ONE OF the original alternative keyboards for Android, Swype, has been quietly discontinued.
The first third-party offering that allowed you to “draw” on the keyboard rather than type letter by letter ended up in the hands of Nuance, who confirmed to a customer that it was no longer being worked on.
The news came about after a user shared on Reddit that they had enquired about a compatibility problem with their Pixel 2 and received the following message back:
“…we are sad to announce that Swype+Dragon for Android has faced end of development. Here is a statement from Swype Product Team:
“Nuance will no longer be updating the Swype+Dragon keyboard for Android. We’re sorry to leave the direct-to-consumer keyboard business, but this change is necessary to allow us to concentrate on developing our AI solutions for sale directly to businesses.
“We hope you enjoyed using Swype, we sure enjoyed working with the Swype community.”
As the statement suggests, the last big change for Swype came when it added in voice recognition from its Dragon brand after being acquired for a reported $100m in 2011, but as the company continues to invest in the B2B sector and particularly AI voice recognition, it appears that it has decided to sunset the keyboard app.
What this means in real terms is that no new features will be added and that its likely that compatibility with newer devices will be limited as Android evolves.
It will also mean that any new features in Google Play Services won’t apply. This might include any security features such as encrypted inputs to protect you better when typing in sensitive data.
After launching on Windows Mobile back in 2002, it rolled out to select handsets via a partnership with manufacturers, most notably Samsung who preloaded it on a range of its biggest handsets.
It was eventually released for Android as a paid for app in 2013 and for iOS the following year.
But with Microsoft’s Swiftkey and Google’s GBoard now offering even more functionality, it seems that Nuance is keen to leverage its business credentials more, and so another little piece of mobile history goes by the wayside.
At present, the app is still available to download. It might have been kind of nice if Nuance had told someone the party was over. µ
Source : Inquirer