New Swype Keyboard Hits Sprint First With Gestures, Custom Dictionaries

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly three years since Swype first made a splash at TechCrunch 50, and since then it’s quickly popped up on handset after handset. Easily one of the most popular alternative input methods out there, Swype has announced today a special agreement for users of the Sprint Nexus S 4G: you bring the hardware, they’ll bring the latest version of Swype.

While the concept behind the keyboard remains the same, the new update packs some few nifty new tricks. The biggest by far is the keyboard’s newly added support for gestures: basic moves like Cut (Swype key -> X), Copy (Swype key -> C) and Select All (Swype key -> A) are all here, but the new Swype integrates with certain apps with aplomb.

Consider Twitter: if you highlight a bit of text and swipe from the Swype key through ‘T’ and ‘W,’ your Twitter app will open up and your witticisms will be good to go. Ditto for addresses: highlight and swipe from Swype key through ‘G’ and ‘M,’ and Google Maps will open and point out your path. Custom dictionary management has also been pumped up, which will hopefully make working with specialized vocabularies less of a headache.

Sprint Nexus S 4G users are getting the update exclusively at first (available at this page) — which, of course, is really just a fancy way of saying “Sprint Nexus S 4G users will have it exclusively for a few hours before the hacking communities find a way to tear it out”. For all of you itching to get your fingers swyping on the latest and greatest, fear not: someone out there is bound to release a working .apk soon.