By Harry McCracken | Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 10:05 pm
The New York Times’ David Pogue has blogged an addendum to his review of Verizon’s Droid X, in the form of a post about Swype, the ingenious alternate keyboard that comes with the X and other phones. David isn’t a Swype fan. In fact, he confesses to not quite getting why anyone would be a fan of the keyboard, which lets you trace out words without lifting your fingertip from the screen. He says it doesn’t seem like it would be any faster than using a standard smartphone onscreen QWERTY that makes you tap, tap, tap.
Even more than with most matters technological, input is a profoundly personal thing: The fastest way to enter text into a phone is whichever one you find to be fastest. Which could be physical QWERTY or onscreen QWERTY or Swype or something else. So I’m not telling David that there’s anything wrong with him for not bonding with Swype.
But a few thoughts on why I do use Swype, and thoroughly enjoy doing so:
Swype clearly isn’t for everybody, and it isn’t perfect. For instance, I don’t get why it recognizes words such as “Verizon” and “McCracken” every time I Swype them, but doesn’t understand that the first always needs to be capitalized and the latter needs two capital letters. (It renders them as “verizon” and “mccracken,” and entering the correct versions in the dictionary doesn’t help.) I suspect that it’ll get better at this stuff in future versions. But even as it stands now, it’s on my list of things that Android phones–some of them, anyhow–do better than the iPhone…