Don’t get me wrong — Ice Cream Sandwich’s stock keyboard is pretty fantastic, but after having spent the past year or two Swyping my way though text messages and emails, most other modes of text input just feel slow in comparison. Thankfully, the latest Swype beta has just been made available, and with it comes full support for Google’s latest and greatest mobile operating system.
Aside from being able to slip and slide your way through a few lengthy missives, Ice Cream Sandwich users can also take Swype’s Nuance-powered voice dictation for a spin. Some may scoff at the notion of abandoning Google’s impressive speech-to-text functionality, but Swype’s alternative is no slouch — it isn’t as downright fast as Google’s implementation but a few minutes of testing made it seem a bit more accurate.
Both seemed to handle mundane voice input just fine, but the stock speech-to-text processor didn’t seem to be a fan of Shakespeare. Oddly enough, it rendered the beginning of Hamlet’s famous soliloquy as “2 b or not to be,” which is just plain silly. Swype nailed it (and subsequent lofty lines), in case you were curious. Sure, it’s hardly a scientific test, but it proves that Swype’s take on things is certainly worth looking into if you’re ever in need of another mobile stenographer.
Of course, the number of devices that this update actually benefits right now is still pretty low. There’s the Galaxy Nexus of course, followed by the GSM Nexus S, and the word is that the Nexus S 4G will taste Android 4.0 any day now. If you own one of those handsets (or have cleverly hacked yours to run Ice Cream Sandwich), hit up the beta page to get the process started.