HTC Sensation to include Swype-like 'HTC Trace' keyboard

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.

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Meh... I'm so over the swype like keyboards. It was fun for a little while but now its not as fun or fuctional as actually typing of you ask me. #BetterKeyboard 7
  • Dammit I want this phone on Verizon!
  • I think if vanilla android didn't exist, Sense would be the face of android. There's no other themed android that works as well as Sense
  • I agree! Since I've been running the stock Virus Sense 2.0 port on my Evo I have a whole new interest in Sense! I'm for sure getting the 3D now!
  • I smell a lawsuit!
  • I thought the same.
  • I for one can't function without Swype.
  • SwiftKey for me.
  • Swype is great. It may sound ridiculous but Swype is one of the reasons I switched to Android (from iPhone).
  • Doesn't sound ridiculous at all...that was one of the reasons I switched too! Love Swype. I wonder if this Trace will work as well as Swype.
  • Loved swype, but crazy about swiftkey.
  • Why everytime I see a picture of the htc sensation the battery meter shows an almost empty bat? The latest HTC addition badly smells the 'Autonomy FAIL'.... A pity no android blog was able to deliver infos regarding autonomy so far. IMO it will be a deal breaker! Back to topic, swype is great but needs a few bug fixes which I have been awaiting for months without seeing them being fixed. I keep my finger crossed to see the better swype type keyboard on htc. Yet, somehow I doubt they can match Swype. It took them months/years to develop this product. I can't think of htc being able to build a great swype type keyboard within the few weeks remaining, considering the keyboard in Manchester was 'a very early version' according to the writer words.
  • HTC: Quietly Stealing
  • i liked swype a lot but i felt like it wasnt as consistant as it could be. looking in the market for a replacement, i found slideit, which when i get in the zone, i could knock out full paragraphs in seconds. the fact that someone was able to mimic swype and make it better, means that htc's version could be perfection. im looking forward to seeing what they come up with.
  • I tried SlideIt. It works indeed pretty well in english, but is a real disaster in french and german which are the other languages I use. So it a no go for me.
  • I am surprised they can't be sued for something like this but I am no law expert. I put Swype on my EVO Shift and I would buy a phone without a keyboard now. Well, I should say once a bluetooth gamepad is developed for Android. But, with Swype I really don't feel the need to use my keyboard for typing anymore. It's pretty much only for emulators now.