Sunday, April 8, 2012

HTC Trace vs Swype

It's old news that HTC has introduced a Swype-like keyboard which they called it the HTC Trace Keyboard. However, when I upgraded my HTC Sensation to Ice Cream Sandwich recently and I am too busy playing with Ice Cream Sandwich that I don't have time to reinstall the Swype keyboard (which is actually quite tedious to install compared to other Android app), I decided to give HTC Trace keyboard another try and I feel that the trace keyboard works better then it previously was.

I personally hated the Trace keyboard when I tried to use it the first time. The reason is simply because it SUCKS! It always give me the wrong words even though I've put more effort into tracing the right alphabets. And sometime when I tried to trace a word, it didn't register the swiping and treat it as a tap. So after some tries, I gave up and switch from Trace to Swype and I never look back after that.

So when I tried it after my ICS upgrade, I feel that the Trace keyboard has slightly improved. The tracing is much more accurate now and it almost get every words that I traced correctly. However, it will still register a swipe as a tap sometimes.

Even though the Trace Keyboard seems to have been improved, after using Swype for quite a long time, I could never go back to this Trace Keyboard. Here's some of the reason why I simply can't go back to the Trace Keyboard:-

  1. Better text prediction
    • One thing that really stands out about Swype is its great prediction. Sometimes you can simply scribble and it will still gives you the correct word.
  2. Choice to add in new word
    • Swype allows you to choose whether you want to add in a word that is not in your Swype Dictionary whereas Trace will automatically add in all the new words that does not exists in your dictionary even when you knew you will not be using this word ever again in your whole life.
  3. Gestures support
    • This is what I love most about Swype. If you can't live without your usual Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V or Ctrl+A then you will love the Swype gestures as it allows you to do these with some simple and familiar gestures. Simply swipe from the Swype icon on the bottom left of the keyboard to the character A (to select all), C (to copy the current selected text) or V (to paste the copied text). This is the best way to copy paste any text in your phone (at least in my opinion as it is way better then the usual copy paste in Android).
But using Swype in your ICS phone also means it will be more difficult to switch from typing/swiping to the new Google Voice Typing input that comes with ICS. This is because Swype is using Nuance voice-to-text instead of the Google's Voice Typing. Thus, if you wish to use the Google's Voice Typing feature, you will have to switch your input method back to the original keyboard.

So here you go, the comparison between the HTC Trace in ICS and the Swype keyboard. If you have any better keyboard to recommend, please leave a comment.