A year ago, Swype launched a new way to type on a touchscreen phone at TechCrunch50. Swype was created by the inventor of the T9 predictive typing system used on most phones today because he felt that new text input methods for small touchscreens are sorely needed. Today, the startup announced the first phone to use the technology will be the Samsung Omnia II on Verizon.
As you can see in the video above, which shows a side-by-side comparison of typing on the Omnia II versus on an iPhone, the way you type with Swype is you literally swipe your finger from one letter to the next as fast as you can. In the video, the Swypist beats the iPhone typist hands down, so to speak. But the comparison is more illustrative than definitive. A practiced iPhone typer can bang out a few sentences just as fast. I tried it myself and was able to basically tie the Swype user on the video. Still, I’ll withhold judgment until I can actually try a Swype phone myself.
More phones with Swype built in will be launched next year. The Omnia II is a Windows Mobile phone. But Swype will be included in a new Android phone in the first quarter of 2010.
Will Swype give Android an edge over the iPhone?