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Swype (the unofficial version) comes to the iPhone

Nearly every time I see Swype CEO Mike McSherry, I ask him a simple question: When will the popular mobile text-input system arrive on the iPhone? He shrugs it off, noting that they’ve actually built a fully-functional version of the Swype keypad for Apple iOS devices. But it won’t work until Apple opens up its keypad APIs.

“As it stands now, it’s only a self-contained app that works well for demos but not much more,” McSherry tells GeekWire.

Well, some hackers aren’t waiting around any longer. Greg Kumparak at MobileCrunch notes that developer Andrew Liu has come up with a way to port Swype to iOS devices.

However, it is lacking several key features, including the blue tracer line which Android phone users have grown accustomed to. Kumparak also notes that the release is rather buggy (I guess that’s what you get on a version not released by the actual company).

McSherry said that he saw Liu’s unofficial release of Swype, and he’s still trying to make sense of it.

“I don’t know but it appears he wrote some of his own code to emulate a Swype-like experience and is using our brand,” he said.  “I don’t know if this is a ‘hacked’ version of Swype or not….I’m thinking not.”

Cliff Kushler, left, and Mike McSherry of Swype

Nonetheless, McSherry notes that I am not the only one interested in learning about Swype for the iPhone. And perhaps Liu’s unofficial release simply indicates the desire to bring it to the iPhone and iPad.

“The interest shown in Swype for iOS is great to see,” said McSherry. “We’ve been preloaded on over 50 million Android devices in last 18 months. We believe it will continue to grow in relevance for all platforms.”

Swype, which allows mobile device users to input text with a Swype of a finger, scored $3.5 million from Ignition Partners and others in March. It has raised about $11.5 million to date.

Previously on GeekWire:  “Swype 3.0 adds predictive tap to mobile input technology”


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