Gesture input software maker Swype now supports Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, operating system and has been integrated with Nuance Communications' (NASDAQ:NUAN) Dragon Go! Android application.
Swype makes a predictive text application that allows users to "write" words on Android smartphones' virtual keyboards by swiping their fingers from letter to letter rather than tapping the virtual keys. The startup was acquired by speech-recognition software maker Nuance for $102.5 million.
U.S. users can tap the "Dragon" key to use the Dragon dictations software, and press and hold the Dragon key to launch Dragon Go, the Android mobile app that lets users access and search Websites and apps by speaking into their phones.
Websites that are voice-enabled by Go include AccuWeather, Ask.com, Bing, Dictionary.com, ESPN, Facebook, Fandango, Last.fm, LiveNation, Milo.com, OpenTable, Pandora, Rotten Tomatoes, Spotify, Twitter, Wikipedia, Wolfram|Alpha, Yelp, YouTube and many others.
Swype said the upgrade also boasts better prediction accuracy in several languages, along with bug fixes that impinged the app's advanced language modeling and language dictionaries. Swype also said it re-enabled the emoticon key in Short Message Service (SMS) apps.
Swype warned that beta users may come across a few "hard-to-find bugs" in the update.
Indeed, the ICS build is raw enough that Swype has asked users to disable ICS' built-in spell-checker because Swype's own dictionary is stored separately from the ICS spell-checking dictionary.
"Therefore, words you add to the Swype dictionary will still show up as 'misspellings' according to the spell-checker," Swype explained in its blog post. "This produces a poor user experience. "
Still, the software maker is encouraging users to test the preliminary ICS support on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone, which is currently the only phone that supports ICS.
Also, owing to incompatibilities between Japanese and non-Japanese builds, Swype said it will no longer be offering Japanese through language downloads.
Swype said users who want Japanese language support will need to uninstall the current version of Swype and download the new English- and Japanese-only version available through the Swype installer.