Nov 25 AT 7:34 PM Taylor Wimberly 41 Comments

Swype keyboard coming to Android in 2010

TechCrunch is reporting that Swype will be coming to Android in 2010. Swype was created by the inventor of the T9 predictive typing system used on most feature phones today (but sorely missing from the default Android soft keyboard).

This is not the first time we have seen a company try to offer an alternative keyboard where you draw words. Shapewriter is another virtual keyboard that offers a similar input method and it was an epic failure based on my testing. The problem with drawing words on a small virtual keyboard is that your finger never leaves the screen till you finish a word. This makes it difficult to see where the letters are placed because your finger is always blocking the view.

Swype seems to think their input method is faster than traditional virtual keyboards. We will reserve final judgment till their app hits the market.

Some other keyboard replacements for Android (thanks Lemon for the list):

What is your favorite virtual keyboard for Android? I have tried most of them and I always come back to the stock Android one.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • j

    I haven’t tried any of these yet, but I did install the HTC Hero Keyboard on my MT3G (no rooting needed). I felt like I was more accurate with it, but the response time was slightly longer than the stock 1.6 Android keyboard. So I just reverted back to the stock keyboard.

    Here’s the easy instructions to install the HTC keyboard if anyone wants to try it out (note the period is part of the URL):

    • http://Website the english kid

      The Hero keypad really is the best in my opinion (but then I do own a Hero).

      Swype though, I love the idea behind it, could definitely work. But I’d rather use it in conjunction with the hero keyboard, rather than swap out something with a different style.

      Will be watching with interest.

  • nova

    I’m certain I saw a video of this technology in one of the Chaos Communications Congress library mirrors (probably a couple of years ago) but I can’t find it anywhere :(

    It looked impressive back then and it looks impressive now – would be interesting to see what it’s like in practice.

  • SliestDragon

    I liked touchpal for the gesture’s but it slowed down my phone SO MUCH. Although last time I looked on the market they took it down, so hopefully that means they took it down with the intentions of replacing it with an updated version.

  • FckingAllen

    HTC_IME??? ftw.

  • Mondegreen

    I really like TouchPal. Primarily I use the compact Qwerty predictive, which is great. But for form-entry, you just “swipe” to slide right over to the full Qwerty, then slide back to the compact when done. I don’t find that it suffers much lag, and the level of haptic feedback is just about right. Full review here:

  • tonystunts

    HTC_IME 1….

    Its the only one I’ve tried other than the stock keyboard and I find it way better.

  • Demi Adejuyigbe

    I have to say, I’ve tried (and refunded) ShapeWriter, and I don’t like it at all. Maybe it’s just that the keys aren’t spaced well enough, which is my problem with the stock G1 keyboard, too. I think that if ShapeWriter & swype were to have wider keys, I’d be all for them. Current’y, they’re too close, and therefore, it’s easier to make mistakes.

    My favorite, and the one I’ve used the most, is the HTC_IME keyboard. It’s wider, it fits in with the Android color scheme, and it’s much more convenient to use in landscape. Although, I haven’t heard of a lot of the keyboards in that last, but I’ll check ‘em out. Thanks!

  • MiltonGr

    Interesting, as far as I know beside Swype and Shapewriter there is a third actor with a similar product called SlideIT

  • KoriS

    Interesting, as far as I know beside Swype and Shapewriter there is a third actor with a similar product called SlideIT
    (added by Mobile using Mippin)

  • Christopher Silva

    I like the looks of this app.. Would love to test drive it.

  • poinck

    Seems to be fast, but I think the iPhone User was not used to his onscreen keyboard and the “Swyper” has great skills in swyping. (o: No surprise! BUT: Looks cool, so maybe I will learn to be faster as on a real keyboard. It depends on Android!

  • roy

    Why isn’t Zeta-type mentioned? I remember posting articles on it and it has been released.

  • sander

    can anyone send a cracked link of shape writer pro?

  • jaam

    Got to be the HTC keyboard – looks really good and works excellently (unless you want the more diverse characters – swiping across never seems to take me across the whole list). I would have to say its only real flaw is the size of the file 4.5MB which makes it pretty large for what it is. Its key size and layout and predictive word selection, and saving words option is so much better than the standard keypad whether it is landscape or vertical mode.

  • David Adams

    I’ve demo’d Swype (not on an Android phone) and I was very impressed. Worked better than I imagined when described to me. I’m looking forward to the Android release.

  • http://Website Marden

    just scoured the android market and touchpal is nowhere to be found..

  • Ken

    I demoed swype during a research trial and it was incredible. I was skeptical as well but was amazed at how accurate it was. I’m currently using shape writer and it lacks accuracy. Even little used large words were done well on swype. I’m only using shape writer until swypes release. Definitely worth whatever they choose to charge.

  • http://Website Shel

    Well, just installed Swype on my Droid, and I am amazed!

    This keyboard simply blows away all other keyboards I’ve tried for the Android OS! (Better Keyboard, HTC keyboard, the Android OS stock vk)

    Nice to see a product that not only meets it’s hype, but exceeds it!

    My eleven year old tried to type out Mississippi, and got it right, along with every other word he tried to enter using Swype!

    Great program!

  • http://Website Mike

    Yes, I tried swype today and really, it’s the best keyboard I ever used. Incredible !

  • brett michaels

    swype is great. I hope it catches on. It would be great to see it on every phone. It may blow peoples minds and that could limit its use.

    using it on my verizon droid. very fun

  • Mocha K

    i could see myself getting used to this. Can’t wait to try it.

    • http://Website mskaty

      I would love a copy or link…thanks a ton!

  • http://Website jeff uberstine

    ive got a copy of swype if anyone want it let me know

  • http://Website prowse

    The only mistake they have made so far with Swype is “forgetting” to demo the virtual keybaord in LANDSCAPE orientation! Ooops.

  • http://Website prowse

    This article assumes a lot:

    1. That we don’t still want T-9

    2. That we don’t like virtual and want a better-than-the-Droid slider keyboard

  • http://Website Saetam

    Really? An epic failure for ShapeWriter? How retarded must some people be? ShapeWriter is incredibly easy and accurate! I love it on my nexus1…

    • http://Website skooal

      I would like to say that shapewriter works very very well for me… it takes a learning curve but once used to it it really flies…to me 5 stars is what it deserves…

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  • http://Website Sean

    I have been using the Swype beta on my Droid and I can’t imagine going back to the stock Android keyboard. If they don’t release a final version, they will have to pry this beta from my cold hands! It is fast and accurate and has a lot of subtle tricks they don’t necessarily tell you about in the tutorial that can speed you up even more.

    I’m always surprised in this day and age when people say they don’t know where keys are on the keyboard and therefore can’t type unless they can see all the keys but at least with Swype you don’t have to hit each letter exactly. As long as you are close enough, Swype will give you its best guess and its best guess is usually a really, really good one. I’ve even typed words where I went totally wrong mid-word and tried to correct myself and it STILL got the right word.

    I demonstrated Swype to a few people who were on the fence about getting a Droid and once they tried the Swype keyboard they were sold.

  • http://Website Benjita

    I had Swype on the Omnia II, but quickly became disillusioned with the WinMo phone. So I returned it and went to the Droid. Immediately missed the Swype, which is one of the two reasons I got the Omnia (the other being the best camera on the market, still miss that one, Droid’s not quite as good).

    Found the beta version, and while it has some bugs that the WinMo version didn’t have (sometimes the keyboard shows Alpha, but think’s it’s in Symbol version), it’s still by far better than the Droid stock keyboard, and I’m faster than any keyboard I’ve had on a phone, which includes the Droid physical, the old Motorola Q (with a very spacious keyboard), and some various Palm phones.

    It’s still in Beta, so it has some bugs, but it’s an awesome keyboard.

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  • http://Website Linux4me

    Im using swype to write this and it is somewhat useful but would be better on a bigger keyboard like ipad or a tablet since your fingers take up most ov the space except in landscape mode. If you use one of the faster phones it work fine. I have it running on HTC Incredible and works flawless just takes time to get use to. Since it uses a gesture system it takes some time but once you get the hang of it then your rockin in no time never tried any other keyboard with this style but I do enjoy HTC keyboard but swype is nice it makes me a little faster them HTC keyboard in my opinion.

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  • http://Website Angus

    Unless you have really really tiny fingers – try Big Buttons Keyboard Deluxe.

  • Hassan

    well, this video is tricky, they made the iphone guy type almost half the speed that any iphone user can type with.

    iphone users, judge for yourselves, other users – contact an iphone user to see.
    i wont depend on such a video to judge.

  • http://Website rockerchick

    Swiftkey is good. It’s predictive typing and speech to text. It gives you 3 different versions to choose from for the speech.

  • http://Keypurr chobe

    I have been an HTC user for a while now and have never been fully satisfied with the keyboard. On the recommendation of a friend I downloaded a keyboard called keypurr and its simply great! the accuracy is amazing, i never have to correct anything and as a coffee addict i can type easily with one hand!

    I would recommend for everyone that they download the keyboard as it is really cheap and the investment pays dividends!