Swype, the relative granddaddy of the trace-to-type model so ubiquitous and beloved (and/or behated, as per user preference) across the Android ecosystem, has released a new beta, version 3.26.

For those of you not on the Swype beta roster, one of the most aggravating things about the beta program is their distribution / validation model. An intermediary app, SwypeInstaller, verifies your credentials as an authorized recipient of the beta software, and then connects you to the download servers. Then, not only do you have this vestigial and extraneous app hanging out on your phone until the next time you need to update, but there isn’t any sort of update check or notification!

Fortunately, this new iteration keeps SwypeInstaller around (you’ll need to install the latest verison, 2.0) for one last goodbye, to install this build. Once that’s done, you’re migrated to Swype Connect, which WILL monitor for and notify you of updates, as well as automating the process itself.

In the past, when the new update was ready, you’d have to uninstall your current version, start the installer, reinstall the new revision, and for your trouble, you’d be thanked by having your personal dictionaries lost in the process. With Swype Connect, you will finally be able to keep your dictionaries and personal settings through a version upgrade.

As for the keyboard itself, I was an early adopter; it worked well for me for a good while through various early beta versions. I’ve moved to other trace-to-type keyboards, as well as trying a couple other tap/predictive designs, but have recently returned to Swype for their recent addition of increased control over user-definied dictionaries.

In addition to the features described above, Swype 3.26 also brings additional (11) language support and numerous other updates. Visit the this thread on the Swype Forums to read more.

While the beta program was closed to new registrations for some time, it appears to be functioning normally at this time, just click here and complete the form for a download link.

Finally, by way of disclaimers, do NOT attempt any of this on any device that originally shipped with Swype installed from the factory. Beta builds are ONLY for devices NOT originally equipped with Swype.

Source: Swype Beta