Typing on a tablet is about to get a whole lot easier.
Swype has just unveiled its long-awaited tablet keyboard for Android. The keyboard brings the same slide-to-type functionality many of us have grown to love on our Android phones: Instead of tapping individual keys, you simply trace your finger along from one key to the next -- and Swype figures out what you're trying to say.
I've spent some time checking out the Swype tablet app over the past 24 hours, and let me tell you: If you have a Honeycomb device, you're definitely going to want this. The Swype Honeycomb experience is just as sweet as its smartphone counterpart; if anything, it may actually be an even more useful upgrade, given the wide reach of keys on a landscape tablet and the practical challenge that can pose.
Unlike the stock Honeycomb keyboard, Swype's tablet keyboard gives you a host of long-press options, too: You can long-press the top row of keys to get numbers, for example, or long-press other keys to get easy access to symbols and punctuation.
Swype's Honeycomb creation offers a numeric keypad-style configuration as well -- something the stock keyboard is oddly lacking.
In addition to the familiar slide-to-type function, Swype's latest update also adds word correction for tap-to-type, giving you full-featured options for whichever style you prefer at any given moment. All in all, this app pretty much has everything you could want in an Android keyboard.
UPDATE: The Swype crew just saw this story and alerted me to an additional new feature I had overlooked: The Swype Honeycomb keyboard can be resized and moved around the screen, allowing you to create a smaller setup that's situated more to the left or right of your display. Not too shabby.
You can download the Swype 3.0 beta for free at Swype's website. Since the program is technically still in pre-release, it isn't available in the Android Market; you'll have to register with Swype as a beta user in order to gain access.
The latest beta also works on smartphones, by the way, so long as your phone didn't come with Swype pre-installed.
Article copyright 2011 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.