Views from Phanfare CEO and Co-founder Andrew Erlichson

Link Droid Day 6: Swype is great if you flour your finger

One of the major benefits of Android, according to its boosters, is that Android is open. So open in fact that you can even change the default text input method. My Droid X came with Swype, a new fangled way of entering text by drawing a path through the letters.

I have been using Swype for the last couple of days. Overall, I find it is faster to type text when that text contains lots of english words. But if the text contains lots of numbers or other abbreviations that Swype does not know, the regular keyboard is faster.

The other caveat is that Swype only really works well when your finger tip is very dry. My hands are pretty dry overall. I have no problem manipulating a pool cue without powder. But using my Droid X, I often found that my finger tip was too moist to easily draw paths between the letters. When you want to repeat a letter, for instance in the word “soon,” you are supposed to draw a little circle around the repeated letter. This action was hard to do accurately or quickly unless my fingers were very dry.

I never remembered it being difficult to slide my finger across the screen on the iPhone. After all, this i how you scroll. I got the iPhone 4 out and compared the devices next to each other, pretending to Swype on the iPhone. My finger slid across the glass much more easily on the iPhone. Maybe that is due to the special coating that Apple adds to make it easier to clean the glass?

Eager to see if getting my finger super-dry would make it easier to Swype on the Droid X, I dipped my finger tip in all purpose baking flour and then tried swype. Then it worked very well and was very easy to type English words pretty fast. Alas, I don’t carry flour and don’t like having flour particles on my screen, so this is probably not a good solution.

On my Droid X, due to the difficulty of swyping when my fingers are anything but bone dry, I would turn off Swype. On my iPhone 4, I think it would work better, but there I would not likely use it because on the iPhone, I can actually type on the regular keyboard. I am not great at typing on the Moto Android touch keyboard. Bottom line, Swype did not win my over. Not that Moto does have it as the default on the Droid X.

    Back to Phanfare blog home »

© 2007-8 Phanfare, Inc.