Nuance Communications, which had acquired Swype for more than $100 million in October 2011, has launched the next generation of Swype, the gesture based, adaptive touch input keyboard, adding support for the Hinglish language – a mixture of Hindi and English or simply Hindi transliterated into Latin script. Swype says that its mixed-language Hinglish database consists of tens of thousands of Hinglish words, as well as a vast English wordlist, however it did not reveal the exact number of words that are included.
The keyboard also saves and predicts new words as the user keys them in becoming more personalized with usage. The new version also supports input for Urdu script. Respondng to our query on support for Hindi and other Indian languages, Nitin Misra, Director Marketing- India & SE Asia for Nuance, responded that the company is working on it, and that it would most likely be implemented by early next year.
– On partnerships with Indian OEMs: Misra said that the company was in talks with a few but did not reveal names. Swype is working with 16 OEMs, on a global basis, including with LG and Samsung. When we asked about the number of Swype users in India, he mentioned that it was based on the number of OEM devices sold, hence difficult to predict. Also, Swype does not distribute its app on the android Play Store, and it intends to continue to keep its focus on B2B tie-ups.
Interestingly, he also mentioned that the company was negotiating with operators to push OEMs to bundle Swype, convincing them that it would lead to an increase in messaging and data use. However, it does not plan to do direct tie-ups with operators, as its distribution model is based on licensing agreements with OEMs. A version of Swype is available for download to all Android phone and tablet users at m.swype.com.
New features in Swype 1.0 include:
– Next Word Prediction: For Swype’s next word prediction, Nuance has integrated capabilities from its XT9 portfolio, and claims that prediction becomes more accurate with each use. Users can choose to have Swype integrated with emails, texts, Facebook and tweets, by authenticating Swype, and the keyboard learns from communication via these networks including contact names.
– Speech to text: The new version also supports speech, and the keyboard is capable of learning from speech and offering them as text predictions.
– OTA updates: Users can install new language dictionaries, and the app can update itself over the air, automatically. However, the older versions of Swype are not upgradable to Swype 1.0, which is a fresh platform release.
– Multi-Modal Keyboard: Swype also delivers multiple input modes in one keyboard. Users can Swype from letter to letter; or type rapidly with predictive text input. They can also switch back and forth between the two modes, on the fly. It also supports gestures for editing options like cut, copy, paste, and for terms like www and .com.
Availability: The next-generation of Swype is available for OEMs supporting the Android Platform as well as via an SDK for other operating systems, in addition to the Swype Beta for Android version at beta.swype.com.