Swype Keyboard Coming to iOS Devices Soon?

Swype virtual keyboard technology not only speeds up the process of typing on a mobile device, it holds the Guinness World Record for fastest time to type a text message. Although the software is now available on Google Play for Android devices, the feature never made it into an official iOS release.

Swype is owned by Nuance, whose voice recognition technology has been incorporated into the Siri personal assistant. Now word has it that Apple has communicated with Swype, according to a thread on Reddit from Nuance Vice President of Swype Aaron Sheedy. The revelation came in the following exchange:

leontes: I was curious as to whether you've ever had any contact with Apple. Any conversations to see if they might have been interested in licensing your technology?

AaronSheedy: Hah. The million (ok billion) $ questions. Yes, we have chatted with them, they are very smart and nice.

Could this mean that Apple is considering Swype for a future version of iOS? Competitor Samsung already ships smartphones and tablets with the keyboard software pre-installed, and the latest version of Android has a similar feature built-in. Apple has worked on solutions that avoid typing altogether, such as the microphone button for voice input. Some kind of gesture-based typing shortcuts could certainly complement the learning virtual keyboard already installed.

Swype is patented technology that makes it faster and easier to enter words with an on-screen keyboard. One continuous motion across the screen is all it takes to "type" input, words are predicted, and the dictionary is crowd-sourced. Right now Swype on iOS is filed in the rumor column, however more details on Apple's plans are sure to be uncovered as work continues on iOS 7.