Typing on a smartphone QWERTY keyboard can sometimes be awkward and result in misspelled words or unreadable messages. For heavy-duty smartphone users, there is now a virtual keyboard called Swype, which allows someone to type much faster, without worrying about making mistakes. With Swype’s innovative technology, typing a message can be done without taking your finger off the keyboard. By literally “tracing” certain letters of a word on the “keyless” keyboard in one continuous motion, users can inform Swype of the word want to type typed without actually typing out the whole word.
The intuitiveness of Swype’s predictive technology rests in the developer’s ability to manufacture a virtual keyboard that can guess the words a smartphone user is trying to type out according to choices of previous words. For example, instead of pressing each individual key, users simply slide their thumb and finger over keys that spell out a certain word. After lifting their fingers from the last letter touched, Swype associates the traced letters with the words included in its own dictionary. So, if someone types the word “right,” he or will move his or her finger over the “r,” “g,” and “t” keys in order to generate the word “right.”
Swype will also correct any spelling errors committed while someone is “swyping” a word. If someone quickly slides their over fingers the letters “melow,” Swype automatically recognizes this spelling mistake and corrects it. However, there may be some confusion with certain words that are similar in spelling, like “son” and “soon,” but users can amend this by adding more letters to a word by performing a circular motion on the appropriate key with their finger. In addition, spaces are automatically placed between words, and users can adjust the traced line seen on the keyboard so that a letter can be capitalized.
Smartphones Using Swype
Currently, Swype is preloaded on ten devices available in the United States, including the four major carriers of popular smartphones and most Android phones. Swype is proficient in 50 languages and can even operate on the Wii gaming console and tablets. However, this ingenious key “screen” is not yet available on the iPad or iPhone, although a Swype spokesperson has stated that the company is talking with Apple about installing the item on their devices in the future. Also, if a smartphone or tablet has been preloaded with Swype, a tutorial video will play when it is first used.
For some long-time users of the standard QWERTY smartphone keypad, getting used to Swype’s unique method of typing may take a little time. It may seem more like a game than anything, especially when deciding which letters to slide over when constructing a message, or becoming adept at using distinct swiping gestures in order to add punctuation and capitalize words. Accuracy is not necessary with Swype, as long as some of the letters swiped contribute to a recognized word stored in Swype’s databank. It is almost like having numerous “shortcut” keys to use that are utilized by certain word document programs.
Fun and Fast
Swype can be taught to learn the most frequently used words by tracing the word one time and then touching the space key. However, this word must use all letters and include no numbers to be installed as a commonly used word. Alphanumeric combinations such as email addresses have to be added manually to Swype’s dictionary. The tutorial video included in the software demonstrates all of Swype’s functions to the new user, and is an effective introduction to a fast, fun and advanced method of typing on smartphones.