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Thread: Interview: Swype CEO's Stance On Jailbreak "Swype"

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A couple of days ago, ModMyi reported that Swype had been ported to iOS via a beta version. Developed by Andrew Liu (@WyndWarrior) , the intent of this build was
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    Default Interview: Swype CEO's Stance On Jailbreak "Swype"


    A couple of days ago, ModMyi reported that Swype had been ported to iOS via a beta version. Developed by Andrew Liu (@WyndWarrior), the intent of this build was to bring Swype to iOS for the jailbreak community. ModMyi was the first to report this find, and the article caught the eye of Swype Inc, the company behind the initial innovation, technology, and the product Swype. Because the name "Swype" was used inappropriately without permission and the newly released application was not endorsed by the company, they wanted to state that what had recently been released was not a port of the official Swype product and was in no way affiliated with Swype Inc. We spoke to Brian Resnik - Community Relations Specialist at Swype who clarified his and Swype's stance on the ordeal and the original article posted:

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Resnik;
    The first thing we want to make clear is that this version released via Cydia is not in any way an official Swype product, or related to Swype Inc. in any way. It appears this developer wrote some of his own code to emulate a Swype-like experience and is using our brand. We don’t know if this is a ‘hacked’ version of Swype or not. I’m thinking not. We are still investigating, but either way, this is not an official release or port of Swype to iOS. Additionally, since we weren't involved with the development of this application, we can not vouch for the integrity of the software. From a consumer's perspective, we recommend researching the developer on your own to ensure the trustworthiness of this application from a security standpoint.

    Our legal counsel is advising us on the best course of action regarding this 'hacked' release. We'll continue to follow the situation and do whatever our management team determines is appropriate to protect our intellectual property. We're not looking to prove a point or anything like that. Frankly, as our CEO mentioned in an interview with GeekWire on the topic, the clear interest demonstrated by this release from iOS users in having Swype is exciting. But we do still need to protect our brand if it turns out that some of our code, our patents, are being used.

    Also, people are already saying "this proves that you can get Swype on iOS, even if it's through Cydia, right?" Well, not really. Yes, you can get "tracing" to work via some serious hacking (and even then it only works on jailbroken phones, and in stock iOS applications), but there are other really important elements to Swype. For example, word replacement and editing. With Swype, we know that the prediction engine won't get it right 100% of the time. Most of the time, absolutely, but there will always be a mistake once in a while. The nice thing about Swype is that when that happens you can quickly pull up a list of alternative suggestions - in the new v3.0, they're automatically shown whenever you swipe a word or tap on a previously entered word. When you pick an alternative suggestion, Swype replaces the previously typed word with the new one. Without keyboard APIs, we have no way of interacting with the text field in those kinds of ways. Sure, you can get basic character entry to work, but to get the full Swype experience we absolutely require certain features to be implemented by Apple themselves.


    The key components to note from Brian's statement are:

    • This version released via a repository on Cydia is in no way affiliated with the official Swype product or related to Swype Inc.
    • The team over at Swype haven't concluded whether this application is a "hacked" version of Swype, however it appears that the developer wrote some of his own code to emulate a Swype-like experience.
    • As the Swype team was not involved with the development of this application, they can't vouch for the integrity and security of this application.
    • The interest shown from the iOS community wanting Swype is exciting. However, Swype still needs to protect their brand if their code and patents are being used.
    • Although this application shows that Swype can be done on iOS, this release misses the most staple features of Swype: word replacement and editing. For this reason, a Swype-like application will never run the same because the keyboard API's need to be available from Apple in order to get the full experience.


    For further clarification, we spoke briefly with Mike McSherry, CEO of Swype Inc, on Friday over the phone to hear his position on the jailbreak "Swype" application and what the company is doing in response to the release.

    JOSH: How'd you first find out about this release?
    MIKE: My team and I actively follow Google, Twitter, and other places in regards to our brand and product, Swype. We first heard about this release through your recent ModMyi article and took our first steps from there. The information was passed on to the developer team for further investigation and testing of this newly released application. I am, along with my team, are conscious of our brand and put that priority high on our list. Although our goal is not to admonish or alter development in relation to Swype, if news of people using our patents, code, or brand name come up, it is in our best interest to protect and uphold our intellectual property.

    JOSH: I spoke with Brian Resnik, Community Relations Specialist from Swype earlier this morning and he mentioned that so far, there is no indication whether the application released is a hacked version or just simply a Swype-like implementation. Is investigation still under way and what has been discovered so far if so?
    MIKE: To be honest, it is not worth our while at this point to continue investigation, unless it regards some type of legal action. Our team here at Swype already has a working version of Swype on iOS that we use for business development purposes. For now, our development team has found no indication that this specific implementation has any Swype coding.

    JOSH: What are you feelings on the jailbreak community taking the Swype idea and implementing it on iOS? Has the excitement from the jailbreak community spurred any feelings of intrigue from members and developers at Swype?
    MIKE: Knowing that the iDevice community is interested in bringing Swype to iOS is exciting. I am always flattered to see interest in Swype wherever it may be. However, we want to protect our brand and make sure that Swype's reputation is displayed correctly. This recently released Swype-like application is a great example. Although we're pleased to see interest from iOS users, after testing the application, we found it to be buggy. I did not test it personally but people on my team have. As a result, people who have tested this application can make statements saying that "it's buggy, doesn't work, it lacks features," or statements along those lines. We in no way want our Swype brand to be shown in a negative light as this application in no way reflects how the official Swype technology works. So when words such as "ported" are used to describe this Swype-like application, they are used incorrectly because this application is not a direct port or a re-designed official version of Swype.

    JOSH: Have discussions with Apple been made about incorporating Swype into native iOS? If so, what progress has been made in the possibility of implementing it in the future?
    MIKE: Talks with Apple have been made, yes, but as I have mentioned, keyboard API has not been released or given to us yet. On the other hand, our product has actually been a strong factor to deter people from iOS and bring them to Android. Swype is installed on 40% of all Android devices on the market, which include numerous phones and tablet devices. Various companies, websites, reviewers, and others have claimed that Swype is a top feature that sparks people to choose Android initially or to switch from iOS to Android. Our business model to date has been OEM pre-load. The position we're in on the market scheme has been beneficial for our success as a company. Our primary focus currently is advancing our market share and spread with companies that have given us full support in regards to integration.

    JOSH: Have ideas such as an AppStore application or an official jailbreak application been entertained if Swype is not planning on being native in iOS in the near future?
    MIKE:Ideas of this nature have crossed our minds, but when it all comes down to it, it is all about resource attention. Hiring developers to meet the needs of our expansion in the current market we are in as is has been difficult. We can't seem to hire enough developers to keep this advancement on the move. For this reason, we need to stay focused on the task at hand until Apple opens their keyboard API, then we would be able to continue iOS development further. Due to the deep integration required for Swype to run proficiently, we want Apple's full support. That way our product can run as seamlessly and flawlessly as possible for the user. Our team does not have any engineers working directly with the jailbreak community so I can't make a comment on the nature of Cydia or the jailbreak community itself. However, from a marketing standpoint, extending to the jailbreak community is not in our plans at this current time. Even though approximately 6-10% of all iDevices are jailbroken, we need the keyboard API in order to give the full Swype experience.

    [NOTE: 6-10% has been confirmed by Jay Freeman (@saurik): number of devices can not be estimated]

    Because of this, it would not be optimal at this time to release an official jailbreak application of Swype as it would not be able to perform with all the staple features such as the word replacement, editing, and many others. The keyboard API is the key to our advancement into iOS integration.


    JOSH: What are your next steps in regards to further investigating this application and the developer?
    MIKE: We're not looking to pursue this any further at this point. I will be disappointed if I find out that the developer used our Swype brand without permission however. If this happens, then we will look into pursuing this issue.

    And a final note before our discussion ended:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike McSherry;
    I am a strong supporter of the hacker/developer community. I value the need for customization and personal touch and I am always intrigued to see interest in that regard. There have been developers on Android that have developed different types of addons to Swype which have made an interesting repertoire of changes to our product. But, if something is developed that emulates Swype and reflects poorly the brand, then it is in my interest to ensure that there is no tie between the official Swype product and what has been displayed. And of course, if our intellectual property is violated (code, patents, brand), then we will need to take some legal route.


    For more information about Swype Inc. and their product, visit the Swype website. Swype Inc. is also reachable on Facebook and Twitter.

    Source(s): Mike McSherry, Geekwire, Jay Freeman, Swype Inc., Swype - Facebook, Swype - Twitter
    Last edited by Joshua Tucker; 07-12-2011 at 09:46 PM. Reason: swype inc

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    Its awesome! you can type normally and use the swype at the same time! i love it!

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    I love your articles. Keep 'em comin!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colby21 View Post
    I love your articles. Keep 'em comin!
    Appreciate the support; we do our best!

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    steve ballmer "it doesn’t have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine.”

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    F the Swype Inc company. We've been begging them to dev it for the iOS platform and they refused. Oh well. BTW...the new update today is awesome. We now have the line and additional words to choose from. It's very cool when I actually use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edwilk55 View Post
    F the Swype Inc company. We've been begging them to dev it for the iOS platform and they refused. Oh well. BTW...the new update today is awesome. We now have the line and additional words to choose from. It's very cool when I actually use it.
    They will continue iOS development if Apple releases keyboard API. It's currently not accessible.

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    If he's gonna research a cydia app he should at least reseach the latest version.
    1. Two versions ago the name was changed to "iSwipe"
    2. The latest version has word replacement and automatic spacing between two words detected.

    But at least it's a CEO that supports the hacking community so I forgive him lol.

    Oh and iSwipe is now open source too
    Last edited by i.Annie; 07-12-2011 at 10:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowLeo View Post
    Dumbas*. If he's gonna research a cydia app he should at least reseach the latest version.
    1. Two versions ago the name was changed to "iSwipe"
    2. The latest version has word replacement and automatic spacing between two words detected.

    But at least it's a CEO that supports the hacking community so I forgive him lol.



    Oh and iSwipe is now open source too
    1. I spoke to him on Friday of last week (as clearly stated in the interview) - at that time, it was not open-sourced and the name hadn't changed. Andrew changed the name in response to my article.
    2. Regardless of what has been made, it is still not up to par with the patented technology. Swype has coding infrastructure that makes it what it is.

    So let's be rational, shall we? No need to fling names.

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    As a result of what article? This article was posted today and the update came out like two days ago. Besides I was referring to the CEO not you(:

    The whole article being posted now just seems a little archaic is all. Didn't mean to offend you. Would be cool if you could get an update by seeing what the CEO thinks now that master wyndwarrior rebranded it, made it open source, and added the word correction. Doubt even the swype devs could code like wyndwarrior and make something like DreamBoard

    Edit: love how a mod edited my post to clean it up, lol gotta keep it clean here for all the little kids.
    Last edited by SnowLeo; 07-12-2011 at 10:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowLeo View Post
    As a result of what article? This article was posted today and the update came out like two days ago. Besides I was referring to the CEO not you(:

    The whole article being posted now just seems a little archaic is all. Didn't mean to offend you. Would be cool if you could get an update by seeing what the CEO thinks now that master wyndwarrior rebranded it, made it open source, and added the word correction. Doubt even the swype devs could code like wyndwarrior and make something like DreamBoard
    In response to this article: Swype Ported To iOS By Jailbreak Developer

    Also, they are fully aware. They follow Twitter, Google, and the like (once again - stated in the article).

    And regardless of who you are aiming your frustration at, it is not generally acceptable to act that way. Just saying.

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    I don't get why Apple hasn't approved of this. If truly 40% of Android users download Swype, wouldn't it be safe to assume that number would be matched on an iPhone?

    Wynd has taken the initiative to bring a similar experience to iOS users, and if it takes a jailbreak to do it I guess that's what we have to do.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see official Swype in the App store soon bc 1) Apple wants to stop jailbreaking and 2) Apple already copied some JB devs' work and implemented them to iOS 5 lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by i.Annie View Post
    I don't get why Apple hasn't approved of this. If truly 40% of Android users download Swype, wouldn't it be safe to assume that number would be matched on an iPhone?

    Wynd has taken the initiative to bring a similar experience to iOS users, and if it takes a jailbreak to do it I guess that's what we have to do.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see official Swype in the App store soon bc 1) Apple wants to stop jailbreaking and 2) Apple already copied some JB devs' work and implemented them to iOS 5 lol.
    Remember Swype is a company, not a jailbreak developer. It is a much different situation than simply "taking" a jailbreak developer's work.

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    My point is not at Swype, it's at Apple. Hasn't Swype already introduced it's product to Apple and unsurprisingly it hasn't shown up in the App Store yet? I'm speaking in the position that Apple should have already had this approved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by i.Annie View Post
    My point is not at Swype, it's at Apple. Hasn't Swype already introduced it's product to Apple and unsurprisingly it hasn't shown up in the App Store yet? I'm speaking in the position that Apple should have already had this approved.
    True; but remember. It's patented technology. It would require that Apple to have to pay royalties and such. Not to mention, Swype's strategy is integration prior to shipment to consumers.

    Apple is very protective of their brand, as we know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by i.Annie View Post
    I don't get why Apple hasn't approved of this. If truly 40% of Android users download Swype, wouldn't it be safe to assume that number would be matched on an iPhone?
    Because it can't be done with public Frameworks.

    See:
    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Tucker View Post
    They will continue iOS development if Apple releases keyboard API. It's currently not accessible.
    So either Apple would have to license the technology directly from Swype (at some considerable expense) and integrate it into iOS directly, or else open up the internals of the keyboard API to a lot of grubby developers they don't really trust. The iOS garden has a wall.
    Wynd has taken the initiative to bring a similar experience to iOS users, and if it takes a jailbreak to do it I guess that's what we have to do.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see official Swype in the App store soon bc 1) Apple wants to stop jailbreaking and 2) Apple already copied some JB devs' work and implemented them to iOS 5 lol.
    Neat hacks from the JB world can sometimes prompt Apple to open up layers of API they otherwise wouldn't have wanted, but it takes time and a lot of sweat that you and I and everyone outside Cupertino never gets to see. Sometimes Apple incorporates the concepts into future versions of the base OS. They can't do this with Swype because of patents unless a lot of money gets exchanged. Maybe when v6.0 is out next year. Its way too late for them to shoehorn anything dramatically novel in 5.0 (OK. Could be 5.3?)

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    Lol no offense or anything at all but it just seems like Josh is a fanboy. i.Annie sees it how it is. Common josh didn't you write the article about apple hiring the mobilenotifier dev?? Apple took the app store aka. installer app from jailbreak, apple took copy and paste, multitasking (backgrounder, multiflow, ect.), notifications, even widgets. Even though besides the whole opennotifier thing they didn't directly "steal" cydia devs ideas it's pretty dang obvious why apple prevented apps like google voice and core modifications to be in the app store- because they want control! Apple wants all new updates to be something previously not available in any way on their device before including through third party as part of their marketing scheme. I'm sure apple already has all the features of iOS 7 ready but they like to wait to perfect it, add more, and time it right to sell. And it worked pretty freakin well for them.

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    It's quite obvious how protective Apple is. It can be a bit complex and difficult, but hey at least we have jailbreaking to fall back on.

    This isn't the only thing iOS is lacking, many tweaks from jailbreaking makes iOS amazing that stock iOS doesn't have, so this is just one of those things.

    P.S. thanks for your response Raduga, really appreciate it. I can understand from that standpoint as well.
    Last edited by i.Annie; 07-12-2011 at 10:27 PM.

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    Yep if it weren't for jailbreaking, I would rather have the crappiest android phone (maybe even windows phone) over stock iOS.
    Btw I've been typing these posts w/ iSwipe

    Oh and I was quite surprised to see the whole split keyboard thing on iPad in iOS5. Shows apple at least considered one cool idea as far as keyboards go.

    Also that internal beta with the voice to text button just like android. But like apples collection of thousands of patents, many options are considered, but often the coolest things are just thrown out or not implemented till much later. I mean seriously, they bought liquidmetal, do we see a single liquidmetal product from them. No.
    Last edited by SnowLeo; 07-12-2011 at 10:35 PM.

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    Hm.
    Its been bugging me for a few days, I guess I should come out and say it:
    what makes me nervous and rather uncomfortable about iSwipe has nothing to do with the App itself, which actually is rather nifty.

    Its the other two apps sitting on Wynd's repo, next to iSwipe.
    If I didn't know Wynd for a reputable and trustworthy developer in good standing,
    I'd be quite leery of installing anything from that source.

    Wynd, if you're reading this.....maybe "put em on another repo"?

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