Swype: Coolest Thing I Have Seen on a Phone in a While

Yesterday I put a beta version of Swype on my Android phone.  Swype is the first really new data entry paradigm I have seen in years.  To type a word, one puts their finger on the first letter and then, without lifting the finger, moves the finger across all the other letters in the word.  The path below gets the word "quick"

The software figures out what you were trying to type, and it is right, at least in my case, a tremendous amount of the time.  One does not even have to be very accurate - I kind of missed some letters and it still figured out the right word.  Even got a bunch of proper names correct.  I know this seems odd, and its a concept that is best tried rather than explained, so I downloaded the beta on my android phone and tried it.  Amazingly, unlike the old Palm shorthand and other new handheld data entry experiments, this took about zero training to start using well. I have a physical keyboard on my Droid, so I still think I can do a bit faster on that but it is close.   Those with only the virtual keyboard should give this a try.

And smug iPhone users don't have it yet.


  1. Harpreet:

    On the iPhone it's Shapewriter and is fairly old. I agree that it's pretty cool.

  2. None:

    We're smug because we've already had it, built in, since 2007. We have it for 30+ languages and even far more keyboard layouts around the world.

    You don't think the iphone requires you to actually accurately hit the right keys, do you?

  3. Chuckles:

    Wild guess, refinement of the predictive text algorithms?
    Must be better, it's got the Malus seal of approval.

  4. Jeffrey Ellis:

    "Smug" and "iPhone users" is redundant. ;-)

  5. gadfly:

    Once again, Apple gets to advertise: "Been there, done that!"

  6. Michael:

    Be nice if they came up with a way so you could just tell your phone what's on your mind.

  7. davidr:

    Now, now. Don't correct the coyote. You're ruining his attempt to piss in someone else's cornflakes.

  8. Tim Allen:

    "Smug Iphone users don't have it yet"...

    Yes, but that doesn't make us any less smug.

  9. Matt:

    Honestly, your Apple-hating is a bit unbecoming. Not to mention any time you mention them, you don't appear to be fully informed about the issue. It's an unfortunate departure from your normally insightful and interesting posts.