Swype is a virtual keyboard for touchscreen smartphones and tablets where one enters words by sliding a finger or stylus from the first letter of a word to its last letter.  I have been using the app since 2010 on all my touchscreen devices. In my opinion it is the best swiping finger gesture keyboard available.

What makes it stand out as the best you may ask?

Just like every hardware keyboard that has a Ctrl or Command key, Swype has Swype shortcut button button. Every gesture shortcut starts from this button.

The most useful gestures are similar to hardware keyboards and are universal and easy to remember.

A list of universal shortcut keys

A really nice touch to have the universal shortcuts keys.

Another great feature is the ability to punctuate a word such as CAPITALIZE all letters in a word, or Capitalize the first letter of a word, or remove all capitalization from a word. Simply use the Swype shortcut button + Shift button.

Swype up to shift to see punctuation choices

This option to CAPITALIZE words is unique.

I can also quickly search words that I have swiped by using Swype shortcut button+S, or find a map by using Swype shortcut button+M.

Given mobile phone screens have limited space, I don’t always have the numbers showing, but if I wanted to quickly show all the numbers, I swipe Swype shortcut button+t, and all the numbers are shown.

Numbers keyboard

Number keys get their own dedicated keyboard.

I can also quickly see the keyboard arrow keys by swiping

Swype shortcut button+?123.

What do you mean arrow keys?, there aren’t arrow keys on virtual keyboards! 

Think about a real keyboard! The arrow keys are very useful for moving the cursor to words in paragraphs rather than using the mouse. On a touchscreen I can select words, or lines, cut, copy and paste or everything, delete words, add spaces, drop lines, all very quickly without faffing with the highlight buttons.

Arrow keys

Arrow keys are great for moving around words.

It also has its own dedicated emoji button, which is accessible by holding down the Enter button.

Emoji icon button

Hold down the Enter button to access Emoji keyboard

This loads a dedicated emoji keyboard and there are hundreds of icons, all nicely categorized.

Emoji icon keyboard

Emoji icons get their own dedicated keyboard section.

The emoji icons also appear on the predictive text bar depending on the words typed on the keyboard.

Emoji icon cat

Emoji icons appear when keywords are written.

Not that I want to tap out a long message or blog with my thumbs (that is so old school), or swipe left or right handed on a large phone (could be difficult), or shift the keyboard from its default location at the bottom of the screen to the middle or top of the screen, but Swype have catered for every ones needs.

Keyboard type button

Hold down ?123 to access keyboard type menu.

Hold down the ?123 button…

keyboard type menu

Floating menu for selecting the keyboard type.

… and tap on the desired keyboard.

There is also a handwriting option, which appears to work no matter how crap your hand writing is, but in all fairness this would be daft to select, as it is terribly slow to write out each letter in a word.

handwriting screen

A dedicated ‘old school’ handwriting screen.

Something that works really well is their speech recognition. It has its own button on the keyboard in the shape of a microphone. If you have a lot of text you want written, tap this button and speak naturally and be ready to be amazed. It is not 100% perfect and there will be times you will have to edit the text, which is okay if it saves you a few minutes swiping or tapping out a long paragraph.

Dragon by Nuance

Check out the features page for all the extra stuff available. I love the fact I can save “new” words to my personal dictionary and have them synced to any device. These words can then be predicted when I am swiping.

Swype also offers keyboard themes, both paid and free. There are a great selection in the store to download.

There are tons of features that can be switched on or off in the options screen, too many to mention here. I highly recommend you download Swype and give it a try.

Download it from the Play store.



Mike is an Android man, researcher of all things good and bad, likes all wheeled sports, loves gadgets, enjoys all music, into home automation, likes Samsung, voted Brexit, enjoys talk radio, has a Brompton electric bike, drives a Tesla Model 3, is a hard worker, a passionate self-educator, crazy about drones, a gambler, blogger for over 20 years, enjoys gardening, Microsoft over Apple, an investor in stocks and cryptocurrency, a homeowner, a futurist, married for life, has family all over the world, a cat man do, loves beer, travel & life.

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