Swype, the influential smartphone keyboard, is lifeless. XDA Builders is reporting that Swype’s proprietor, Nuance Communications, is discontinuing growth of the favored keyboard app. Whereas it would nonetheless exist within the iOS and Android app shops for now, it is going to be left to rot.
In an announcement on its web site, Nuance stated it was leaving the “direct-to-consumer keyboard enterprise” to “think about creating our AI options on the market on to companies.” Nuance—which purchased Swype in 2011 for $102 million—has lengthy been a drive in voice recognition and text-to-speech software program, and it helps corporations construct shopper merchandise (like this BMW 7 Collection) with its voice expertise. These days the corporate has additionally set its sights on the healthcare market.
Swype is noteworthy because the third-party smartphone keyboard that originated gesture typing. Somewhat than holding a telephone in each arms and tapping on every letter, Swype allow you to maintain the telephone in a single hand, maintain a finger down on the display, swing it across the keyboard from letter to letter, and carry off to spell a phrase. Swyping, because it was referred to as, wasn’t as actual of an enter as tapping on every key, nevertheless it was shut sufficient that the software program may often work out your intent. Most of all, it was quick, particularly contemplating that it solely took one hand to kind.
Swype was initially distributed not as a standalone app, however as a function that was constructed into smartphones—OEMs must signal a cope with Swype and construct the software program into their telephone OS. A beta Android app ultimately arrived in 2010, nevertheless it was solely obtainable for obtain by means of Swype’s web site. It wasn’t till 2013 that the app can be obtainable on the Google Play Retailer for 99 cents.
The Swype keyboard was very modern, primarily being a completely new strategy to enter textual content. It nonetheless wasn’t sufficient to save lots of the app, although. Whereas Swype has a patent for “System and technique for steady stroke word-based textual content enter,” for no matter cause that wasn’t sufficient to cease everybody on Earth from copying Swype’s gesture typing. Google made gesture typing an ordinary function in Android’s default keyboard, and Microsoft did the identical for Home windows Telephone eight.1(again when that was a factor). Third-party keyboards on iOS and Android have taken the concept, too, and at present you may “swype” on Swiftkey, GoKeyboard, TouchPal, Ai-type, and one million different choices.
By the point Swype lastly launched within the Play Retailer, all of the copycats had enormously restricted the attraction of Swype’s 99 cent app. Swype’s ultra-slow rollout and OEM offers meant it by no means obtained a head begin on creating a big person base, and, by the point it was lastly on the market, it was too little, too late. Now it is lifeless.