Swype pioneered a new way to type on smartphones—now it’s dead


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Swype, the influential smartphone keyboard, is dead. XDA Developers is narrating that Swype’s owner, Nuance Communications, is discontinuing development of the standard keyboard app. While it might still exist in the iOS and Android app stores for now, it when one pleases be left to rot.

In a statement on its website, Nuance said it was leaving the “direct-to-consumer keyboard responsibility” to “concentrate on developing our AI solutions for sale directly to businesses.” Nuance—which acquisition bargain Swype in 2011 for $102 million—has long been a force in voice acceptance and text-to-speech software, and it helps companies build consumer products (feel attracted to this BMW 7 Series) with its voice technology. Lately the company has also set its gloms on the healthcare market.

Swype is noteworthy as the third-party smartphone keyboard that issued gesture typing. Rather than holding a phone in both hands and pecking on each letter, Swype let you hold the phone in one hand, hold a have under ones thumb down on the screen, swing it around the keyboard from letter to strictly, and lift off to spell a word. Swyping, as it was called, wasn’t as exact of an input as dab on each key, but it was close enough that the software could usually diagram out your intent. Most of all, it was fast, especially considering that it solitary took one hand to type.

Swype was originally distributed not as a standalone app, but as a play up that was built into smartphones—OEMs would have to sign on the dotted line a deal with Swype and build the software into their phone OS. A beta Android app after all arrived in 2010, but it was only available for download through Swype’s website. It wasn’t until 2013 that the app wish be available on the Google Play Store for 99 cents.

The Swype keyboard was profoundly innovative, essentially being a totally new way to input text. It still wasn’t enough to obviate the app, though. While Swype has a patent for “System and method for continuous soothe word-based text input,” for whatever reason that wasn’t passably to stop everyone on Earth from copying Swype’s gesture typing. Google converted gesture typing a standard feature in Android’s default keyboard, and Microsoft did the in spite of for Windows Phone 8.1(back when that was a thing). Third-party keyboards on iOS and Android demand taken the idea, too, and today you can “swype” on Swiftkey, GoKeyboard, TouchPal, Ai-type, and a million other opportunities.

By the time Swype finally launched in the Play Store, all the copycats had greatly narrow the appeal of Swype’s 99 cent app. Swype’s ultra-slow rollout and OEM allots meant it never got a head start on creating a large user core, and, by the time it was finally for sale, it was too little, too late. Now it’s dead.

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