With the large number of keyboards available, will Swype be able to get the 'Essential App' status in your Android?
Talk about revolutionary way of typing and most people will point to the granddaddy of it all: Swype. Swype brings such an improvement to typing on touch screen that to ignorant onlookers, it looks like magic: just slide your finger around, and words appear like finger calling words from touch screen. Okay, I suck at analogy.
You will be hard pressed now to find any default keyboard that doesn’t include Swype-like typing ability (poor iPhone users, I pity you).
Now, let’s take a look deeper at Swype.
The interface looks good, clean with good contrast between two colors — gray and black — that complement each other. Some people complained who uses orange as one of main color, but I think it complement the dark theme well and brings Swype unique color to it.
But of course, what looks good always differ from person to person. Swype included few default themes which the user can change easily in preference, although the selection is somewhat limited.
Swyping ability is good, Swype is able to guess the words I want most of the time, and even in time when it chooses wrongly, there is few alternatives words which can be clicked to be chosen. There are some rare cases which is particularly annoying when Swype choose some obscure words that I sure I never typed than some common words, though.
Swype also supports Swyping in two languages at the same time, which is very useful for bilingual speaker. With huge language support, Swype really shines especially compared to other not as popular alternatives.
Swype has some useful gestures which acts as shortcut for some commonly used symbol like comma, question marks, etc. It also supports what favorite power users shortcut (and me when I was student): copy and paste. These shortcuts and gestures may takes time to get used to, but once used to, it’s an easy and well integrated.
I didn’t test the normal two-handed way of typing extensively because my main typing way is Swype unlike those plebeians (I may or may not be hipster). But in my casual test, it managed to autocorrect my typing just fine.
It’s not all rainbows, unicorns and roses. In some instances, I can feel micro lagging when I am happily Swyping without care except to correct odd mistakes here and there because of my lackluster spelling ability. I have also experienced pop-up message saying “Unfortunately, Swype + Dragon has stopped working.”, although Swype keeps working. I am going to assume that as some background services experienced crash.
Swype doesn’t support reading contacts from phone which will be useful as Swype typists rely on dictionary words much more than touch typists. There is also a trade-off of adding too much custom words in dictionary which may affect the accuracy of prediction, so that could have be the probable reason for Swype to forgo this particular feature.
There are also some cases, when Swype suggesting some weird exotic words that I am sure are much more rarely used than common words. It does not happen often, but when it does, it is extremely annoying. So it is still recommended for users to play around with settings such as turning off “Living Language” which adds popular new words to Swype dictionary.
The beauty of the openness of Android is most people can customize it to their heart’s content. And as Android users, we certainly don’t have any lack of keyboard selection to choose for, I’d even argue that we have the problem of too much to choose from.
Among all the selection, Swype is a good keyboard. It may not fulfill all the things you wish it had (I certainly hope it can have better word prediction), but it is the keyboard that I chose to use daily because of its efficiency and ability to type in two languages at the same time.
Is it worth the five dollars price tag it had? Again, the answers vary from a person to another, but it certainly warrant a 30 days trial it had to make further decision. It certainly improve my typing experience, which worth much more than five dollars.
Good Swype prediction
Support two languages at the same time
Useful and seamless gestures