Android beta of Swype input software goes live

A limited number of users will get to try out the software

Swype's software that lets users input text on a touchscreen phone by gliding their finger from one letter to another on a virtual keyboard is now available in beta version for Android.

The beta is limited, because Swype is still a small company and it doesn't want to get overwhelmed, the company said. The beta version will work for three months, and is compatible with Android-based smartphones that have a 480 x 320, 800 x 480 or 854 x 480 pixel resolution.

The beta has built-in dictionaries for English, Spanish, and Italian. Swype plans on releasing other languages at a later time, Swype said on a Web site detailing the beta.

Swype underlines that the software is still a beta version, and users "may experience some aberrant behavior", according to the company. Also, Swype has found that to get the best possible performance, its software needs to be pre-loaded, it said. Android-based smartphones that come with Swype pre-loaded include T-Mobile's myTouch 3G and Samsung's Galaxy S.

Users that still want to try the beta should be able to register on Swype's Web site.

Swype isn't the only company pushing inputting text by sliding a finger over a virtual keyboard. Recently, Nuance Communications announced its T9 Trace software.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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