Swype Beta crowdsources your keyboard dictionary

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January 9, 2013 7:09 PM PST / Updated: January 10, 2013 9:09 AM PST
Swype Beta 1.4 for Android pulls data from the masses to improve your typing efficiency. Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Swype for Android has been around for a few years now, but the app's developer, Nuance, is still showing it off here at CES 2013. In fact, the company officially announced the newest beta version of the popular Android keyboard on Monday, and the app happens to be a finalist in the CES Mobile Apps Showdown.

If you've never heard of Swype, it's a stunningly effective gesture-based keyboard that lets you type on your Android device by sliding your finger continuously across your target letters (as opposed to tapping). I must admit that I personally prefer a traditional tap-to-type experience on my mobile device, but there is no question that Swype is still a godsend for a growing number of other Android users.

The newest beta version of Swype for Android, announced here at CES, brings with it two noteworthy features.

First, is Swype Living Language. If you decide to opt in to this new feature, Swype will use crowdsourcing to analyze words and phrases that are being used by the masses in real time, and continuously update your language dictionary accordingly. This means a smarter keyboard and better predictions for you. Of course, the trade-off here is that your data will also be shared with the masses. If you don't mind paying this price, then you could be in for a significantly upgraded typing experience.

Second, is the new Smart Editor. This new feature allows Swype to analyze your sentences and the contexts in which you're typing, and offer suggestions to correct potential mistakes. The key here is its ability to analyze context, which makes Swype feel like it's actually "understanding" what you type, as you type it.

Swype Beta version 1.4 is available for free download from Swype's Web site. The Living Language feature alone looks like a good enough reason to try it out.

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About The Author

Jaymar Cabebe covers mobile apps and Windows software for CNET. While he may be a former host of the Android Atlas Weekly podcast, he doesn't hate iOS or Mac. Jaymar has worked in online media since 2007.