A few weeks ago a developer named Andrew Liu took the first steps toward porting the popular Swype keyboard for Android devices to run on iOS. At the time, it was clearly a work in progress with several major flaws, but the app has come a long way in the past 10 days.
Swype is designed to let you enter text by tracing your finger along the keyboard without lifting it from the display. Once you get used to the unusual text entry format, it can be much faster than using two thumbs to tap away.
Apple doesn’t officially support third party keyboard apps, but you can install iSwipe on a jailbroken device by adding Liu’s repository to your list of sources in the Cydia app store and then searching for iSwipe.
When Liu first brougth the Swype keyboard to iOS, it only worked in a handful of apps, didn’t offer word recommendations, and didn’t display the blue line showing where your finger has been the way the android app does. Now it does all three of those things.
I also find that iSwipe beta 3 is generally more accurate than the version I tried previously.
As far as I can tell, Swype has no plans to officially port the keyboard to iOS. In fact, the company doesn’t even make its software available for download from the Android Market. Instead beta testers can install pre-release versions of the software on their phones, but the full version of Swype is typically only available if you buy a phone with the software preloaded. For iOS users, iSwipe is about as close as they’re going to get to an official port.
It’s a hack that’s violating a number of patents and copyrights. This isn’t the answer. The answer is for Apple to license the real Swype and put it on every iOS device legit.
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