Many articles on IT websites claim that Swype is faster than typing on smartphones (zdnet, ghacks, etc). Wikipedia relates the following claim : "The creators of Swype predict that users will achieve over 50 words per minute.". I know that Swype was used to set a new record for fastest typing, but I wonder whether Swype is faster than typing for the average smartphone user (i.e. who did not train to set a typing record).

  • 4
    Faster than typing on an on-screen keyboard, or on a physical keyboard? I'm getting pretty good wpm rates on the latter @ SE Xperia Pro. Feb 24, 2014 at 15:38
  • I think swiping is the standard input method in Japan now for smartphones. Probably they have more statistics about this matter in Japan, but it will pertain only to the Japanese language.
    – user17967
    Aug 3, 2014 at 6:54
  • 7
    A really good answer would probably touch on the error rate; I've personally found that I spend more time correcting Swype than pressing keys. Aug 7, 2014 at 11:12
  • I have voted to close as to opinion based. For my small study (18 people) - after about 10 minutes of learning, it is faster, by far, than typing on the on-screen keyboard! But someone else may have a study demonstrating the opposite.
    – Rory Alsop
    Aug 7, 2014 at 11:28
  • 4
    @RoryAlsop That's how most HCI and UX studies work... take a bunch of people, do some A/B testing, present the results. I don't see where it's opinion-based. Aug 7, 2014 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


There is lots of academic research on what is called shape writing or vector typing that is relevant to your question.

"Shape Writing on Tablets: Better Performance or Better Experience?" used Swype and found that:

No significant difference was found in typing speed between the two input methods

And also specific to Swype, the study "Swype vrs Conventional On-Screen Keyboards: Efficacy Compared" found

Results showed that the prototype Swype was as fast as the standard on-screen keyboard running with word prediction

Both studies noted that users had a subjective preference for Swype, but as you can see, no gains were found versus using a standard on screen QWERTY keyboard.

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