Swype.. The New Beta & Tips For Using It


First, My Rant…

You may have noticed something about me by now. When I am a fan of something, I am very critical of it. I expect the things that I am passionate about to consistently improve – to be the best. Companies are starting to learn this of me too, which I find as a compliment!

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Well, I’m a Huge fan of Swype! If you can type faster using another keyboard, you’re likely using Swype wrong. I’m hoping this post helps you guys use Swype more effectively. I’ll provide some helpful tips to aid you. But first, lets talk about the new version of Swype and it’s features.

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Swype addressed some of my biggest gripes with the new Beta update. Sadly, while introducing some new (bigger) issues. First, there is no more annoying pop-up window intruding on your screen. Instead, they’ve brought word suggestions discretely above the keyboard, like your typical android keyboard. Also, you can now peck and have Swype use their auto-correction feature to auto-magically adjust for your bad pecking. Not having to be 100% accurate is nice – much like when swyping, you don’t have to be 100%, it just knows. There are other new features, but this is a great segue to my gripes. Which frankly, are more interesting to me.
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The auto-correct feature comes defaulted on. It’s new, I get it. But, I don’t peck. If I Swype a word, then go to adjust something it is a world of pain for me. Why you ask? My swyping is very accurate, especially when I have built up my dictionary some (more on that later). So, when I need to make an adjustment to a word, it’s usually minor. Now, when I go to adjust that word it seems to auto-fill a whole new word, or an ending to the word not intended. What makes that worse, they have adjusted the cursor to default to the end of the word on the first tap. It used to be when you edited a word, you could easily place the cursor mid-word, correct, move on. Not now. My cursor jumps around like crazy. If you have a comma at the end of a word, grab a beer, as you are about to be frustrated if you need to delete it. If this bothers you as well, please let @Swype know (they listen, trust me!!)
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I did find a few solutions to my only gripes. Hallelujah! One, you can turn the auto-correct off. To do so, go to your Swype Settings > Word Suggestion > Uncheck Auto-Correction. The word suggestions still show, which is awesome (no more pop-up window makes me jump like a school girl at a Beiber show). Now, regarding the cursor. Swyping from the “Swype button” to “SYM” lets you easily adjust the cursor location. I have complained to Swype. Supposedly my message was sent to those above the ones managing their Twitter account… so yeah, expect a fix tomorrow guys, you’re welcome. Ha.

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A Guide…

Alright, you have heard some of the good… some of the bad. Here is my not so perfect attempt as a guide to get you up and running on the new Swype Beta. Please note, they say that if your phone came with Swype pre-installed, to not use the Beta, that it will not work. I am not certain the logic here & will not try and act like I do, but my Vibrant came pre-loaded, and has never been happier.

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1 – Register for the beta, if you have not already. Honestly, while the Beta is open, what do you have to lose?

LINK >> http://beta.swype.com/

2 – Backup your current swype (titanium, move the .apk to your PC, whatever.. just do something so you can’t blame me for user error or something going horribly wrong that is beyond me). I did not backup but I would  prefer you do so.

I will also say, if you have root and you have a current Swype Dictionary that you would like to keep, read this post. If this does not apply to you, or you don’t care about your current dictionary (i did not) then proceed. Otherwise, read that link.

3 – Uninstall Swype from your phone.

4 -Open a file manager, I prefer Root Explorer. Go to your main parent folder and search for “swype” – with most file managers, you should just be able to press the search button on your phone as an FYI. Delete all of the results you see for Swype (again, don’t blame me if you delete something you should not have). I did this, and it worked great for me. Also, you made a backup just in case in step 2, right? 🙂

Once you have a backup, uninstalled, and deleted all associate swype files, reboot your phone (maybe not needed, but I did it).

5 – I would then go to http://beta.swype.com/ on your phone. Login and download the Beta Installer. If it’s not showing a download link, you can resend the beta invite email. If you get a message that you are not on an Android phone, you likely have your phones user agent set to act like IE6, not Android – ie, CyanogenMod folk.

6 – Great, now install the Beta Installer. Open it. Follow the prompts. Download the Swype version applicable to you. For me, I get the English version, no need for a full version (more languages) in my case. This really is self explanatory, but post questions in the Comments if you have them. I am willing to uninstall/reinstall to see the prompts if need be.

7 – You should be up and running at this point. I suggest going to the swype settings and turning off auto-correct as previously mentioned. Maybe you want to experiment with the default settings and be the judge for yourself. I don’t blame you, be a cowboy.

Here is how Swype appears with the new Beta installed (sexy notification bar eh? Thanks Roman!):

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Tips For Using Swype More Effectively…

Alright, now that you have the latest-greatest… lets talk about how to effectively use Swype. Below are some of my favorite Swype tips. It is not an entire list. Swype has a lot on their site not listed here. These are all you really need to be a Swype-Pro in my opinion.

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You know you can long-press on the letters to access the smaller items (ie, long press “R” for a “1”)… but did you know you can Swype from “SYM” to “5” and get the entire numeric keypad? It takes less time to do, and if you have multiple #s you will be much faster. Press “ABC” when you are ready for your letters.

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Just like long-pressing numbers, I often see people long press when trying to do an Exclamation or Question mark…. No need! Just Swype from the punctuation to space. This will add a question mark and auto-fill a space for your next sentence. Quicker and more efficient than a long press followed by a space button!

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I referenced it earlier, but going from the “Swype button” to “SYM” brings up the editing keyboard where you can adjust your cursor location easily. This keyboard is the most under-valued. I use it a lot for my cursor, but also to select text. Really explore this one. Again, press “ABC” when done.

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Did Swype get a word wrong, AND it’s not in the new word suggestion box? Double tap the word that was done incorrectly. It will be highlighted now. Key (peck!) the word correctly. Strong chance Swype will recall this word next time you attempt it. I’ve noticed when editing words several words back from where I left off, Swype remembers where I was, so no need to place the cursor back where you left off. It knows.

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Want to add words to your dictionary, to make it easier next time? You can also simply type the word/combo of words/#s (ie your email address), go to the editing keyboard (“Swype” to “SYM”), press Select All, then Press the Swype button again… you will have a prompt asking if you want to add that crazy long string/odd word/whatever to your dictionary…. of course you do!

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Need to capitalize something? If using a name for example mid sentence, simple start at the first letter and go ABOVE the keyboard, then back down to the second letter and continue swyping like normal (ie, Callip… start a “C” go above the KB, then go to “a” and continue). Need to make it CALLIP instead? Easy enough.. when you go above the KB, make a little loop then go back down to “a.” That loop above the keyboard tells Swype you want everying in CAPS.

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The loops and my name remind me… how do you make the two “L’s” in Callip? You simply do a little loop over the “L” before moving to “I.” My name will not be in your dictionary, so maybe practice with a more common word, or, add it to your dictionary since you know how to now!

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Apostrophes. Common ones don’t even need to have a hiccup, ie, “I’m”… just go from “I” > “apostrophe” (the period) > “M”… done. if you are adding a “‘s” to a word, just swype the word, then start at the apostrophe and go to “S”, ie, that’s cool Callip would be “that” followed by a swype from the period (apostrophe) to the “s” = that’s.

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Alright, I think that covers most of the tips I know for Swype. If you tips that I have missed, PLEASE let me know in the comments. I hope you guys benefited from this long ramble. Let me know! To finish this article off, here are some videos from Swype, enjoy!

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S.

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About s15274n

I will do what I can to help support the Android Community!

Posted on June 15, 2011, in Advocate, Apps and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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