Swype's website has come under attack this evening by a group claiming connections to the pro-Palestinian movement. The website was taken down mid-afternoon (Pacific time) on Saturday, and is still showing a message left there by "TeaM System Dz." As you might suspect, the message is highly critical of Israel (under the so-called #OpSaveGaza banner) for its recent military action in the Gaza Strip.
Android L has brought a new version of the Google Keyboard with Material Design and an optional white KitKat theme, but if you're an avid fan of Swiftkey, its predictions, and themes, or any other third-party alternative, you will notice that the option to select your keyboard is now down in the right corner of the navigation bar, instead of the notification drop-down.
The new placement makes a lot more sense, because keyboard selection isn't a notification, is it?
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.
— Swype (@Swype) February 7, 2014
Swype pioneered the use of gestures to enter words into our mobile devices, a feature that competitors have since picked up, including the keyboard that now ships pre-installed on Google's Nexus devices. Yet while Swype remains a champ at forming words out of our illegible squiggles, it hasn't been the fastest option for manually typing out words the old fashioned way. Now the app has received an update that the team promises significantly improves tap input.
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.
It's pretty easy to understand why typing isn't exactly an optimal experience on a smartphone. They are designed to fit in palms and come with virtual keys smaller than the fingertips used to press them. Tablets don't suffer from this problem, but they come with one of their own - a user can type speedily using the significantly larger keys, but resting their fingers on the screen for a mere second is all it takes to turn "superpower" to "sauerkraut," and suddenly that status update about whether America should get involved in Syria accumulates a different flood of Facebook comments than was expected.
Swype is far from an unfamiliar face in the mobile world. It has served some of the finest Android phones as an included keyboard, permitting one-handed writers to swipe out words rather than peck away with their thumbs. During this time, it was unavailable as a separate download, and using it was somewhat of an exclusive experience. It has since entered the Play Store, and it's now making the jump up to version 1.5.6 less than a month later.
Over the past few weeks we've highlighted several Play Store sales that hit at the end of each week. Today, however, looks like a few devs decided to try middle-of-the-week sales, and we figured some of those may not make it to the week's end. So here it is – a short list of sales that are happening right now.
Time for a little history lesson. Way back in the summer of 2010, when smartphone screen sizes were still reasonable and people were still complaining about how hard it was to type on them, a little company called Swype Inc. thought it had the problem of touchscreen input licked. Android users went crazy trying to get into the beta for their gesture-based software keyboard, and tech blogs threw around words like "innovation" and "miracle" like rice at a wedding.