Microsoft is testing out a novel fan design for its forthcoming Word Flow keyboard for the iPhone that will make it easier to type with just the thumb.
Details of the keyboard design have leaked just days after Microsoft sent out invites to iPhone owners in its Windows Insiders program to participate in a Word Flow for iOS beta test.
Each row of keys in Word Flow for iOS, as Microsoft observers at Thurrott.com point out, sits on an arc shunted to the bottom corner of the phone, thus allowing each key to be within reach of one thumb. It's reminiscent of the fanned keyboard design Microsoft Research had in the works in 2012 for Windows Phone.
Told you it would leak quickly after I posted this morning. pic.twitter.com/BsMkTFM10G
-- Brad Sams (@bdsams) January 25, 2016
Windows Mobile 10 also has a one-handed typing mode. However, for Lumia devices the feature crams the keyboard in its standard design to either side of the display for left- or right-handed users.
The new keyboard marks the latest feature from Windows Phone that was once essentially exclusive to Lumia devices. Some were surprised to see Cortana launch on iOS, following highly polished releases of Outlook, Office, and OneNote for the iPhone.
With Word Flow as one of the more prized Windows Phone features, there may be less incentive to purchase a Lumia in future.
Besides the arc design, Microsoft's Word Flow also offers a powerful predictive engine that helped it set the world record for fastest texting.