Nuance’s purchase of Swype, maker of an alternative keyboard for smartphones, is finally beginning to pay off with the introduction of Nuance’s Dragon voice recognition on the latest Swype Android app.
Swype’s software keyboard lets you swipe to type text, instead of hunting and pecking virtual keys. With its latest update, Swype has replaced Google’s built-in voice recognition for Nuance’s Dragon Dictate technology, which currently supports English, Spanish, Italian, German, and French.
Given that Dragon is the result of years voice recognition by Nuance, it will likely be far more accurate than Google’s solution. Dragon also powers the dictation capabilities in Apple’s Siri virtual assistant, which means that by installing Swype, Android users will have dictation capabilities similar to the iPhone 4S. (In my experience, Siri’s dictation has consistently been more accurate than Google’s.)
Aside from Dragon integration, the latest Swype version also lets you install new keyboard languages from inside its keyboard preferences. It also offers a better language modeling algorithm, which supposedly lets Swype better understand common phrases.
Earlier this week, Nuance announced that it will acquire its voice recognition competitor Vlingo, which could lead to some massive improvements in its dictation software down the line.
The updated app is available to all Swype users currently from within the app’s preference panel. You may already have Swype installed on your Android phone without even knowing it, but if not, you can download the Swype Beta software.