After spending years in the beta stage, the original gesture-based Android keyboard – Swype – is finally available on Google Play for everyone to buy and use. The keyboard is available on Google Play for $0.99 (approximately Rs 54) for a limited time. There’s also a free trial version you can check out before buying. Check out the demonstration video for Swype:

The keyboard comes with a bunch of features, including Living Language and Next Word Prediction. Living Language crowd-sources and updates your dictionary with the latest trending words. Living Language also further localises your dictionary with an additional dialect supplement for your preferred language.

Next Word Prediction predicts the words you might want to type after your current one. After prolonged use, it learns your typing habits and starts recommending entire sentences that you are likely to type.

There are also features like personal dictionary backups and syncing, dictation using Nuance's Dragon technology and the Smart Editor, which analyses entire sentences for any errors, grammatical or spelling.

The keyboard essentially works by letting you slide across the letters instead of tapping. The keyboard’s built-in dictionary automatically detects what words you might have been typing depending on what letter you stop your finger over. This potentially speeds up typing since you don’t have to lift your finger at all while typing a word.

You can add your own words to the dictionary by typing them out. After the first time, you can Swype the word whenever you want. This also applies to complex alpha-numeric keys such as passwords or emoticons.

Swype now supports Hinglish

Now officially available

Swype also has gestures that let you access alternate keyboards really fast. For example, sliding your finger from the Swype key to the T key will bring up the numpad to let you type numbers faster.

Swype had originally started back in 2010, back when typing on a phone keyboard wasn't ideal, since phones had smaller screens back then. The keyboard gained universal praise, but at the time, it wasn't available to everyone. The company only bundled the keyboard with some smartphones, such as the original Samsung Galaxy S.

After Nuance acquired the company, the keyboard was made available as a beta for all to download and help test it out.

Since the advent of Swype, however, other companies have taken the cue and included the same functionality in their own keyboards. The first major competitor for Swype was SlideIT. Eventually, it faded away and SwiftKey took up the mantle with the introduction of SwiftKey Flow. Smartphone makers themselves took the initiative to allow Swype-like typing on their own keyboards. Google introduced it in Android 4.2.2 as part of the stock keyboard. Sony and Samsung also included the functionality in their own keyboards.

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