Swype is a virtual keyboard for touchscreen smartphones and tablets where one enters words by sliding a finger or stylus from the first letter of a word to its last letter. I have been using the app since 2010 on all my touchscreen devices. In my opinion it is the best swiping finger gesture keyboard available.
What makes it stand out as the best you may ask?
Just like every hardware keyboard that has a Ctrl or Command key, Swype has button. Every gesture shortcut starts from this button.
The most useful gestures are similar to hardware keyboards and are universal and easy to remember.
Another great feature is the ability to punctuate a word such as CAPITALIZE all letters in a word, or Capitalize the first letter of a word, or remove all capitalization from a word. Simply use the + Shift button.
I can also quickly search words that I have swiped by using +S, or find a map by using +M.
Given mobile phone screens have limited space, I don’t always have the numbers showing, but if I wanted to quickly show all the numbers, I swipe +t, and all the numbers are shown.
I can also quickly see the keyboard arrow keys by swiping
What do you mean arrow keys?, there aren’t arrow keys on virtual keyboards!
Think about a real keyboard! The arrow keys are very useful for moving the cursor to words in paragraphs rather than using the mouse. On a touchscreen I can select words, or lines, cut, copy and paste or everything, delete words, add spaces, drop lines, all very quickly without faffing with the highlight buttons.
It also has its own dedicated emoji button, which is accessible by holding down the Enter button.
This loads a dedicated emoji keyboard and there are hundreds of icons, all nicely categorized.
The emoji icons also appear on the predictive text bar depending on the words typed on the keyboard.
Not that I want to tap out a long message or blog with my thumbs (that is so old school), or swipe left or right handed on a large phone (could be difficult), or shift the keyboard from its default location at the bottom of the screen to the middle or top of the screen, but Swype have catered for every ones needs.
Hold down the ?123 button…
… and tap on the desired keyboard.
There is also a handwriting option, which appears to work no matter how crap your hand writing is, but in all fairness this would be daft to select, as it is terribly slow to write out each letter in a word.
Something that works really well is their speech recognition. It has its own button on the keyboard in the shape of a microphone. If you have a lot of text you want written, tap this button and speak naturally and be ready to be amazed. It is not 100% perfect and there will be times you will have to edit the text, which is okay if it saves you a few minutes swiping or tapping out a long paragraph.
Check out the features page for all the extra stuff available. I love the fact I can save “new” words to my personal dictionary and have them synced to any device. These words can then be predicted when I am swiping.
Swype also offers keyboard themes, both paid and free. There are a great selection in the store to download.
There are tons of features that can be switched on or off in the options screen, too many to mention here. I highly recommend you download Swype and give it a try.
Download it from the Play store.