A Swype History: NOT a how can I get it thread


Silver Member
Dec 9, 2009
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Seattle, Washington
Purely for the purpose of clarifying some misconceptions about Swype, I offer the following history of its availability on the Android platform. Just to be clear, I have no interest in promoting pirated distribution of the software. This is solely intended to eliminate confusion about the entire issue.

If the mods feel this is inappropriate, my apologies. Feel free to close it or eliminate it.

Swype has never sold their product to end-users and their current position is that it is not for sale to end users, either through the Google Market or through any other channel for other (non-Android) devices.

Their business plan has always been to sell their software to manufacturers (including but not limited to phone manufacturers) and/or to carriers (e.g. T-Mobile) to bundle with the devices they sell. So far they have made several such deals with companies like Samsung (for the Omnia II) and T-Mobile to bundle with a variety of the phones they sell.

Late in 2009 a leaked version of Swype for Android devices began to make the rounds on the Internet. It was apparently an evaluation copy that was set to expire in, as I recall, early March 2010. About the time the "pirate" version was expiring on many people's devices, Swype announced a limited Beta program that users could sign up for. The beta version has a number of significant differences from the earlier pirated version. Most notably in terms of how to edit text that has been entered.

The procedure involved signing up with Swype, receiving email that detailed the download procedure, and instructions for installing the software. In the first day or so of the beta distribution, a version of the private beta was leaked (build #5612.) Some people (myself included) received that version. However, within a day or so a revised version (#5652) was made available to "legal" beta testers. Many of those with build #5612 replaced it with the #5652 release (myself included.)

Within a few days, the response to the beta signup was so overwhelming that Swype cut off access to the legal version of the beta. That remains the case as of today.

Apparently, there were some bugs in the 5612 release that are fixed in the 5652 release. Ironically, though, there is an annoying bug in the 5652 release that requires Swype to be re-enabled whenever the device is powered off/on. (This involves switching to another input method and then back to Swype.) It occurs because when the android o/s boots, it has not fully completed its housekeeping before Swype tries to initialize, causing Swype to shut down and throw an error message. So far Swype has not updated the beta version to eliminate the problem.

As far as I know, there are no pirated versions of the 5652 (true beta) version available on the internet. The downloads from other sources are, I believe, the 5612 version. Likewise, versions with color skins are based on the 5612 version.

A number of "legal" beta testers have run into problems when they change phones since the esl of the device is registered with Swype. For those folks, Swype will extend another "invitation" to "rejoin" the beta group. Same is true for those who, for one reason or another, have uninstalled Swype and need another copy. In all such cases, the beta testers get 5652. If this applies to anyone here, an email to Swype will solve your problem.

Finally, in the FAQ category are the following:

() Will Swype sell their software to end-users? Not determined at this time but probably yes. This involves a major change in their business model and support burden and they aren't committing themselves. (For those who believe they'd be crazy not to sell the software through the Market, suffice to say that there is a strong counterargument that doesn't involve supporting vast numbers of users who cannot be bothered to read the documentation or use the tutorial provided with the software.)

() What will happen to "legal" beta testers when the beta program ends? No one knows. Presumably the current "legal" (and probably "pirated") versions of Swype are time-limited and will expire at some point. It's likely, however, that Swype will make some accommodation for those who have participated in the beta test (legally) even if they decide not to sell more broadly to end-users.

() Will Swype support "speech to text" in their keyboard. Again, no one knows. Since this is not a generally available feature to those with non-2.1 Android devices, it's unclear what Swype will decide to do. It's very likely, though, that such a feature will be added to Swype just as it has been added to some other third party input methods (e.g. HTC-ime).