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Android phone takes a Swype at fast text input

Feb 11, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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T-Mobile has introduced a third version of its HTC-manufactured MyTouch 3G Android phone. The MyTouch 3G 3.5mm features more memory, a 3.5mm jack, an updated music player, and the Swype text-input software, which enables input via swiping motions across an onscreen keyboard, says T-Mobile.

Like the MyTouch 3G Fender Limited Edition announced last month, the new "MyTouch 3G 3.5mm" adds a 3.5mm jack, a major omission from the original MyTouch 3G. It also greatly expands memory to an 8GB card, although that's half what the music-oriented Fender version offers.


The new MyTouch 3G 3.5mm

Aside from these changes and new software, the three versions of the mid-range, HTC-manufactured phone appear to be essentially the same. Standard features include 3G support, a 3.2-inch, 320 x 480 touchscreen, 3.2-megapixel camera, accelerometers, and Bluetooth 2.0.


Original MyTouch 3G

In addition to an enhanced music player, the key software upgrade for the MyTouch 3G 3.5mm is the Swype virtual keyboard technology, which is said to permit text input at over 50 words per minute via continuous finger or stylus motions. As illustrated below, Swype's software is conceptually simple, but reportedly took more than four years to develop.


Here, Swype is being used to type the word "quick"

To enter a word, a user slides a finger or stylus from letter to letter, passing through each required letter as well as others that are "in the way," and lifting only when the word is completed. Via its patented predictive technology, Swype rejects extraneous letters, and then types the intended word onscreen, the company says.

The MyTouch 3G continues to offer Google Search By Voice, Google Maps, YouTube, Picasa, and access to Android Market, says T-Mobile. Homescreen customization and other MyTouch 3G UI touches also remain.

Stated Mike McSherry, CEO of Swype, "Launching on the Android platform is a major milestone for Swype as we continue to expand to new touch-screen devices and platforms."

Availability

The MyTouch 3G 3.5mm is now available at $150 with a new two-year contract and a qualifying voice and data plan, says T-Mobile. More information on the upgraded MyTouch 3G should be at this T-Mobile page here.

An additional story on the phone in our sister publication, eWEEK, may be found here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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