and I've had no issues with accuracy at all.

  10. James
    June 17, 08:44 Reply

    I installed it last night and it is simply awesome. Guess what I am using to type this message. Typing faster than ever before. Love it

  11. @lyndsy922
    June 17, 23:31 Reply

    I was totally skeptical about whether it would work and I'm VERY pleased with it. Somehow, it didn't occur to met to swipe a period and a space! I'm recommending it to all of my friends.

  12. Julian
    June 18, 05:58 Reply

    When I download and try to install the apk file, it tells me "There Was A Problem Parsing The Package." I tried installing it with my File Explorer program (Astro) as well, but I still get the same results. I even tried renaming the download thinking maybe a special character was messing it up but nothing. What can I do to get this to install? When I look at the properties of the apk file, it has no information at all, no size, no date, no name, nothing.

  13. eka
    July 12, 11:57 Reply

    nice video. nice post..

  14. Reputation Managers
    December 28, 00:36 Reply

    The accuracy on Shapewriter is almost perfect. It even gets down all of the punctuations right. The accuracy on Swype i really didn’t think it was as accurate as it should be.

  15. Senior Facility
    December 29, 05:34 Reply

    Swype keyboard in landscape mode feels more polished up but the whole selecting from multiple words is really annoying.

  16. Pontiac Parts
    December 30, 11:18 Reply

    It’s an innovative, gesture-based virtual keyboard whose users profess a love for it that was illegal in several states until quite recently.

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