After numerous reports that the Swype app was making OCD-level location requests on some users' devices, the company updated the popular 3rd party keyboard to, well, not do that. At least one user claimed the app requested his location nearly 4000 times in a single day, which obviously has some rather unfortunate implications for battery life.

While some users have tried to turn this into a privacy issue (come on guys, it's a keyboard app), more than anything it just seems like a potentially battery-killing bug that needed squashing. And squashed it has been: Swype released an update to version 1.6.16 today that should eliminate the bug and reduce the number of location requests dramatically for users who were experiencing it. It also does numerous other things.

May 14-v.1.6.16

Improved user adaptation and word completion for tapped words

Strengthened syncing logic surrounding Backup & Sync to reduce data usage

Reduced the number of location notifications Swype receives from the Android OS

New keyboard languages, Burmese & Khmer

Performance improvements

Fixed a conflict with Android spell checker

Fixed issues with UI rendering in Android KitKat

Fixed crashes reported by users

Various bug fixes and optimizations

You can check out a detailed changelog here and hit up the Play Store now to get the update.

Swype via Reddit

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • The Worm

    Why does a keyboard app need your location?

    • Nathan


    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Trending living language I think. Local things happening that you may want in your predictions.

      • Matthew Fry

        The living language feature is worthless. All it did was put common misspellings and common shortened versions of things like plz and m8 and crap (at least that's all I noticed).

        • ltredbeard

          It sucks so hard that I cleared the data for swype and don't log in so I can be back to a clean slate.

  • zevral

    "While some users have tried to turn this into a privacy issue (come on guys, it's a keyboard app)"

    seriously? It IS a privacy issue, not only could the see where you are, there is also the possibility that they can see EVERYTHING we type, such as account names, email adresses, passwords and they could connect your personal email, your name and your location. How is this not a privacy issue? I blocked a lot of things for my keyboard app to prevent this.

    • OhYeah!

      It's more of a serious issue because it's a keyboard!

      • Tomás De Bona

        A keyboard requesting your location?! WTH

        • https://www.youtube.com/user/MAT0R0 ℳατoгo Ẕεɭɨρħ

          Yeah, I really like Swype's Keyboard layout, and its awesome gesture shortcut features (copy, paste, etc.). But unfortunately I have to agree with everyone else that Swype is pretty nasty under the hood.

          As of now, Kii Keyboard is my favorite Keyboard app. It is 2x better than the stock Google keyboard (same layout, but tons more options).

    • Anorax

      It's a keyboard app that potentially has the ability to record any and all data you type (including this post right here), but you kind of opt in when you install and activate it - I mean hell, android warns you of this every time you activate a new keyboard for use in the language setting. Secondly, you also opt in when you register your Swype install (which you aren't required to do by the way); it's in the small print nobody bothers to read. If you don't like that a keyboard that was made to learn the way you type tries to learn the way you type, then you shouldn't install it in the first place.

      tl;dr if you make it a privacy issue, then it is one. If you don't, then it isn't.

      • ghetto McKee

        That tl;Dr could pretty much be applied to any situation in life

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    • Marcell Lévai

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  • mlj11

    On some days I would experience massive battery drain on my Nexus 5 for no apparent reason (battery stats would just show Android OS or something equally innocuous as the worst offender); I could fix it by restarting, but it was always a temporary solution.

    Recently I turned Swype off because I was giving Minuum a run, and all of a sudden I was getting better battery life more regularly. Not sure if it's just a coincidence...

    I really like Swype but it seems to have regressed with recent updates. This news doesn't help things. Hope they get their act together soon.

    • polesmoker99

      I echo this sentiment completely. I tied working with support and they would either say "LOL can't replicate that on our devices" or would just flat out ignore the battery drain issue.

      I had success using Greenify with Swype as I greatly prefer Swype over Swiftkey and the stock keyboard.

  • The Dude

    Why the hell does Swype still not have the option to use Android voice input instead of its own crappy engine?

    • jj14x

      That is why I stopped using swype and moved to Google's keyboard.

      • 4wallz

        Me too

      • ltredbeard

        Check out the xposed module if you use xposed.

    • Matthew Fry

      Because Nuance owns both Swype and Dragon and they are trying to leverage it. There's an xposed module to switch it if you swing that way.l

      • Roger Siegenthaler

        Also, Dragon is just worlds ahead of google's voice input... at least for every other language than english US and in my own experience (Australian) even the english was better on Dragon...

      • Casey Mills

        At least music playback is paused when using Dragon voice input now.

      • John Smith

        There is???? What is it called? Bless you, sir! May Science pass you genes to the next generation if you swing that way!

    • andy_o

      You haven't tried Nuance's speech recognition then? For me it works as well or even better than Google's. No complaints here. Even in Spanish, it learns slang and the way you speak. I think it's the same engine Siri uses.

      • Roger Siegenthaler

        Jep, Dragon has a deal with Apple for that ;)

    • abobobilly

      I thought Nance's Dragon Dictation is also pretty damn good. Are you having trouble with it?

  • David Hart

    I only use Swype on my Armv6 phones, where Google Keyboard will not install/swipe.

    And man, is it slow. I hope it's at least a little better.

  • Gem Jefferson

    Did we get emojis yet?

    • John


  • Anorax

    And yet another Swype update has come and gone without emoji support.

  • Osam AH

    It's just Android. Buy a Windows phone.

    • Jaromir KM Bracki

      That's a kind suggestion, but is there a stable and reliable keyboard using swipe input method?

      • Karthik Kumar

        WP8.1 has it inbuilt. Swiftkey now also has swipe input, and its spell checker is vastly superior to any else i've used.

        • Osam AH

          Yup its the best and fastest and intelligent and cooler and ... Keyboard in the world... :P

      • Osam AH

        Use swift key

  • Casey Mills

    I noticed this when I started using ApOps. I turned location off for Swype. So many have copied Swype, I really wish they would add an option to put a row of numbers across the top, like the stock Samsung keyboard.

    • Izzy

      if you hold down the +!= button you can get a numpad

      • Casey Mills

        That might be easier than what I have been doing. to 5 also brings up the number pad. But I would love for the numbers to just be there. The screen on my phone is plenty big for another row of numbers.

  • Android Developer

    Does it also have a way to show digits row?
    Very few keyboards show it together with auto-suggest feature.

    • Casey Mills

      A row of numbers is my number one request. After using the stock Samsung keyboard I immediately fell in love with the number row.

      • Android Developer

        That's my reason too.
        Currently I use AI-type-keyboard. I don't like the look of it , but in terms of what I'm used to from Samsung, it's ok.

    • David Hart

      I much prefer the pad style myself.

      • Android Developer

        what's the "pad style" ?

        • David Hart

          Like a number pad, (Swype and Google keyboard has it.)
          It's not always available like a number row, but I feel it translates better to touch.

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  • Lucas Maffazioli

    And finally it's update on Amazon App Store