Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.
Slide-type mobile keyboard app Swype has just become even more powerful due to the introduction of Swype Living Language, which uses a crowdsourcing model to analyse new words and automatically update its internal dictionary.
The new feature means that users can now opt-in to share and receive both words and phrases that are becoming popular or commonplace in real-time. The internal dictionary should therefore always be up-to-date and offer word suggestions which are both sensible and in keeping with modern pop culture. Likewise, if you’re writing out a piece of slang or acronym often which is often used by other people, the keyboard will be less likely to try and correct it or flag it as a mistake.
Swype Living Language seems like an obvious step for a keyboard on modern mobile devices. The app, which is currently available on Android and Symbian but not iOS or Windows Phone, has found both critical and commercial success due to its slide-to-type style of text input. Rather than tapping letters individually, users simply press on the screen once and travel to every letter in the word or phrase before releasing. The app then does the rest, increasing most people’s typing speed considerably.
Swype has also been updated to include Smart Editor, which looks at sentences as a whole and marks any potential mistakes based on contextual analysis. This, we presume, should include not only spelling but also grammar and meaning, similar to the spelling/grammar function used by a conventional word processor.
The dictation capabilities have also been updated in Swype to include Dragon Dictation in the following languages: Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Malay, Romanian, Slovak, Turkish, Thai, Vietnamese, and Ukranian.
Android users can download the Swype update, which is currently in beta, by going to beta.swype.com.
Nuance has also announced a multi-year collaboration with ZTE today, which will bring the former’s expertise in voice recognition to a number of new ZTE Android devices. The partnership will result in a set of mobile apps and devices “that foster a more natural, human interaction between people and their ZTE phone” in more than 25 different languages.
One of those is ZTE’s new Car Mode app, which is being unveiled at CES 2013. It uses Nuance’s voice capabilities to give people hands-free, but perhaps more importantly eyes-free access to basic smartphone functionality such as making calls, reading text messages or playing music.
ZTE says no network or data connection is required. Users simply switch over to Car Mode using a customiseable wake-up word, before giving out various vocal commands while driving. Car Mode also announces incoming callers and reads out messages using Nuance’s text-to-speech functionality, and can block incoming calls or notifications using a basic “do not disturb” mode.
The Car Mode application will be pre-loaded on ZTE Android devices in 2013.
Click here for more of our CES 2013 coverage.
Image Credit: Greeblie/Flickr
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