Swype vs SwiftKey

Swype keyboard is now available from the Android store. After a few minutes of testing, I bought it for the introductory price, even though I already have SwiftKey. I thought I’d explain why. I want capitalization fixed automatically. However, with that feature on, SwiftKey insists on capitalizing ‘Web’ everywhere, no matter how many times I delete the capitalized word from the dictionary. Swype doesn’t. Similarly for my name, which I don’t capitalize unless it’s at the start of a sentence.


At the weekend I decided to give in and get a USB keyboard. I went to Fry’s, hoping to find something suitable, but fearing that all they’d have would be Microsoft keyboards. I know Microsoft’s hardware quality is better than their software quality, and their keyboards are definitely much better than the trash you typically get with a new PC. They are also to be commended for providing a reasonable ergonomic layout at an affordable price.


The excitement started a week or two ago when I discovered that my ThinkPad laptop’s internal cooling fan had stopped working. As soon as I did something graphically intense for more than a minute or two, the system would overheat and perform an emergency shutdown. Fortunately, I have a backup laptop. Unfortunately, the backup ThinkPad laptop had also developed a fault. The fluorescent backlight for the display was failing. The screen was a curious reddish-purple color, and very dim—unless I turned the brightness up, in which case the backlight stopped working entirely, and everything went black.