Nuance, maker of Dragon Dictation, buys Swype for $102.5 million

Daniel Bader

October 7, 2011 3:47 pm

We don’t usually report on the big startup deals of the day, but this one may affect the average Android user in the long term. Nuance, creators of the Dragon line of voice recognition software, is purchasing virtual keyboard company Swype for $102.5 million US. The deal brings together two of the most innovative software companies of our time, both of whom are working on making mobile input more tolerable.

Swype is a swipe-based virtual keyboard that was started in 2008 by Cliff Kushler, the part-inventor of the famous T9 text input. It debuted on Windows Mobile devices, but has grown largely due to Android’s ability to load multiple keyboards and effortlessly switch between them. It is estimated to be pre-installed on nearly 50% of all new Android devices. And while it isn’t available through the Marketplace, it can be obtained in beta form for free through their website.

It’s not known if the acquisition will lead to changes down the line for Swype, or incorporation with Nuance’s voice recognition software, but there is plenty of potential for improvement in Android’s stock inputs. We are big fans of Swype here, and are happy to see them find success.

Do you use Swype on your Android phone? Let us know in the comments.

Source: AllThingsD (2)

  • crimsona

    Nuance has the FlexT9 keyboard in market (which includes a trace keyboard). Swype as a standalone might disappear forever.

    Nuance bought Shapewriter last year, and that fell off the map.

    I have SwiftKey from the GetJar free app of the day, but use Swype beta as my main keyboard. It was nice knowing you Swype.

  • Nick

    Yes, yes I do. And I love it

  • Brandon

    Was so weery to try out Swype when I picked up my GalaxyS , its seriously the only thing keeping me on Android, Samsung Android for that matter, after mastering it I wouldn’t want to type any other way!!!! What a breeeeeze !

  • arcticsushi

    God gave me wide fingers so texting on QWERTY keyboards was always a huge pain. I love my Swype. Got my mother a Samsung Gio and she loves Swype just as much now also.

  • jr67

    Doesn’t Nuance hold the patents for the T9 keyboard? Sort of a home coming then.

  • Jay

    swype is one of the many reasons why android trumps iphone

  • Bill

    Man, this is just getting ridiculous. I’ve tried swype and do like it, but there are numerous alternatives on the market that just as good a job. 102 million…really?? Memories of the tech stock crash are coming back. These companies need to get a grip with reality or it will happen all over again

  • Downhill Dude

    I’ve tried some of the Swype wannabees, and they just don’t cut it.

    I even use Swype of my Tab 10.1. There just isn’t anything that fast (except the full size keyboard).

    Can’t live without Swype!

    • Joe

      according to YOU the other apps don’t cut it. Personally I’ve found other apps that do cut it – much better and faster.

  • Jerrik

    I only know how to text and search using Swype. I have tried the regular keyboard on my Galaxy S2 one time after a year of using Swype on my Galaxy S and Atrix, and I can’t use the regular keyboard anymore. I’m so used to using Swype that if a phone doesn’t have the feature, I will not purchase it, no matter how good the phone is.

  • Steven Schwartz

    I have been using swype for almost 2 years now since they started. I cannot seriously go back to any other keyboard on a touch screen phone and even learned to hate my BB bold keyboard. I also get everyone I know with a android who does not have it pre installed to grab the beta. I also use it to mock my friends with fruity phones.

  • TeknoBug

    I use SlideIT, better than Swype in its current state. The old Swype (over a year ago) was good but it sucks now.

  • David

    LOL I Love Swype , I was sad that it didn,t come on my xperia pro and did some research and downloaded it it,s the best keyboard hands down. that swift key and that other wanna be slide it suck compared to swype

    • TeknoBug

      SlideIT is a wannabe? SlideIT came out in 2007, didn’t Swype come out in 2008? :)

  • Richard

    Wouldn’t go without it, way to accurate and fast. Version installed on GSII is way Better than the GSI. Swype is the reason i bought android over Iphone in the first place. Couldn’t be happier after seeing apple continue there brick for another who knows how long.

  • Pahech

    Nuance has a long history of acquiring other companies. Swype is just one of many apparently.

  • icyhotonmynuts

    I dont use Swype. Smart Keyboard Pro is what I prefer on my SGSII. I tried it and it didn’t immediately hit me as a way I’d like to write. Perhaps some day I’ll give it another go, but the first impression was a dull one.

  • Greedy

    I was skeptical of Swype at first, but now I LOVE it! I love being able to operate my phone with one hand, and if I do need to tap for some reason, I find it a great keyboard in that way as well.

    If Nuance can add to the feature set, great, as long as they don’t mess with the layout and feature set too much!

  • BBC

    swype is totally awesome! I could never go back to the regular keyboard. =)