How do you review an alternate software keyboard for Android efficiently? By taking it for a test drive of course. I`m typing this article on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 phone right now. While it is certainly slower than t typing the article on the physical keyboard attached to my desktop PC, it works better than I thought it would.
Swype is a commercial app - available as a 30-day trial to test it out - for the Android operating system that improves your typing speed in the long run. That is, unless you happen to hack dozens of messages into your phone per day and have grown to become the Flash of phone keyboards in the process. If you are a regular phone user, like I'm, you may benefit highly from Swype.
The app introduces four different methods to enter text in to any app running on your phone or tablet.
You may need some getting used to time before you can use the Swype technology efficiently though as it feels kinda strange at first to move through all letters on the keyboard. You will notice that you are getting faster with every minute though, and several optimization features aid you here as well. Swype adds spaces automatically, and uses an auto-correct feature to automatically correct misspelled words for you so that you do not have to start over that often.
You do need to to memorize some of the commands that it makes available to make full use of the functionality it makes available. You can for instance capitalize words by swiping to the Shift key once you have finished the word, add punctuation by swiping to it, or double letters by scribbling on the letter or looping on it.
Swype introduces several interesting text manipulation shortcuts. Swipe from the menu key on the keyboard to a to mark all text on the screen. Do the same to x to cut the text, to c to copy it, and to v to paste text from the clipboard.
The app includes a learning component that tries to improve word predictions and other features based on past use of the Swype application. In theory, this should improve your typing the longer you use the application.
If English is not your default language, you need to download and install support for one of the 60 languages and 20 dialects that Swype supports right now.It is easy to do. Just open the options, select languages here, then download languages and select the language that you want to add to the application. Once you have added at least one additional language, you can switch between them easily, for instance by moving from the Swype button to the space key.
Here is a demo video that may help you understand better what Swype is offering:
Is Swype worth the price? That depends a lot on how much you type on your phone, or plan to type if Swype speeds things up for you. I'd highly suggest you download the free trial to test it out for a week or two to see how fast you can be with it. If it makes a difference, it is definitely worth the 99 cents it is currently available for in the Play store.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.