If you missed out on your chance to get Swype’s beta last time, you’re in luck because the company has re-opened its innovative text-entry keyboard to all comers.
For those who haven’t used it, Swype is a software keyboard replacement that takes a new approach to text entry. Instead of tapping buttons, you trace words on the keyboard. This is odd at first, but the software is intelligent enough to know what you’re trying to type and it makes typing faster after a while. This has an excellent pedigree too, as it was created by the man who also created the T9 input method.
You can head over to Swype’s website to sign up for a chance but you’d better do it soon, as the beta will only be available for a few days. Additionally, the company said it will only be available in English, Spanish and Italian to begin with and it will have limited features compared to those preloaded on devices. Speaking of which, if you have the keyboard on your devices on deck (like on the myTouch 3G Slide), do not download the beta.
It’s another positive sign for Swype, as the company is making this beta available because it has seen strong consumer demand. The company generally prefers a licensing model where it works with handset makers but having direct consumer demand is never a bad thing.
The keyboard first appeared on the Omnia II but it has been steadily gaining traction, as it is on pace to be on over 10 million handsets by the end of the year. Don’t look for it on the iPhone any time soon though, as Apple likely won’t license the software as long as other companies can use it.
Hop on after the break for some videos of this keyboard in action and how it stacks up against the iPhone’s virtual keyboard.