Gesture input software Swype now works with Android 4.0 ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, but is a little rough around the edges
Swype makes a predictive text application that allows users to “write” words on Android smartphones’ virtual keyboards by swiping their fingers from letter to letter rather than tapping the virtual keys. The startup was acquired by speech recognition software maker Nuance for $102.5 million (£64m).
Swype said on Nuance’s blog that users of the Swype beta app should receive the upgrade to version v188.8.131.52303 over the air.
US users can tap the “Dragon” key to use the Dragon dictations software, and press and hold the Dragon key to launch Dragon Go, the Android mobile app that lets users access and search websites and apps by speaking into their phone.
Websites that are voice-enabled by Go include AccuWeather, Ask.com, Bing, Dictionary.com, ESPN, Facebook, Fandango, Last.fm, LiveNation, Milo.com, OpenTable, Pandora, Rotten Tomatoes, Spotify, Twitter, Wikipedia, Wolfram|Alpha, Yelp, YouTube, and many others.
Swype said the upgrade also boasts better prediction accuracy in several languages, along with bug fixes that impinged the app’s advanced language modeling and language dictionaries. Swype also said it re-enabled the emoticon key in SMS apps.
Swype warned that beta users may come across a few “hard-to-find bugs” in the update.
Spell check disabled
The ICS build is raw enough that Swype has asked users to disable ICS’ built-in spell checker because Swype’s own dictionary is stored separately from the ICS spell-checking dictionary.
“Therefore, words you add to the Swype dictionary will still show up as ‘misspellings’ according to the spell-checker,” Swype explained in its blog post. “This produces a poor user experience. ”
Still, the software maker is encouraging users to test the preliminary ICS support on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone, which is currently the only phone that supports ICS.
Also, owing to incompatibilities between Japanese and non-Japanese builds, Swype said it will no longer be offering Japanese through language downloads.
Swype said user who want Japanese language support will need to uninstall the current version of Swype and download the new English and Japanese only version available through the Swype installer.