The app responsible for popularizing swipeable virtual keyboards has been discontinued. Nuance ended development this month of Swype for both iOS and Android, six years after it bought the company behind the influential keyboard app for around $100 million.
In a statement, Nuance said it would discontinue support of the Swype keyboard app and instead focus on other products. “The core technology behind Swype will continue to be utilized and improved upon across other Nuance offerings – and integrated into our broader AI-powered solutions – most notably in Android-based keyboard solutions for our automotive customers,” the company said.
Swype is no longer available on the iOS App Store or Google Play, though customers can still use the app as normal and will continue to have access to tech support for the next few months.
The company announced the end of Swype for iOS at the beginning of the month, though the news appeared to go unnoticed — which probably speaks to why it was discontinued. Though Swype was hugely influential, its success also led to its obsolescence with the feature being built into new Android phones. And while swiping still isn’t a default feature on iOS, there are a huge number of alternatives.
Swype was never a core business for Nuance, which is best known for its voice dictation software and services (it supposedly powered the early versions of Siri). Nuance was likely able to share predictive technology between Swype and its dictation products, since they’re all ultimately about guessing what word you want. But at this point, it seems that Nuance has found it more beneficial to dedicate engineers full time to dictation AI.