The folks at Nuance confirmed that their direct-to-consumer app Swype (the keyboard) was going out-of-business on February 20th, 2018. To be clear – the company that made Swype wasn’t quitting altogether right there and then, they’d just no longer be updating their Swype keyboard apps for consumers. Nuance said they’d be continuing to develop their tech for other parts of the technology universe, especially for AI.
Artificial Intelligence solutions for sale directly to businesses – that’s what Nuance said they’d be all about through the future. This note came as more of a “oh by the way” than a “this is a major event” sort of announcement. For those following the mobile tech landscape for the past decade, it comes as a sort of turning of the tide.
“Nuance will no longer be updating the Swype+Dragon keyboard for Android. We’re sorry to leave the direct-to-consumer keyboard business, but this change is necessary to allow us to concentrate on developing our AI solutions for sale directly to businesses.”
The Swype keyboard was a symbol of individuality for a mobile device user. Those that wanted options in their keyboard were those that used their smartphone a LOT. Swype was made for users that focused deeply on their smartphone and/or tablet experience.
But we’re moving toward a model in which the hardware manufacturer makes a complete experience, one which the end user doesn’t feel the need to modify. The options to modify the end experience is still in the mix, but there’s far less reason to go the extra mile. The end of updates to Swype comes as rooting Android and jailbreaking iOS goes out of vogue, and the community elements, the 3rd-party groups that chat about mobile devices for fun, all go out the door.
Swype will no longer be updated for Android or iOS, but the apps will remain available, for now. We do not yet know whether the apps will remain available in app stores through the future. Grab em while you can, if you wish!