Swype alternative

Having found Swype extremely useful on my HTC Touch 3G ‘Jade’, I thought I would try it out on my aging but excellent Dell Axim 51v (which in some ways is still ahead of its time). The 51v has lasted well beyond its support by Dell, and has been the subject of many a hardware and software hack to keep it up to date, from the cookup and bake of an Android OS to the integration of half a motherboard.

Yesterday I upgraded my Axim 51v from the pathetically inadequate Windows Mobile 5, to a well baked Windows 6.5 ROM. Aside from the fact that the 51v now looks and performs far better than with WinM5, I was now able to try out Swype. Unfortunately, neither Swype 2.0 VGA nor 3.9 VGA would run well. Both installed perfectly, and I was able to use them, but the response time was unusably slow; the stylus trail took several seconds to draw instead of being instant, and input crawled to a halt. The qVGA version installed but would not display properly (unsurprisingly), though from what I could see the stylus trail was being drawn near instantly.

Searching around the place, I turned up SlideIt. This works perfectly on my 51v, and although it doesn’t seem as error resistant as Swype (needs more algorithms, or something), it still performs very well. And for US$7.99 it’s certainly cheap enough to try out and discard if you don’t like it.