One thing we gave up when transitioning to the current crop of smartphones on the market, many of which have a large touchscreen, was the familiarity and comfort of hitting physical buttons. Since the iPhone came out in 2007, and then Android in 2008, touch screen keyboards have been a hot topic with some claiming that they can type faster on glass than they ever did on a QWERTY keyboard, while others say that they need to carry around two devices now, one of them typically being a BlackBerry, to handle their email and texting needs. Enter Swype, a company founded by the same guy who invented T9 that most of you reading this article are probably experts in. Their software allows you to input text by drawing a line across the letters that make up a word. It’s got a bit of a learning curve, but people who’ve become used to it say everything else on the market is simply inferior. They’ve got a new beta out, version 3.0, and it brings enhancements to the tablet version of the application. Check out the video below:
Since introduced roughly 18 months ago, Swype has been installed on over 50 million devices. That sounds like a lot, but really it isn’t. We’re thinking they might be asking for too much money, and with handset makers already struggling to break even, they’ll just stick to the stock keyboard that comes with Google’s Android operating system. Speaking about Android, with each new release voice recognition is silently creeping into every little nook and cranny. We wouldn’t be surprised if the future of text input was talking and that we’d all constantly wear a pendent around our necks that would let us command our devices without even having to look at them. That may sound like Star Trek, but then again aren’t smartphones just tricorders in hiding?