Swype has been taking the Android market by storm for quite some time. Though many people prefer the default keyboard, alternative routes are always a good thing—just as everyone has a different style of writing words on paper, everyone has a different preference when it comes to typing. Google and Microsoft already have accepted the swipe method with open arms, and now with iOS 8, it’s Apple’s turn.
The concept is simple. All you have to do is boot it up and start swiping—literally. You swipe from letter to letter and the app fills out the blanks in the middle. It’s very easy to pick up and use, and you don’t really need to use a tutorial—even if there is a short one available. It only really took me five minutes to figure it out, and for shorter messages it was pretty spot-on. It has five themes if you’re inclined to change your look every so often, though they all tend to kind of blend together.
What I found though is that Swype isn’t as accurate as the default keyboard system for lengthier conversations and passages—and as a writer who takes notes frequently, I ran into the occasional issue. Often times I’d “Swype out” short phrases with ease, but lengthy conversations just aren’t ideal. After a number of paragraph tests I found that there was roughly one error every three to four sentences, despite my acclimation to the methodologies of the app. Swype has a standard keyboard available, but it kind of defeats the purpose of paying for it. There isn’t even real emoji support!
One of the best features though is the adaptive nature of the app. While most services won’t bother to learn your personal lingo, Swype eventually picks up phrases and slang like “totes mcgotes”—stuff that you tend to use on a regular basis. It’s very useful for personal conversations where you may not be using the most formal diction. Cloud services are also supported and link your Android profile so it doesn’t have to “relearn” everything.
I don’t know if I’d use Swype consistently, but it’s a good option that gets better the more you use it, and it’s something to at least try if you find yourself frustrated with the standard iOS keyboard.
Swype is an iOS and Android keyboard that can be downloaded for free in the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store.