For many users, one of the most irritating things about writing messages on a phone can be what happens when you are trying to enter words that the dictionary doesn’t know.  If the phone doesn’t do a good job of distinguishing between new words and errors, a correction might overwrite text you had written correctly. Hopefully in this case you can simply tap on the word and get back what you entered, but even that can be difficult and isn’t really what you wanted in that case, which was for the text editor to leave your text as it was!

Swype works hard to make entering your own words as easy as possible, without sacrificing speed or introducing unwanted words in the dictionary. One of the strategies we use to do this is suppressing new words until we see the user enter them more than once. The dictionary won’t use them as corrections, and will only show them in the selection list if they are really good matches. This keeps key press and spelling mistakes from becoming corrections too easily.

We have different rules for how hard it is for a new word to become a full-fledged dictionary word based on where the new word was picked up. For example, if a user is a tapper, we are more wary of new words than we are if the user is Swyper who has just switched to tap a bit of text. We figure the Swyper knew what they were about to enter was not in the dictionary so they switched to tap to enter it, probably carefully, so it would be right.  Similarly, we use different settings for SMS messages and social media scans you ask us to do, and during input. These settings are tailored to making text entry easy and fast and minimizing errors introduced by corrections. Plus, like all our features, we continually improve it based on our research and user feedback. Hope you like it!

TIP: If you’re a user who really cares about what’s in the suggested word list, you can press and hold a word you see in the list and delete it right from the keyboard. No need to go to the Dictionary Editor to get rid of it!



Yumi Huh

About Yumi Huh

As director of strategic partnerships for the mobile division, Yumi evangelizes the importance of intelligent personal assistants to key OEM and software application partners. Yumi joined Nuance in 2012 and ran the mobile product marketing team. Prior to that she held product marketing and communications roles at Samsung Mobile, Xbox and Sur La Table. Yumi has a B.A. from Wellesley College, completed an executive marketing program from Northwestern Kellogg Graduate School of Management and has earned an advanced level sommelier certification from Wine Spirit Education Trust.