People love cellphones. People also love texting on their cell phones. A few years ago, phone manufacturers began implementing T9 text input on their phones. T9 text input predicted which word the user was trying to type while the user was typing it. It was significantly faster compared to the multi-tap input where the user had to press a specific key multiple times to output one letter (depending on which letter). Well there’s good news now. We’ve come along way since T9 and multi-tap (at least I like to think so). So I present to you… Swype.
Swype was first available on the Samsung i8000 running Windows Mobile 6.5. Afterwards, Swype was pushed to Android handsets back in July of 2010 during a beta test release of the software. It now comes pre-installed on most of the popular Android phones such as the Motorola Droid X and the Samsung Galaxy S. While Apple is usually a company known for being “ahead of the curve”, Swype technology was never implemented in iOS leaving some Android-to-iPhone customers disappointed. But now, sad iPhone users, Swype has been ported over to iOS… kind of.
With a name change and a few more bugs, iSwipe (formerly known as Swype Beta) was ported to iOS for jailbroken iDevices. The software was and is still currently in beta, so take that with a grain of salt. Although the current version is considerably more stable and accurate than the previous, you will begin to understand why the software is still in beta within a few minutes of using it.
The first issue is that it’s not very accurate. I understand that the app isn’t going to be able to read my mind while I’m typing, but the current release is barely worth even using. Typing “bacon” gets me “bassoons”. Close, but not close enough. My girlfriend would think I was insane if I asked her to pick me up some bassoons at the grocery store for my sandwich.
There have been two releases of iSwipe and the former version didn’t even display the blue lines or auto-suggest words while typing. So needless to say, this version is a major improvement in both aesthetics and functionality. However, the auto-suggest bar doesn’t align very well inside some apps (SMS.app) making it hard to actually see what you’re typing.
Finals thoughts: Awesome that Swype technology is finally coming to iOS? Yes! Practical to use right now? Not so much. I know iSwipe has been available for less than a month, so my criticism of course goes hand-in-hand with my empathy. Plus, it’s really hard to criticize something that is free and in beta testing.
How To Install iSwipe
- Jailbreak your iDevice
- Open up Cydia
- Tap the Manage button near the bottom
- Tap the Edit button in the top right corner
- Tap the Add button in the top left corner
- Add the following repo:
http://wynd.x10.mxis no longer active. Thanks our reader Kattzy444 below, use the http://cydia.myrepospace.com/wyndwarrior repo instead.
- Tap the Add Source button and let Cydia do its thing
- Click the Search button near the bottom and type “iSwipe”
- Choose iSwipe and tap the Install button in the top right corner
Hit the video below for a quick demonstration of iSwipe in action.
What’s your impression of iSwipe? Is it a worthy download now or are you waiting until the developers work out all the kinks? Let us know in the comments below.