Microsoft announces Word Flow for iOS, its Windows Phone keyboard for iPhone

Is Microsoft putting its Switftkey acquisition to use already?
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor
(Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft announced plans on Thursday to release its Windows Phone keyboard for iOS called Word Flow, showing a further commitment to support competing mobile platforms.

The iOS keyboard will bring the ability to tap or swipe out words, customize keyboard backgrounds, and assist in predicting text, like on Windows Phone. Microsoft is also making a one hand texting feature available that makes letters available in an arc so your hand can reach them.

The announcement comes after Microsoft released Hub Keyboard for iOS earlier this month, a keyboard akin to the Android version with fewer features than the new Word Flow beta.

Microsoft began accepting beta registrations for Word Flow on Tuesday.

"Our app is currently in a closed beta release, which means we want to get it just right before we open it up to everyone," Microsoft writes on its website. The company hasn't shared a timeline for making the Windows Phone keyboard features available for all iPhone users through the App Store.

Apple opened up third-party keyboards in an update to iOS 8 in 2014. Popular third-party keyboards like SwiftKey (who Microsoft just acquired) and Swype have been the go-to for iOS users who can't stand the stock iOS keyboard.

Google has plans to release a search-focused keyboard for iOS in the coming months, according to The Verge. Like Microsoft, it's likely Google wants to serve its own advertisements as it pushes iOS users through its own services, rather than Apple's iCloud.

Editorial standards