A new beta version of Swype for Android, version 3.26, has been released, with the chief improvements being automatic updates, 11 new languages, a refined key layout, and enhanced settings in help. Now that they've nearly doubled the number of supported languages, the Swype package has been broken into four: one each for the Americas, Western and Eastern Europe, South-East Asia, and one for all regions.

Undoubtedly the most substantial improvement to existing Swype users: automatic updates. Rather than having to manually uninstall and reinstall each update, users are automatically notified when an update is available, which can then be installed via the Swype settings menu. The biggest benefit of all of this is probably that you won't lose your dictionary and settings when updating anymore, since you no longer have to uninstall first.

Other minor improvements:

Refined Key Layout
We've changed the layout of the keyboard a tiny bit, so be prepared to unlearn what you have learned.

  • Numbers are now located along the top row of keys, similar to a traditional keyboard
  • The "Globe" key has been removed from all BETA builds (until we can make it an option in settings)
  • Added a second page to the symbols layer. Press the 1/2 key on the left to switch between them.

Enhanced Settings & Help
Confused by our old settings, tutorial, and help? Did you feel like you couldn't find info on how to use Swype effectively, and thought our settings were cluttered? Yeah, we did too. That's why we grabbed "Settings, Tutorial, & Help" by the collar, kicked it out of the house, cut off its trust fund access, and told it come back when it got its act together! Lo and behold, our newly reformed "Settings" is back and is now, well, actually helpful!

  • Long-press the SWYPE key to quickly access Swype Settings any time
  • Update Swype straight from the settings menu whenever a new version is available
  • Learn basic and advanced techniques to become an experienced Swyper. Do you know about "bouncing" and the auto-space suppress gesture? How about the editing layer? Check it out!
  • Set available languages and you'll never be offered a language you don't use when switching languages on-the-fly.

As usual, we also have a ton of bug fixes, so check the changelog in the second post to see if an issue that's been bothering you is resolved!

Perhaps most interesting is what's hinted to come in a future update, and it's found hidden among changes in the changelog: "Prepared resources for context engine alpha test." We checked with a few people familiar with the matter, and they confirmed that an intelligent text prediction engine is indeed in the cards. That's long been one of Swype's biggest weaknesses, and seeing it addressed could provide a big leg up.

[Source: Swype]