Posted in: Android, Mobile software

Swype keyboard updated to support Ice Cream Sandwich

The perennial beta version of the Swype keyboard for Android has been updated to support the latest version of the operating system. The keyboard, as you may be aware, relies on swipes on the keys to enter words, along with traditional text input where you can just press individual keys. The new beta also offers the ability to install additional languages for tablets and accuracy improvements.

To test out the new beta, I installed it on my phone to see how well it works. Despite being a beta, the application was just as stable as it has ever been, with no real bugs or issues. However, there are some thing about the way the keypad works that still bugs me.

For example, you still can’t double tap on the space key to insert a period, something that almost every other keypad does now. In the SMS view, there is no way to insert a new line into your message (as can be seen above), something that the default Android keypad cannot do either (but SwiftKey can). Also, if you choose to manually enter text instead of swiping, you’ll notice that the space bar is too small, and that the keys on the bottom, such as for voice input cannot be disabled. ICS also has its own drop down list of suggestions for misspelled words, which now overlaps that offered by Swype.

Other than that the keyboard works fine. The good thing about it is that you can use it one-handed. It’s especially convenient on phones with smaller displays, where two-thumb typing can be quite awkward. I’m just wondering why Nuance hasn’t released it on the Market yet.

To download Swype, click here to register for the beta program if you haven’t already. If you have then you should have the link mailed to you previously, which can be used to download the new version.

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