View Full Version : Language packs - so you don't care about the end user?

09-02-2010, 7:40 AM
I love Swype, but I'm disappointed at your business model. In May 2009 you said there would be a download version - it still doesn't exist. You only refer to the OEMs and operators - as if they ever would know which languages I need!

We live in a world where people move around more and more. We buy our phones in different countries, move from one country to another, have more and more international contacts. We are all individuals and we all need different languages. I, for instance, use four different languages on a daily basis. My Samsung Galaxy S has *one* of them pre-installed (and a bunch of others, which I don't need)!

You say that you only cooperate with OEMs and that customers should turn to them with their requests. But the OEMs (and operators) probably pay you a license fee, and they will never add more than a bare minimum of languages, based on some kind of general assumptions about which languages their customers need in different regions. Besides, even though a huge company like Samsung would listen to me (which they probably wouldn't), any changes in the company's language regime would only apply to *future* models, not to the one I already have.

Do you feel that your job is done once you've signed a contract with an OEM, and then you just sit back and roll your thumbs? "Let the OEMs and operators take care of customer complaints, we don't care, because we've already got the money..." I know you probably don't think like this, but it sure *looks* that way from the end user's perspective.

I use an Android phone, I chose it bacause I love the idea of being able to tune it to suit me: if I need something, I just download an app or widget from Android Market. Except for Swype. To my mind, your business model is not compliant with the inherent openness of Android.

As I said, I love Swype, but for now I recommend people to install SlideIT instead, despite the fact that Swype looks better and is better at handling punctuation, for instance. SlideIT lets the user choose which languages s/he needs, which is the only correct way to run a business like this. You might not mind about that, since you don't lose anyhing; you already sold Swype to the OEM. But at some point the OEMs will need to renegotiate their deals - and then what happens?

Somewhere on your support pages I saw a comment from the Swype team, stating that you don't look at your business in a short-term perspective, but in a long-term perspective. But having happy customers *today* is a key to success in the future...

09-02-2010, 1:35 PM
Thanks for the feedback wordord. I definitely hear where you're coming from, and I can tell you that language development is our #1 priority right now. Part of the problems we're facing with language integration right now are that:

a) language development is a collaborative process with our OEM partners, not just for deployment but for creation as well. We're working actively to find solutions for language distribution that please all of the involved parties. Downloadable dictionaries is DEFINITELY something we'd like to see available for our users, but the future of that is unclear right now (and sadly takes a side-seat to the development of the languages themselves), and...

b) Deployment of languages also involves heavy modification to our UI. Romance languages are easy - they all can use a standard QWERTY layout. But simple chinese, for example, is a different story completely. Or Russian. These different layouts require unique programming, so it's more than just providing the actual word databases. It also requires us to implement a method for providing new features to the app itself, which we're not capable of doing at this point.

Needless to say, this is something we are VERY actively looking into. We ABSOLUTELY care about the End User, and hopefully we'll have something to share regarding language deployment in the near future.

09-02-2010, 4:03 PM
Thank *you* for responding so quickly!
I'm pleased to hear that you take this issue seriously and I look forward to hearing some good news from you soon. ;)

12-30-2010, 2:23 PM
And 10 months later, nothing changed...

01-03-2011, 7:13 AM
Are you aware of what it means to make something like that?

02-10-2011, 4:15 AM
Very reasonable inquiry, however irrelevant answer.

The discussion could be compressed in two sentences:

* Swype-guys, we need badly language packs to install them on our own!
* Dear customers, we work hard on language development! (yep, boy, we do not say "language pack on android market" though, you might expect whatever you like, LOL)

And no single pack in android market even for this easy Romanian language family :D

Damn, so many hours wasted for searching a needed language pack and how to install it...