The onscreen keyboard in Apple’s iOS operating system is considered to be the best in the mobile industry. When Google started shipping Android, it became painfully obviously that the search giant didn’t care about matching Apple’s input abilities.
Luckily, Android is “open”, so a vibrant market for third party keyboards was born. One of the early pioneers was Swype, which introduced a totally new way of typing. Instead of typing individual letters, you dragged your fingers across the keyboard, drawing out a shape. The thing about Swype however is that they opted to monetize via the B2B route instead of selling straight to consumers. They wanted handset vendors and operators to sign deals with them instead of throwing up their keyboard on Google’s Play Store.
That decision, sadly, ruined their chances of making it big. SwiftKey, which some might say stole a lot of Swype’s innovations, has been raking in the money, and I count myself as a SwiftKey user.
Today though, things change. After two and a half years of wearing the Beta label, Swype is now available in the Google Play Store. It’s $0.99 for a limited time, so go check it out and let me know what you think. I’m tempted to give it a go, but I’m such a late adopter. Once I find a solution I like, I tend to stick with it for quite a long time.