Swype Keyboard Android App Killed Amid Strategy Shift

The Swype Keyboard app for Android devices has been discontinued earlier this month, developer Nuance Communications confirmed to a number of users. The move comes as part of a larger strategy shift embraced by the software developer that's now reallocating its resources to business-to-business solutions, particularly those based on various artificial intelligence technologies. The discontinuation encompasses both the Android and iOS versions of the app, though only the latter has also been pulled from its digital store. The Android build is still available on the Google Play Store in the form of a free trial and another premium variant of the app priced at $0.99. It's presently unclear whether the company has any plans to pull its Android apps from the digital marketplace but those who are thinking about purchasing Swype Keyboard should be aware that the service won't be receiving any updates meant to add new features, improve performance, or address bugs moving forward.

The wording of Nuance's statement on the matter suggests the decision to pull the plug on its popular mobile app is a permanent one and the firm has no intentions of relaunching a similar product in the future. The development marks the end of the seminal app that approached touchscreen keyboards in an entirely new manner, allowing users to form entire words without taking their fingers off of their smartphone screens. Many other Android apps such as Fleksy and Google's own Gboard support a similar functionality these days and are still regularly updated. Nuance's Dragon Dictation speech-to-text software also isn't in active development for mobile devices as of recently, though the solution remains the company's core focus and one that allowed the studio to penetrate the enterprise segment to a significant degree in recent years.

While Nuance didn't elaborate on the matter, it's likely that its Dragon Dictation-related B2B endeavors proved to be much more lucrative than its mobile apps targeting consumers, prompting the company to restructure its operations in order to maximize profits. Nuance recorded close to $2 billion in revenue over the entire 2017 but lost more than $150 million during the same period. The company employed over 13,000 people as of 2016.

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