It looks like the Samsung Omnia II isn’t the only Android phone to be blessed with Swype’s revolutionary swipe-based keyboard. DroidMuff.in (that’s one helluva domain name) managed to get their hands on a beta release of the Swype keyboard for Android, giving WVGA Android phones like the Motorola Droid an alternative to the traditional on-screen keyboard. Rather than have you type out messages by tapping on virtual keys, the Swype keyboard allows you to drag your finger from letter to letter to form words. Swype analyzes your swiping pattern and translates it into words.
At this point, the Swype Android keyboard is only compatible with WVGA devices like the Motorola Droid. Swype hasn’t yet officially made their keyboard available to Android users, so getting the swipe-happy interface onto your Droid is going to require a bit of effort on your part. The instructions for installing Swype are easy enough for anyone to handle, and it’s worth having Swype’s keyboard on tap as an alternative to the Android keyboard.
MobileCrunch posted instructions for installing the keyboard, but I felt that they could use some clarification, so I’ve posted my own guide. Here’s what you need to do:
- Download the installation zip file here.
- Unzip the zip archive. You should end up with a file named “[mfhs]Swype-SwypeReference-WVGA854-trial-release.0.35.3959.apk”
- If your Mac automatically converts the .apk file into a folder, use Stuffit Expander to unzip the file.
- Plug your Android phone (Motorola Droid) into your computer via USB cable.
- Drag down the notification tray and hit the “USB connected” notification.
- Tap “Mount” to turn your microSD card into a mass storage device. You’ll see a new removable storage drive pop up on your computer.
- Drag the “[mfhs]Swype-SwypeReference-WVGA854-trial-release.0.35.3959.apk” file onto the Droid’s SD card.
- Once the transfer is finished, you’ll want to eject the removable drive on your computer and hit the “Turn OFF USB storage” option on your Android phone’s notification tray.
- Navigate to your SD card directory using an Android file explorer like Astro or ES File Explorer.
- Tap on the .apk file and install it.
- Navigate to SEttings > Applications > Unknown Sources
- Check the box
- Navigate to Settings > Language and Keyboard > Swype
- Check the box
- You now have Swype installed on your Droid/Android phone. You can enable Swype by tapping and holding on any text entry box.
That’s all you gotta do. The process is drag-and-drop easy. It’s worth a few minutes of your time.