The Google Android on-screen keyboard took a little while to grow on me, but now when the stars are aligned and I hold my phone in landscape orientation, I can sometimes type up to 30 words per minute. But that’s not good enough for some people, and that’s why alternate text entry tools like Swype exist.
Swype looks like a typical on-screen keyboard, but here’s the special sauce: You can drag your finger across the keys without lifting it up and Swype’s text prediction tool will detect which words you’re trying to enter.
The idea is that if you use Swype properly, you should be able to type much faster than you would using the default keyboard.
Up until recently Swype was only available to private beta testers or to customers who bought a handful of phones that came preloaded with the software. But as of today, the app is available for anyone to download… for a limited time. The offer will go away soon, so you should probably grab it now.
The beta version won’t have all the features available in the full app, and Swype is only offering support through its forums.
I tested Swype a few months ago while it was in private beta, and I have to say I wasn’t really that impressed. But it’s possible that like the default Android keyboard, it may be an acquired taste.