Swype (beta) Now Available for Android Phones

Android welcomes one of its most awaited apps:  Swype.  The app may just introduce the slow phase-out of tap-tap-typing and make typing on your Android-capable phone faster the Swype way.

It’s hard to not appreciate how awesome Swype is and what it can do to revolutionize text messaging and emailing.  Imagine using this app on, say, a Nokia C7 or a Samsung Galaxy Tab.  Sure, you may want to type your message the classic way, but if you feel like tracing and composing with one finger, it’ll feel like you’re waving a baton on your phone’s touchscreen.

That was for Swyping the word “quick,” by the way.

How to get it? First, check and see if your Android baby meets Swype’s requirements.  Then click your way to Swype’s website, register for a beta version, and open the emailed link via your Android device to download the app.

Swype’s memory footprint, a little under 1 mb, shouldn’t hog much of your phone’s storage.  The site also claims there is almost no learning curve as the movements needed takes on a supremely natural feel.  And while typing on a computer keyboard should take 50-60 wpm, Swype said using the swypey method can make your fingers spew out 40 wpm (versus the classic tap-tap’s 35 wpm).

Among the (present) compatible Android phones are Motorola i1, Motorola CliqXT, Motorola Droid X, Samsung Omnia II, myTouch 3G, myTouch 4G, HTC HD2, Huawei Comet, Nokia C7, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy Tab.  To check if your Android phone is happy and ready to receive Swype, check out their website.  And if you think you’re happy and ready to download Swype, check out their tutorial video on how to use it.

(Literally) Shoot Around You with 360 Panorama

It took the sudden rise of the Philippine football team Azkals in the sport and TJ Manotoc’s–@tjmanotoc on Twitter–impeccable sports reporting to bring to our attention the app 360 Panorama.  He uploaded on Twitter beautiful 360degree views of the football stadium (and the roaring fans) and it felt quite right to check this app out.

The current price alone was encouraging: $0.99 3.1 launch sale (for a limited time only), 66% off from the regular price.   Startup screen brings you directly to a curved grid which prompts you to point your iPhone’s camera to the starting point of your (future) panoramic masterpiece and click Start Capture start shooting automatically.  Point your iPhone’s camera to parts of the panorama you want completed (it would be an excellent idea if you stand/sit in one fixed point and just rotate your own self around until you complete your desired panorama range).

On the Settings page one can opt to view the panorama on a 360 view or stereographic view.  Tinker with the background andchoose whether you want it white or black.  I personally prefer black.  Better viewing experience.

What I like about this app:

  • automatic shooting: no need to click a shutter button each time you want to take the next picture. Point your device to another part of the scene and it ‘reveals’ on the screen that scene
  • automatic stitching: the most painful part of panoramic shooting is the stitching part… and this app saves you all that trouble
  • 360-degree photo review: swipe your results left to right and you see your panorama come to life near-3D
  • sharing options: one can choose to send the photo via email or upload on Twitter

What this app could benefit from:

  • $0.99 forever!

360 Panorama is simple, intuitive, and fun to use for every shooting project.  Gives one reason (and leaves one with absolutely no excuse) to go on several vacations and do panorama-tripping.

And since it was so unfortunate for me to have only discovered this recently after doing several trips, below is a panoramic shot of my workplace.  Not much.  Halong Bay in Vietnam would have been a better sample shot.

Price: $0.99
Weight: 1.1 MB
Updated: 18 December 2010
Version: 3.1
Compatible with: iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch (4th Gen), iPhone 4.  Needs iOS 4.0 up

Customer Ratings (iTunes): 4 out of 5 smileys

iSPeak App says: 4 out of 5 smileys