Swype vs iPhone: Typing Speed Test


Do you remember using T9 Predictive Text on your first cellphone (2.5 billion phones have been shipped with T9 Predictive Text)? We all do! The creator of T9 has created an all new typing system called Swype. It’s debut is on the Samsung Omnia II (Windows Mobile, ouch) and instead of physically pressing down on the keyboard, you just swipe your finger over a combination of keys.

Below is a video comparing “Swypeing” vs typing with the iPhone keyboard. Watch the video below to see the winner:

While the video does make it clear that the Swype system “beat” the iPhone typist, there are a couple things to note. The Swype user seemed to be going at veteran speeds, while the iPhone typist looked like a complete iPhone n00b. I typed the exact same paragraph out for comparisons sake, and I demolished the Swype interface by the time the video reached the 46 second mark with 100% accuracy. πŸ˜‰

Try it for yourself! Press play above, wait for the guy to say “Go”, then type out the following paragraph:

Hi, this is Swype. A new way to type. Just make a reasonable effort to trace through the word and Swype will do the rest.

How did you do?

Nevertheless, Swype is a very interesting and unique typing concept! I can see this catching on and being widely used everywhere, with limitations (it’ll be coming to Android in early 2010). There is a core group of business suits that can’t relent from their physical QWERTY keyboards. iPhone users who type frequently will realize their typing is actually faster than Swype. It will be a core group of users who want to type “different”.

What do you think? Will Swype take the mobile world over?



  • Looks inefficient. I love T9, and missed it dearly when on my iPhone. Now that I've downgraded back to a 'conventional' cell phone, I can proceed to text one handed again <3 Hell yeah to the dirty people. The guy operating the iPhone is slow as hell by the way.

  • ML

    Have you not played with WritingPad when it was released over a year ago on iPhone?

    Old “news”.

  • Haven't checked out WritingPad interestingly enough. I can smell Swype contacting WritingPad fairly soon.

    Swype is new and is going to be implemented on Android phones and others as a standard way for typing. WritingPad is identical (it's a standalone app) but it's nowhere near the level of attention Swype is going to get.

    Old “news” to you, but this is new “news” to us. πŸ˜‰

  • ML

    I am not sure whether it was the T9's creator (Tegic, now part of Nuance Communications) that came up with and/or patented the input method, but IBM has demonstrated the same functionality back in 2004, if not earlier:… (SHARK Shorthand)

    Swype was showcased over a year ago (…) by the way.

    It might be Swype getting a call from IBM, actually πŸ™‚ In any case, it's a great input method and I really enjoyed WritingPad back when it was released.

    Now, typing is as fast or faster using iPhone's built-in keyboard. However, gestures allow you to exert less energy and demand less concentration. Once you get used to them, it's much easier to input using something like Swype vs. the old and trusted one-character-at-a-time method.

    I smell someone making a mod for iPhone, just like a 5-row keyboard and other keyboard mods out there.


  • Very interesting stuff. It would be interesting to see if there are any
    legality issues with Swype.

    I think the next best typing method is for Apple to insert a tiny chip into
    our brains–so the iPhone can just automatically type what I'm thinking and
    it'll magically show up on the screen. That's the feature I'm looking
    forward to in the next iPhone, hopefully! πŸ™‚

  • Dusty

    Looks not bad. The guy on the iPhone is quite slow though lol

  • roadcarver

    I tried and I beat it even with typing errors which I had to backspace a few times. Nice concept though. Mind you I'm not the best iphone typist as I have large fingers.

  • That was the same point I was trying to make. Great concept but skewed
    video comparison.

  • Adam

    It took me 40 seconds on the iPhone (and that included 2 mistakes that I had to “fix”).

  • Adam

    It took me 40 seconds on the iPhone (and that included 2 mistakes that I had to “fix”).

  • I really don't like the iPhone keyboard. I think my fingers are too big πŸ™

  • bcb

    a similar iphone app called Shapewriter is already in the App Store

  • lorim97

    I bought SlideIT keyboard a few months ago, it is perfect.

  • lorim97

    I bought SlideIT keyboard a few months ago, it is perfect.

  • Lordohio

    Swype has a much easier learning curve. When I type normally on a touch screen it cmoes iut lkke thhid while swype worked pretty intuitively.
    I’ll stick to my physical keyboard though, that I can do in 46 seconds.

  • Dsewell

    Having just gotten Swype on my android last night and noticing this was full of Iphones trying this, i tryed it too. I got to the 46 second mark by the time i was done, with zero mistakes. While this is certainly not the fastest time, i literally have been using swype since last night, so with less than a day of using it, i was already up to par with fast iphone typers.

  • I used SwiftKey and took 40 seconds the first time I tried. Took 10 seconds in the second attempt(since it tries to correct the current word and predict the next word).