Swype: Splendid!

By  |  Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Here at CES, I just visited with the folks behind Swype, the touchscreen input technology that knocked my socks off in canned demos I’ve seen, and which recently shipped on its first phone, Samsung’s Omnia II. I finally got some hands-on experience, and…I’m not only impressed, I’m more impressed than before, because the learning curve is small and the accuracy is remarkable.

Watching it in action remains the best way to understand it:

The only thing I don’t like about Swype: The company’s strategy is to get it built into as many phones (and tablets, and other devices that need a touch keboard) as possible. So they’re not selling it as a stand-alone app. If by some miracle this technology were to become available on the iPhone, it would be a great day indeed.

 
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7 Comments For This Post

  1. Dale Larson Says:

    It looks cool, but slow. How does it compare to how fast you can type with two thumbs on iPhone or Blackberry?

    (Also, my ergonomist friend complains that our thumbs will fall off or something from doing that, maybe she’d be happier with the swiping regardless of speed.)

  2. Harry McCracken Says:

    They claim that most people find it faster than other input methods, and just about everybody finds it pleasant. Makes sense to me: I can input text pretty quickly on my iPhone, but the tap, tap, tapping gives me a headache.

    -Harry

  3. Todd Zarwell Says:

    Isn’t there an Iphone app like this? I downloaded it and used it for a while. I thought it had potential, but I didn’t want to deal with the extra step of passing the text to the mail or notes apps.

  4. heulenwolf Says:

    Oh no! As if tweets weren’t inane enough already, now there’s a technology that prevents users from even taking the brief fraction of a second between words to tap the space bar and think about what they’re saying. Stream of consciousness has its place as a literary device and all but yikes!

  5. IsmOfAm Says:

    There is an iPhone app for that – its called “ShapeWriter”. It works even better as it offers you a choice of likely words you can pick from.

  6. John Says:

    There’s already an app like this for the iPhone. It’s called ShapeWriter, http://www.shapewriter.com/iphone.html I’ve been using it on my touch for quite some time…very cool and surprisingly accurate.

  7. Grover Says:

    I tried this this weekend on my sister’s MyTouch and good lord was it awful. I am baffled to see Harry raving about it (in his more recent article). It’s true that it’s faster than the tap, wait, tap, wait, tap, wait that Android’s on-screen keyboard requires, but I can not imagine trying to type even a brief email on it and it’s still a big step down from the usability of the iPhone keyboard.

    I dreaded the iPhone’s touchscreen only keyboard (to a degree where I bought a Windows Mobile phone with a hardware keyboard a few months before the iPhone came out) and the Android keyboard situation was exactly what I feared. Of all the innovations in the iPhone, I feel like creating a usable touchscreen keyboard is the most significant and really overlooked and under-appreciated because even three years later, no one else has come close.

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  1. Life With Droid: The Good, the Bad, and the Bizarre Says:

    [...] Swype. You’re not going to see this ingenious alternative keyboard on the iPhone unless Apple decides to put it there. Actually, you’re not going to see it in [...]

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