Nuance has announced that it has stopped developing the popular Swype keyboard app. We say “popular,” but the fact it’s taken anyone several weeks to notice suggests Swype’s best days were behind it. Which at least explains Nuance’s decision to kill Swype.
There was a time when swiping gestures and predictive text weren’t common on smartphones. Which is where Swype came in. Now, swiping is standard on Android, and plenty of other third-party keyboard apps offer similar features. Leaving Swype surplus to requirements.
The Swype Keyboard App Is No More
As reported by XDA, at the beginning of February, Nuance announced that the iOS version was being discontinued. No one noticed until a Redditor reached out to Nuance about an issue with Swype for Android, and he was duly informed development had ended.
Nuance has since stated that Swype is “no longer available for new downloads from the iPhone or Android App Stores and that we are no longer maintaining or making updates to the app.” However, “the core technology behind Swype will continue to be utilized and improved upon across other Nuance offerings”.
So in a world where bounce scroll and swipe-to-unlock can be patented to hell, why was everyone on Earth allowed to copy Swype's gesture typing?
— Ron Amadeo (@RonAmadeo) February 20, 2018
These other offerings include voice dictation solutions for both medical professionals and the automotive industry. Two areas where Nuance clearly wants to focus its attention. There must be more money to be made in selling to businesses than to consumers.
Despite Swype no longer being available on Google Play or the App Store existing users are welcome to continue using the app in its present form for the next few months or until Nuance decides otherwise. Which gives everyone plenty of time to find an alternative.
One-Handed Swiping on Smartphones
This is a sad end for a keyboard app that popularized a new way of typing on a smartphone. It’s just a shame for Nuance, which acquired Swype in 2011, that everyone else “borrowed” the idea of one-handed swiping for themselves. Which means that $100 million acquisition may not have paid off.
Do you currently have Swype installed on your smartphone? Are you going to carry on using the app for as long as possible? Or are you already looking for an alternative? How do you feel about Nuance killing Swype? Please let us know in the comments below!