Apple's swipe-friendly keyboard patent uncovered

Dusty patent suggests that the basic iOS keyboard could get a swipetastic makeover

It appears that Apple is aware of just how ungainly its well-worn iPhone keyboard is, judging by a patent for faster swipe-based keyboard input to replace the current finger-hammering technique.

The patent has only just been made available online, but it was in fact first registered in June 2007 around the time of the launch of the first iPhone.

Swipe for the typing

Since then, apps such as Swype and SwiftKey have perfected the art of swipe-to-type on the Android platform, making typing a more pleasurable experience. Unlike Android, iOS doesn't allow third-party keyboard apps, leaving it stuck in the dark ages of touchscreen typing.

The patent is mainly concerned with using swipe gestures to input punctuation: "For example, leftward, rightward, upward, and downward swipes can be assigned to inserting a space, backspacing, shifting (as for typing capital letters), and inserting a carriage return and/or new line."

It also mentions the use of "multi-fingered swipe gestures" for the addition of other functions.

For the moment, iOS users will have to drum their fingers and wait to see if Apple decides to add a swappable keyboard to its next update.

[Sources: AppleInsiderTechCrunch]