I’ve talked about Swype before, exploring different ways that our kids’ kids will interact with their devices, but today, I want to highlight them for a different reason.
One of the cool things about the Android community is the amount of customization possible. Even without rooting your phone, you can replace various bits and pieces of the interface, as well as tinker with other options. Once you root your phone, you open yourself up to a whole new world full of custom ROMs, nandroids, and wonderment. Some companies aren’t comfortable with their customers having this sort of power over their products, and thus lock phones down with bits of hardware and software, 99% of which are eventually overcome by the community anyways.
Some companies, such as Swype, understand the power of this community, and seek to foster it while still protecting their intellectual property and ability to create and market a product successfully. Until recently, Swype was only available as a closed beta for some devices, or built into other devices. The company has since made it easier to get their evolutionary keyboard, but it’s still their intellectual property. Various ROMs on XDA-Developers were including Swype, even though they weren’t really licensed to, and so the company reached out to the site to clarify legal distribution methods.
You can read the full post at XDA here, but I wanted to highlight one powerful sentence from Swype’s message:
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in making sure our intellectual property and that of third parties is protected, while still allowing those who love to customize their devices in such awesome ways the liberty to do so. Swype reserves all of its rights.
Brilliant. I wish more companies would take this stance.