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Droid X, Multitouch Keyboard, and Swype Beta

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So Motorola, Verizon, and Google announced yesterday that the Droid X will be coming out next month, and units have been pre-released to the media.

The Droid X looks impressive—faster processer, 8MP camera, HDMI output port, Adobe Flash, and a bunch of other shiny features. It also has a 4.3-inch screen (compared to the Droid's 3.7-inch). Thing is, I actually prefer the smaller profile of my Droid. My hands and fingers are small, and I don't like the idea of possibly having to strain to single-hand commands. Also, the Droid X doesn't have a physical keyboard, which an hour ago was a definite deal breaker for me. But now I'm less adament. Why the sudden position wobbling, you ask?

Okay, the lovely thing about Android being open source is the resultant thriving Android tech-geek community. As soon as something new comes out, there's hackers yoinking and modifying it for the masses. (Mwa ha ha haa!) So, courtesy Droid Life, I downloaded the Droid X's multitouch virtual keyboard and also the beta Swype virtual keyboard to my Droid. I installed the multitouch keyboard first and immediately went "shiny, yay!" It's slicker and faster than the default Android keyboard, and I found it to be noticeably more accurate.

And then I installed Swype.

OMG! Swype rocks beyond the telling of it! Within a minute (most of which was spent stepping through the brief tutorial) I was doubling my typing speed on my Droid. Doubling! I am not exaggerating. I think it's quite possible that I'll be able to get 40WPM+ using Swype, something I didn't believe was possible on a virtual keyboard. And Swype's out-of-the-box dictionary is impressively extensive. While it didn't know "solipsist," it did know "onomatopoeia." And it's incredibly easy and intuitive to add new vocabulary words to its database.

One of the lingering issues I had with my Droid was that I found the virtual keyboard too slow and typo-prone to write with. Wasn't a biggie because of the slide-out physical keyboard. But now I have two superior virtual keyboard options, and if Swype continues to be as cool as my initial experience with it indicates, I may actually find that the absence of a physical keyboard is not a deal breaker whenever I decide to upgrade my Droid (which I'm in no hurry to do)...assuming the new phone has Swype on it.
Tags: ,
I'm feeling:
geeky geeky
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On June 24th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC), yukinooruoni commented:
You are SUCH a nerd :D It is teh awesome :D
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On June 24th, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
*bows* Droooooid.
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On June 25th, 2010 01:45 am (UTC), amokk replied:
All I can ever think of is the fine print on the comercials. "Droid is a registered trademark of Lucas Film blah blah blah" This is not the Droid you are looking for.
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On June 24th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC), bevlovesbooks commented:
I am so very happy with my Droid as well. I think the only real drawback is the lack of Adobe Flash support. I will definitely give Swype and the virtual keyboard a try. I've been waffling on whether to try a new onboard keyboard and you convinced me.

Thanks. Hope you're not drowning in D*Con stuff yet.
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On June 24th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC), peadarog replied:
Swype is absolutely brilliant. Plus there are a lot of really cool things it can do when you become more of a superuser with it.

As for flash... you could always root...
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On June 24th, 2010 11:03 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
I'm really impressed by the innovativeness of Swype. It's a bona fide fresh take on the Qwerty interface, and it really works! The programmers who designed the Swype algorithm deserve major snaps.
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On June 25th, 2010 06:53 am (UTC), peadarog replied:
I don't think they were the first to come up with this idea -- there's another one called "Shapewriter" that I haven't tried, but yeah, the algorithm is so forgiving of mistakes.
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On June 24th, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Lemme know how you like Swype! I'm totally loving it. Also, word on the street is that Flash capability will be coming to Droids later this summer, along with the OTA Android 2.2 upgrade.
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On June 30th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC), stormsewer commented:
So, I read your Hugo-nominated story, and I really liked it. (My thoughts on the nominations are over here.) I just ordered your book, too!
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On July 1st, 2010 12:37 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm delighted you liked "Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest," and I very much hope you enjoy Returning My Sister's Face!
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