It's often the case that one piece of software will introduce a groundbreaking feature, but others will expand on it, eventually replacing the original. When it comes to Android, Swype and SwiftKey come to mind. But the latter has yet to vanquish the former, nor has the addition of gesture-based typing to the stock keyboard, and Swype has now been updated with a host of new features that show just how much of a heavyweight this contender remains.

For starters, there are new keyboard options for people with large phones. Split and mini keyboards aren't unheard of, but they're nice to see here.


Many users will be happy to see that Swype now has bilingual support. The new version can handle over 1,000 language combinations such as English-Spanish or Polish-Czech. This is supplemented with the addition of multiple Indian languages, including Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, and Telugu.

What's new:

  • Bilingual
  • Split and Mini keyboards for phablets
  • Punctuation prediction
  • New theme (“Blackbird”)
  • Combined secondary and tertiary menus
  • Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, Telugu
  • Accessibility support
  • Search gesture
  • Bug fixes reported by users
  • You can adjust:
    • Long-press delay
    • Vibration duration
    • Keyboard height
    • Keyboard layouts
    • Word list font size
  • New Dragon Dictation features
  • Phrase-based, real-time results
  • Dictation language independent of keyboard language

For people who prefer to talk to their phones, the latest Swype offers continuous dictation, meaning users can watch words appear on their screen as they speak. And to go with the keyboard's new bilingual support, users can choose a different dictation language than the one they type with.

All in all, this is quite the update, so long-time fans and newcomers alike have little reason not to rush to the Play Store below.

Source: Nuance Communications

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • basteagow

    You can adjust:
    * Long-press delay


  • outadoc

    Err, SwiftKey just got the exact same features.

    • drawkcaB

      Similar yes. I find swiftkey awesome for tap input and swype the best for slide input. I find more functions more accessible through swype though

  • Nick

    Long press delay adjusting, finally! The default they use is 500ms which is WAY to long imo.

  • David Hart

    Since getting my Nexus 5 I've been using the stock keyboard and actually liking it for the first time. I think I'm gonna stick with it too, one thing I would like to see is to be able to get to a number pad and not a number row. I know you can if the text input only allows numbers.

    • Anorax

      you can reach the number-only keyboard by swiping from the swype key to "T", or by long pressing "+!=" and selecting "123"

      • David Hart

        I meant a numpad for the stock 4.4 keyboard.

        • Anorax

          And that's what I get for reading your comment too quickly. My bad.

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  • TheWindCriesMary

    FINALLY: Long-press delay adjustment :D

    250ms compared to 500ms makes quite a big difference

  • James Barr

    Why do Android Police writers hate Swype so much?

    I own every single purchasable keyboard on the Play Store that supports gesture-based input. Plenty of them have some amazing features that Swype doesn't have; but EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM has some key problem, or dumb inherent thing about it that keeps Swype superior to all other gesture-based keyboards. Every 4-6 months I install them all again and test them thoroughly because I want a LOT more features than what Swype offers, but there are some things Swype has nailed perfectly that nobody else seems to be able to copy.

    Swype really has no competition for gesture-based input, IMO.

    • david coffey

      And that is your opinion. All of it. Android Police has their opinions. I have mine.

      And I'd rather use swiftkey and Google keyboard. But hey, if you prefer swype, have at it. That's what is awesome about android.

      • James Barr

        Well, my opinion, yes; but it's based on facts. The major problem with almost all the other gesture-based keyboards out there is that their word prediction doesn't change, accordingly. Word prediction needs to work very differently for gesture-based input as compared to regular typing. Most non-Swype keyboards will give many suggestions not even remotely close to something you actually glided your finger over.

        • david coffey

          Look dude, a keyboard is not science to me. I prolly haven't touched nearly as many keyboards as you have, but I've messed with a few, including swype, and I much prefer swiftkey over any keyboard. For me, its more responsive, predicts better and is more accurate for my big fingers. Different strokes for different folks man. When I flow with swiftkey the majority of the time it predicts my words, including the slang and curse words I use. I have a terrible mouth. If swype does that for you, great.

          • James Barr

            It does for me, and I'm perfectly content with the fact that Swiftkey does for you. My whole point is that I find the passive-aggressive little negative comments about Swype in a lot of AP's posts about it in the past couple of years to be annoying.

          • NexusKoolaid

            But I see none of that in this article, so why bring it up now?

          • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

            I'm glad I'm not the only one, as I've been struggling to figure out what all the vitriol is about. I have nothing against Swype, and if I managed to sneak an insult into this post, I still haven't found it.

          • James Barr

            I could have sworn when I read the initial article this morning that "former" and "latter" were reversed, (saying Swype had yet to conquer Swiftkey X) but it looks like I misread it. I guess that'll teach me to read news from my phone before work a little more carefully. Sorry. (There have been some posts in the past that did rag unfairly on Swype, however, which is why I jumped to that conclusion.)

          • Andrei D.

            Exactly. After that comment, I re-read the article and headline and if anything, it is as supportive of the app as it can be recognizing both its groundbreaking origins and its current strengths.

            And this is coming from a Swiftkey user who has also tried a bunch of keyboards. Swype is nice, but I found that it is not as strong at learning my frequent words as Swiftkey is.

        • Walkop

          Google Keyboard doesn't. The predictions for typing and swiping are very different.

          -Sent from my Google Keyboard Nexus 10

    • polesmoker99

      I totally agree with you about Swype. I prefer it over Swiftkey by far, but the battery drain issue kills me. I went back to it after my Swiftkey trial ended. Tried to get the customer service people to deal with battery drain - it's tied to Swype Connect. Even with the issues, I'm sticking to it.

      • Cerberus_tm

        I went back to a previous version because of the wake-lock on my Galaxy Nexus. Now I'm going to try the new version, perhaps it has fixed the issue...or hasn't it?

    • Matthew Fry

      While I find that Swype is the best at swipe typing it's far from perfect or complete. They still refuse to allow a custom interval for long pressing, for example. It also randomly gives me strings of letters that are not English (especially in the 2-4 character range).

      • drawkcaB

        Longpress delay is here i believe :)

        • Matthew Fry

          YEEEEEEES! Now, for the next task, *stop* the keyboard suggesting ao as a word.

          • enoch861

            just delete the word.

          • Matthew Fry

            That is but an example. I delete them as they arrive but it is an ongoing battle.

          • Zach

            Sometimes these unintelligible strings of letters are actually acronyms and abbreviations, which Swype does support. The one that used to get me all the time was getting "mmHg" (millimeters of mercury) when I mean to type "me":

          • Guest

            Longpress ao next time it comes out, and choose remove from dictionary.

    • Acidfix

      I must say I do like Swype a lot. It was the first keyboard I had used with gesture typing and the auto correcting was cool.

      It's better then it used to be. I'm on version 1.5.19 and I'm thinking of upgrading to the newest version. It's just that this version has worked so good out of all of the others I've used.

      I like Google keyboard too and have used it since it was released. And out of every other Swype style keyboard (I've used them all) Swype and Google keyboard are both my favorite. I do like the way Swype works a little better then Google keyboard. But Google keyboard seems to feel smoother them swyping. On the other hand I like Swype a little bit more because it has better word predictions. So if you're really going at it fast you can easily find the word you ment to swype.

      I'm going to upgrade to the latest version of Swype and check it out. Otherwise I'll stick with Google keyboard as it's great as well.

  • Daniel A. Williams

    And I just uninstalled Swype to go to back to stock after dealing with the keyboard delays I had put up with for months... maybe I'll try again, but stock is working well for me.

  • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

    As a trilingual (Spanish, Japanese and English) typist, Swype really covers all 3 (And much more), however I've had a lot of issues with Swype randomly draining my battery overnight. Has anyone else experienced this?
    I recently removed the keyboard and switch to the stock one but I really miss Swype.

    • James Barr

      I've never had Swype drain my battery on any device I've owned. Strange. This is quite a major update, completely uninstall the prior version, reboot your phone, install the new one, and see what happens, IMO.

      • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

        I had Swype completely removed (Data and Dictionary and all) but I will definitely give this app a chance.
        I had previously uninstalled Swype two or three times because sometimes (Though not always) it would drain the battery overnight. It happened about once every 2 weeks.

    • polesmoker99

      YES. I've had this on both my Gnex and Nexus 10. Trying to work with Swype customer service is a NIGHTMARE. I finally figured it out - it's that damn Swype Connect.

      • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

        I figured it was but mine is always disabled. Should I enable it to prevent battery woes?

        • polesmoker99

          In reading the Swype forums, it seems random, but it doesn't matter whether it's disabled or not. There's apparently a process that Swype randomly switches on and continually checks in the server for updates without stopping and keeps the app awake, hence the drain. No easy solution, unfortunately.

          • Cerberus_tm

            Hmm perhaps I we can disable the Connect receivers. Or Greenify it. I had this problem on my Galaxy Nexus with the previous version, so I switched back to the one before that; but the latest version is very attractive, so I'm going to test whether this one has the same problem...

  • xnifex

    Still no option to use phone interface on nexus 7 like it was in the beta. luckily they have the height adjustment now, so that's good. Oddly the trace line it's now thicker

  • Stephen Vanhooser

    One of the new themes goes amazingly well with hangouts

    • xnifex

      Which one is this, cloud? that's been there from the beginning.

      • Stephen Vanhooser


        • xnifex

          ah okay, similar to cloud.

        • s427

          Cream is not new either, I've been using it for a while.

  • quick

    They finally added vibration length option, and long-press duration settings!!!!!!!!!

    Those two things were driving me nuts, vibration was too strong on my phone, and the long press was way too long at default, longer than any other keyboard by a long way.

    My only wish left is if they switch to google's voice recognition, but that will never happen since they own dragon :(

  • Mike

    The feature(s) that make Swype my choice are the gesture shortcuts. Swyping from the "swipe key" to various keys allows you to choose/toggle capitalization of a word (lower, capital, all caps), bring up the big number pad keyboard quickly, and swyping from a punctuation character to the spacebar quickly gets you a ?, ", etc,
    Granted I'm use to it, but playing with Swiftkey and others, though very good keyboards, are more cumbersome for doing formatting, numbers, and other quirky things that Swype allows me to do quickly.

    • Walkop

      My favorite feature on Google Keyboard is this: select a word, press the shift button, and the capitalization switches between no caps, first capitalized, and all capitalized. It's a major thing for me, don't know if Swype does that exactly but it looks like it does similar.

      • Mike

        You don't need to select it in swype....after you swype the word, while the cursor is still then immediately after it...you simply swype up from the "swype key" to the shift key and it gives you the 3 options to choose from...lower, first letter capital, ALL CAPS. It's quicker than having to select the word for me

        • Walkop

          Ah, I see. Thanks for the explanation!

          However, that doesn't work for me, personallly. The implementation in Google Keyboard lets you select any word (or even a group of words) at any time and change the capitalisation. I find myself using that a lot more than otherwise.

          Not that the Swype implementation isn't useful while typing out a sentence instead of hitting shift beforehand (just in case you forget), but I find the GKeyboard implementation way more flexible overall.

          • Cerberus_tm

            You can do Swype-shift on any word, no matter how far back. Just tap the word (if the cursor isn't already on or immediately after it), then do Swype-shift to change the capitalisation. It just affects whatever word the cursor is in or immediately after. You can't do it on more than one word at once, though.

  • David Thoren

    The only thing I want from Swype is the ability to use Google voice typing with it instead of Dragon. I have turned off the voice button and use the input method change to use voice typing. Just wish it was more convenient.

    I know it's Nuance and won't ever happen. But it's my one gripe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robertlyon.author Robert Lyon

    I'm a newcomer to swype. I'd previously used the stock Google keyboard with gesture introduced in 4.2, which coincidently was also about the same time when I started with Android. I find swype does a better job with word prediction, but it's not too much of a difference between either. The phablet feature though is what nails it. I can finally type one handed in landscape which is HUGE.

  • Anorax

    I've always loved Swype as a keyboard. The only thing that it's missing now is the emoji integration that just about every other keyboard now has, including the stock

  • Sebastian Nuñez Del Prado

    I have a question for all you savvy swypers. I currently use the swype that came built into my Galaxy Note 2 running stock 4.1.2. I noticed it has never gotten updated while the seperate apk has. Are there features or overall improvements I am missing? if so should I install the play store version? thanks in advance.

    • Cerberus_tm

      Why don't you either try the Swype beta from their website, or the Swype trial from the Play Store, both free? You should be able to use them as three separate keyboards. And, yes, there have probably been many improvements that are worth it, especially in the last update as described above!

  • Ashmedai ♔

    Needs emoji integration