Swype pioneered a new way to type on smartphones—now it’s dead

Enlarge (credit: Swype)

Swype, the influential smartphone keyboard, is dead. XDA Developers is reporting that Swype’s owner, Nuance Communications, is discontinuing development of the popular keyboard app. While it might still exist in the iOS and Android app stores for now, it will be left to rot.

In a statement on its website, Nuance said it was leaving the “direct-to-consumer keyboard business” to “concentrate on developing our AI solutions for sale directly to businesses.” Nuance—which bought Swype in 2011 for $102 million—has long been a force in voice recognition and text-to-speech software, and it helps companies build consumer products (like this BMW 7 Series) with its voice technology. Lately the company has also set its sights on the healthcare market.

Swype is noteworthy as the third-party smartphone keyboard that originated gesture typing. Rather than holding a phone in both hands and tapping on each letter, Swype let you hold the phone in one hand, hold a finger down on the screen, swing it around the keyboard from letter to letter, and lift off to spell a word. Swyping, as it was called, wasn’t as exact of an input as tapping on each key, but it was close enough that the software could usually figure out your intent. Most of all, it was fast, especially considering that it only took one hand to type.

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Source:: Arstechnica – Gadgets

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