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Swype hits Android 4.0 with Dragon Go! integration

Nuance added support for Ice Cream Sandwich, or Android 4.0, in the latest beta of its Swype software keyboard on Thursday. The new version has a limited audience base since so few handsets and tablets currently run Google’s(s goog) most recent operating system, but Swype is getting ready for devices as they gain the update to Android 4.0. And Swype now includes Dragon Go! for quick voice searches.

Although I’m not a regular Swype user, I installed the beta on my Galaxy Nexus smartphone and used it for several emails this afternoon. Because you can swipe keys with a single finger with Swype, you can often type faster than on a standard software keyboard: you trace your words and only lift a finger for the space between words. There’s also a word suggestion feature. Even though I haven’t used Swype for a few months, I was quickly inputting text with this new version.

Nuance(s nuan) also includes integrated support for Dragon Go! in this beta version of Swype. Dragon Go! is a free app in the Android Market that offers Siri-like voice search functionality. You can tap-and-hold the Dragon Go! button and ask, for example, “What is the square root of pi?” and Dragon Go! will return the answer from Wolfram Alpha. Searches for movie times and locations return results from Fandango, and there are several other search functions included. Just tapping the button activates the voice input function, which I found to be very accurate.

Nuance says that Dragon Go! needs to be installed for the search functionality to work, but the Android Market won’t allow me to install the app to my Galaxy Nexus. It’s likely a problem unique to me as I’m running a custom ROM and my handset is from the U.K.; Dragon Go! is available on U.S. Android handsets.

10 Responses to “Swype hits Android 4.0 with Dragon Go! integration”

  1. Paul Usiskin

    I have been trying to discover which Android Tablets Swype is preloaded onto, because like you I use it on my smartphone – it came with it and asked me if I wanted to use it and I tried it out and now make all my notes on my phone and all my texts using Swype. I contacted Nuance/Swype by phone and e-mail in the USA and they told me that Swype is not sold as a standalone product but sold preloaded onto Tablets, but so far have not told me which Tablets. Can you help?

  2. Patrick Kajirian

    I love Swype and I’ve used it religiously prior to switching to the Galaxy Nexus. I’m excited to see the beta finally available for Android 4.0 but I’m a little frustrated that the Dragon Go button replaces Android’s native voice dictation feature. I wish there was an option to specify the voice engine of your preference…