14 Dec 2010

Swyping: first impressions

I tried Swype some time back.  After using it for a very short time, I gave up and went back to standard Android keyboard.  I have been trying Swype again for a few days now.  I can't say I'm happy with it although I haven't fully given up on it yet.

The biggest challenge for me in adapting to swyping (vs. typing) is the shift in the mental model of text input.  Instead of making letter mistakes I make word mistakes now, and that's not really a pleasant thing.  Has my text input accuracy improved?  Maybe, but I can't say I'm happy with it.  I have a feeling that I would be a lot happier with a physical  keyboard than this swyping business.  (Just now I had to make three attempts before I can get the word "keyboard" right.)

The built-in keyboard in Gingerbread is pretty good, when combined with autocomplete.  I think I will probably stick to the standard keyboard for long text inputs, and use Swype when I don't feel like expending the energy required for typing correctly on the soft keyboard.

Text input through soft keyboards is indeed a problem, but Swype doesn't provide a solution to it; instead, it introduces a new problem.  In my current view both problems are pretty much of the same magnitude.  Most likely, Swype will soon become irrelevant because Google is serious about improving their keyboard.

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