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smartphone owners have strong opinions about keyboards. A lot of people
– particularly those who started their smartphone life with a
BlackBerry – love a traditional keyboard. Whether it’s below the screen
or a slide-out, the raised keys and solid feel of an actual keyboard is a
Other smartphone users – led by the army of iPhone owners –
swear by the virtual keyboard, and happily tap away at a touch-screen
as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
you’re like me – with large fingers and little patience – neither
keyboard feels quite right. Whether it’s real or virtual, the letters
and numbers on smartphone keyboards are too just small and close
together. Of course, the predictive text feature can help, but it still
results in constant corrections and time wasted.
Now, some of the latest Android phones are introducing a new way to type. It’s called Swype
and, like the name implies, it uses the touch-screen capabilities of a
new generation of smartphones to swipe letters and numbers rather than
It takes some getting used to, but after just a day or two
of practice it starts to come naturally. As the above video
demonstrates, you form a word by dragging your finger from one letter to
the next without taking your finger off the keyboard. Swype only uses
the letters when you change direction. There are other tricks for
swiping double letters, switching to upper case, or choosing numbers or
Once you get the hang of it, Swype is incredibly fast.
You use the index finger on one hand, so it feels less awkward than
holding a phone with both hands and using your thumbs.
currently available on Samsung Galaxy S phones, Motorola’s Droid X, and
several other Android phones. For a full list of Swype-enabled phones
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