Friday, June 25, 2010

Two Android Swype Tips

My first impression of Swype, the keyboard input method where you drag your fingers between the letters you want typed, was that it would be slow and error prone. Still, out of curiosity, I tried the tutorial.

Turns out, it's nothing short of magic - and works remarkably well. In fact, I just used it to crank out my first mobile blog post.

Here's a couple of tips I've figured out:

  • Don't try so hard - Unlike your typical hunting and pecking on the virtual keyboard, accuracy isn't as important as you think it would be. You don't have to drag to each letter. With just about every word I enter, I'm impressed at how it correctly interprets my sloppy drawing. I thought this to be the case, but Christian Cantrell really emphasized this point to me.
  • Don't attempt to treat the Swype keyboard as a standard one - I didn't realize until a few minutes ago that there's a Swype keyboard on the system and a regular virtual keyboard. Apparently, when I got the phone I switched to Swype mode and stayed there. Trying to use the Swype keyboard as a typical hunt and peck style is a bad idea. I couldn't understand why when I slowly entered letters I was getting all sorts of strange behavior. To control which keyboard is in use do:
    1. Long press while in a text field
    2. Select Input Method
    3. Select the keyboard you'd like to use

Happy Swyping!

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