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Swype Beta 1.3 released, brings dictionary backup, 'hotwords' and more

The latest beta of the Swype keyboard is out, and available to download from the Swype Beta website. The popular third-party keyboard from Nuance Communications packs a number of new updates. Dictionary backup & sync: Users’ personal dictionaries and word additions can be synced across...
Android Central

Major Swype beta update released with syncable dictionary, personalized prediction

Swype developer Nuance has announced -- and released -- a major update to the beta version of the popular Android keyboard. The new Swype beta, which is available to download now from the official site, adds in several new abilities designed to make word prediction more accurate. Among these is a...
Swype ICS

Swype promises it's almost ready for Ice Cream Sandwich

Here's one of those good news/bad news things, which we're going to tell in reverse. The bad news is that Swype, the uber-popular third-party keyboard that lets you trace your finger from letter to letter instead of pecking, still isn't ready for Ice Cream Sandwich devices, never mind that they've...

Swype keyboard for Android - Photos

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99 cents gets you one of the best-known third party keyboards on Android

Hell may have just frozen over today, because Swype is now available for purchase in the Play Store. Previously, as many of you are aware, the only way to have Swype on your device was to sign up for the beta test and install it manually, or have one of the many devices with it pre-installed. A $0.99 purchase now gets you a proper and easy to manage Play Store download, ready to install on your devices.

Its hard to believe that one of the most used keyboards on Android -- Swype claims 250 million users -- wasn't available through the primary app store up to this point, but we're glad today's the day. You can grab a download of the latest Swype from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

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There are plenty of great choices when it comes to a keyboard for your Android device, and Swype has long been a crowd favorite. Today's new beta update should please everyone who uses the original swiping keyboard, as the change log is chock full of improvements and fixes:

  • Advanced Language Models added for Hindi and Belgian Dutch
  • Responsiveness for tap input improved for all languages
  • Improved overall Smart Editor behavior and implemented some bug fixes
  • Fixed a Gingerbread crash that occurred when rotating device into landscape mode
  • Fixed miscellaneous crashes reported by the Beta community
  • Fixed an issue where default Android voice input ('mic'/'microphone') icon displayed instead of Dragon logo
  • Changed subtype text in notification drawer to be more accurate
  • Word Choice List behavior improved in Polaris Office
  • And many more bug fixes and improvements!

New language models are always welcome, and small fixes like errant microphone icons are nice, but crashes and bugs getting fixed and a more responsive input method is great news. 

Since Swype isn't in Google Play you'll need to manually install it from the link below to give it a try. If you're already using Swype, you should see an OTA in the next 72 hours if you don't want to manually update the app.

Source: Swype

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Nuance, the folks behind Dragon voice recognition, and of course the Swype keyboard, has announced a new version of Swype beta, complete with a new feature you'll want to check out. They are calling it Living Language, and it takes auto correction and word prediction to a new level with crowd sourced data.

First, let's talk about a few other important, but not quite as flashy, updates to Swype. The correction engine has gotten an upgrade, and the new Smart Editor now analyzes your entire sentence, flagging any errors for correction or suggesting the best substitution based on the context of what you're saying, not just the word order. And now, it can do it in 12 new languages, including Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Malay, Romanian, Slovak, Turkish, Thai, Vietnamese, and Ukrainian. I'm not a keyboard engineer, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I have a feeling building a keyboard that is as complex as Swype for completely different character sets is no small feat. These features and upgrades won't get the glory a new way to personalize the auto correction and prediction experience will, but they are pretty damn important. Especially if it was your native language that was missing.

Those features tie in nicely with the new Living Language feature. How it works is that you can connect to Swype online through a service they're calling Swype Connect, and share your usage data to help improve prediction and auto correction. You can also elect to let Living Language auto update with new crowd sourced words. Languages are funny, and often times you need to learn by listening and talking -- Swype does, too. Yes, people will question how much privacy this gives up (and we imagine it's a good bit) but the service is opt-in both ways. You don't have to contribute or receive updates unless you ask to.

So how's it work? Well, I'm glad you asked. I'm been fiddling with it, and I think you'll like it. The Swyping works as well as it ever did, or possibly better -- I'm not the biggest Swyper out there -- and the prediction and auto correction seems to work as advertised. While I've not had a long time to let it learn from me, I can see a bit of improvement in just a few short days. It's certainly something you will want to try yourself, and you should. My takeaway from using it is that you don't necessarily need to use the swipe, err Swype feature to love this keyboard. I'm going to continue using it for a bit and see how it matches up to the competition.

It's becoming clear that there's two "killer" features a good Android keyboard must have -- Swyping, and a great prediction engine. Swype's new beta offers both. There's a lot of big competition in this space, and Swype is an excellent choice. Hit the break for a handful of screenshots and the press release. You can download Swype by visiting http://beta.swype.com.

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SwiftKey has announced a brand new version of its popular keyboard app for Android, dubbed SwiftKey Flow. Launching "soon," SwiftKey Flow will bring continuous input -- similar to what's found in Swype and others -- to SwiftKey, while retaining the personalized prediction tech for which it's is best known.

An evolution of the intelligent prediction software used in SwiftKey 3 powers the flow-based input, meaning it's sensitive to context, as well as individual typing styles. SwiftKey Flow will also allow users to switch between the two input modes on the fly depending on their preference, or how many hands they have free.

Android Central had the chance to demo SwiftKey Flow recently, and we were impressed with the speed and accuracy of its new trace input features. We noticed that the keyboard analyzes the pattern your finger takes in real time, rather than waiting until the pattern is complete, allowing predictions to be built up on the fly. Overall, it's an incredibly speedy typing experience.

The SwiftKey Flow beta test will begin "within weeks" for those registered on SwiftKey's VIP community site, ahead of an eventual launch on Google Play.

Check out the demo video above. We've got today's full press release after the break.

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The latest beta of the Swype keyboard is out, and available to download from the Swype Beta website.

The popular third-party keyboard from Nuance Communications packs a number of new updates.

  • Dictionary backup & sync: Users’ personal dictionaries and word additions can be synced across mobile devices.
  • Three new tablet keyboard layouts: The original, a small and moveable one, and a split keyboard.
  • New themes.
  • Enhancements to the Chinese keyboard, and a new flick keyboard for the Japanese language. Language prediction has been updated for foreign languages, too.

And the last one is my favorite.

According to the official press release, the new keyboard could even update you with all those crazy things the kids are saying these days. Swype users can opt-in to receive new words so they can be up to date with “the newest ‘hotwords’, like ‘Gangnam Style’.”

That’s right, the K-pop revolution is taking over, and your keyboard is next.

Update: According to the Swype forums, the beta is broken on the Galaxy Nexus, with 4.1.2. Several users are complaining that upon selecting the Swype keyboard, it automatically closes and is replaced with the stock Android keyboard. (Thanks Jon!)

Source: Nuance Communications

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Swype developer Nuance has announced -- and released -- a major update to the beta version of the popular Android keyboard. The new Swype beta, which is available to download now from the official site, adds in several new abilities designed to make word prediction more accurate. Among these is a feature more commonly associated with rival SwiftKey -- personalized prediction based on social networking accounts, SMS and email.

The devs have also added in the ability to sync your personal dictionary across multiple devices, and download new languages from within the app. On top of that, a more intelligent prediction engine is promised, based on Nuance's XT9 tech, which the developers say will make Swype smarter based on historical usage. Dragn dictation is also included, if you prefer talking to typing.

All in all, this looks like a worthy update to one of the most popular Android keyboards, so if you're a fan of Swype, you'll definitely want to check it out. The new version of Swype is available now over at the source link for English and Spanish users.

We've got the presser after the break.

Download: Swype Beta

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Here's one of those good news/bad news things, which we're going to tell in reverse. The bad news is that Swype, the uber-popular third-party keyboard that lets you trace your finger from letter to letter instead of pecking, still isn't ready for Ice Cream Sandwich devices, never mind that they've been available for a few months now.  The good news is that ICS is still only on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S. (Officially, anyway.)

The gooder news is that Swype's got an update waiting in the wings that will finally enable it on the latest version of the Android operating system. It's "only days away," Swype says on Twitter. And along with the Ice Cream Sandwich support, Swype's promising "more goodies" as well.

Here's to hoping one of those goodies is a release in the Android Market. While we understand Swype's decision to stick with a business model where it's preloaded onto devices by the carriers and not available in the Android Market, it's getting a little old. Having to run to the Swype website to get our "beta" copy (nudge nudge, wink wink, know what I mean?) hasn't gotten any more fun. We're not going to bet that we'll see a shift in that sometime soon, but we can certainly hope. 

Anyhoo, stay tuned. Swype for Ice Cream Sandwich is on the way.

Source: @Swype 1, 2

 

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Swype -- the top keyboard in the 2011 Android Central Readers Choice Awards -- on Twitter today announced that we should see a beta release for Ice Cream Sandwich at the end of January. Here's the full tweet:

Good news! Official ICS support is near. Final tweaks and testing should be done in time for an anticipated end-of-month beta update.

Yeah, there's been a hacked version of Swype working on ICS, but we prefer the real thing, ya know. Counting the days.

Source: @Swype

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Swype has announced another update to its beta app, bringing some pretty neat features and adding some additional languages support. This update brings Dragon Dictation to the keyboard, adds more than 50 languages for input, and they are continuing to expand the list through 2012. The update is rolling out, and it could take up to 72 hours to appear on your device, but you can manually check for the update as well. Swype advises they may bounce some downloads so if you are seeing errors, please just try again at a later time.

Source: Swype

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Sony Ericsson has a little surprise waiting inside the latest software update for its 2011 Xperia series -- a Swype-style "gesture input" system baked into the Xperia keyboard. After enabling the new option it in the keyboard settings, you'll be able to type words by tracing a path through their letters, just like Swype or HTC's Trace keyboard.

All this goodness comes pre-loaded on the Xperia Arc S, which ships with SE's latest software, based on Android 2.3.4. But if you have an Xperia smartphone belonging to the manufacturer's 2011 line-up, you'll be able to get your hands on the new software through an over-the-air update, or manually via the PC Companion suite.

Join us after the jump for SE's gesture input video demo.

Source: Sony Ericsson Product Blog

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We've been in love with the Swype keyboard since, well, forever. But time and time again we've threatened to break up over the stupidest of things. Because Swype's business model is to get preloaded onto phones and you technically can't download a full version, the beta installation process has always been a pain in the ass. Download the Swype app. Register. Sign in. Download the beta. When it comes time to update the beta version, you have to go through the whole thing again, and add in a step where you recover your forgotten password.

That ends now.

Swype Bets Version 3.26, in addition to bringing improved language control (which language you use at any given time), a refined key layout and new settings and help, also brings about automatic updates. You'll get notifications letting you know an update is available, and install it right through the settings. Easy as pie.

Source: Swype

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What do you get when you combine the best in voice command with one of the best touchscreen keyboards? We might be about to find out, as Uncrunched reports that Nuance -- that's the company and technology behind the excelent "Dragon" line of programs -- as well as the iPhone 4S' "Siri" new voice system -- has purchased Swype, the excellent on-screen keyboard that lets you swipe from letter to letter, or type normally. Nuance has the popular T9 keyboard, but Swype would certainly be a coup.

Nothing official has been announced yet, but the deal is said to be worth in the neighborhood of $100 million. Stay tuned. This could get interesting.

Source: Uncrunched

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Speed texting has a new champion, and it all went down at the Big Android BBQ in Austin, TX this past weekend. 

The keyboard app used in the contest was Swiftkey X and with it the winner, Rachael Loncar, smashed the current world record of 35.54 second with her time of 10.7 seconds! 

The contestants were chosen by typing the phrase "The little green Android jumped over the lazy Apple" on day one.

The fastest 10 went on to attempt the official Guinness World Record phrase of; “The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.”

The previous record was set using Swype, but the Swiftkey X prediction feature proved to be king, and with it won Rachael her very own Galaxy Tab 10.1.

If you haven't tried Swiftkey X yet, check out the download link below to the free trial version which gives you a month's free use.

via Swiftkey

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The uber-popular Swype keyboard just got a new beta version dropped on us, and it's a doozy. Version 3.25 brings new gestures -- like go from the Swype button to x to copy text -- plus shortcuts to Google Maps, Twitter and a personal dictionary.

Check out the demo video after the break, and hit the source link (if Swype's servers are up) for the download.

Source: beta.swype.com

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Sprint and Swype have teamed up to launch the latest version of the popular keyboard on the Nexus S 4G, available starting today. The update brings a bevy of new features to Swype, including a new custom skin, improved handling of proper nouns, updated tap correction, personal dictionary management, and shortcut gestures. The beta version of the latest release will be available for all users in the coming weeks, while Nexus S 4G owners can grab it now at the source link.

Source: Swype

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Update: We've gotten numerous reports in the comments on this post, in our forums and at Sprint's forums saying this update's bricking phones. Sprint acknowledged earlier in the day that there might be issues, but we've yet to receive a follow-up. For now, we'd hold off on installing this update.

Sprint and Kyocera this morning confirmed that the dual-screen Echo -- read our full review -- is getting its Android 2.3 Gingerbread update. On top of the OS bump, it's getting an update to Swype 3.0, as well as a new "Eco mode" to help out on battery life -- something the Echo desperately needs. (Remember that it actually comes with two batteries and a spare charger.)

Something the update doesn't bring, contrary to earlier reports, is some hidden NFC capability. No great surprise there -- if the Echo had an NFC chip in it, we would have heard about it by now.

But don't let that cast a dark cloud over this update. If you've got an Echo, look for the over-the-air-update to start pushing right ... about ... Now!

Source: Sprint

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We're big fans of Swype here at Android Central, and judging by its latest exhibit, so is the Museum of Modern Art. It's included the trace-based Android keyboard in a new interactive exhibit called "Talk to Me", which reflects on recent innovations in communications technology.

Congrats to the Swype team. Be sure to hit the source link to check out the online display for Swype.

Source: Swype at MoMA

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Update 2: It's back, folks! Get to downloading.

Swype has announced the latest beta (version 3.0 for those keeping score at home) and one of the big changes that come along with it is a special WXGA version designed for Honeycomb tablets, which features a movable and resizeable keyboard layout. 

Other changes include the way word correction is handled when you stop swyping and revert to tapping out the letters -- you can now mix and match and still keep word autocorrect and prediction intact.  The pop-up for word choice when multiple guesses are presented gets an improvement, too, now an easier to read horizontal bar is presented versus that annoying dialog that used to jump up.  To top it all off, it looks like the predictive text engine itself has seen a big overhaul, and should work much better.

We know that Swype isn't for everyone, especially when it comes to using it on a tablet.  That's fine -- different choices are one of the main strengths of the Android platform, and Swype certainly is a different choice.  For the huge numbers of you who love Swype, keep an eye on the source link (currently down for maintenance) and give it a whirl.  Also, check out a short demo video showing it in action, after the break.

Update:  If you've been refreshing the beta download page at Swype, you've probably seen the latest update on the status of this.  If not, here's the latest from Swype:

BETA DELAYED BECAUSE:

a) We forgot to buy vowels

b) Our beta build server crashed

c) Upper management kept accelerating the beta schedule

d) All of above !#@$!&

No word on when to expect it, we'll tell you as soon as we hear something.

 

Source: Swype via MobileCrunch

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During our recent hands-on time with the HTC Sensation at the HTC Roadshow in Manchester, we had a chance to see an as-yet unrevealed feature in HTC Sense 3.0 -- HTC Trace. This is a new addition to the HTC keyboard which introduces Swype-like functionality, allowing you to type words by tracing a line through each of its letters.

A very early version of HTC Trace was present on the pre-production HTC Sensation that we played around with at the roadshow. Trace is disabled by default, but can be activated on the keyboard settings screen, where there are also various options to improve the accuracy of your tracing. For example, one option lets you customize the thickness of the tracing line, allowing Trace to take into account the stubbiness of your fingers when working out what you're typing.

HTC Trace will ship on the Sensation when it launches next month, and we'd expect it to be on the EVO 3D, too, as well as any future Sense 3.0 devices. No word on whether it'll ever make it to Sense 2.x phones, though we're guessing it'll eventually be hacked to run on other phones regardless.

For more HTC Sensation goodness, check out our hands-on video.

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The uber-popular Swype keyboard just got a pretty major update, and we think you're going to like this one. No talking, just bullet points:

  • The hidden word tip window is "all but completely removed." Huzzah! You'll see it one time (and one time only, Swype says) after a new installation. So it won't be bugging you any time you uncover a new word.
  • Contact names that are automatically added to the user dictionary will now stay deleted instead of being re-added accidentally
  • Prediction accuracy won't degrade over time
  • Support for QVGA, WQVGA, WSVGA and qHD touchscreens.
  • Dictionaries for Dutch, UK English and Russian

We'd say that's a pretty big update. If you're already in on the beta program, just go to http://beta.swype.com/android/get to update. There are a couple more details you might want to check out -- including for those of you who like to change ROMs frequently. Hit up the source link. [Swype]

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