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Microsoft's Windows Phone Keyboard For the iPhone Is Dead (theverge.com) 42

Microsoft's Word Flow keyboard for the iPhone had one unique feature when it launched more than a year ago: a one-handed mode that could be used with either your left or right thumb. Now, according to a support note spotted by Windows Central, it appears Microsoft is consolidating and removing the keyboard from the App Store, encouraging users to download SwiftKey instead. The Verge reports: Microsoft has tested out a number of iOS keyboards, and it now appears the company is focusing solely on SwiftKey after acquiring the app last year. We haven't seen any major additions to SwitftKey since Microsoft acquired it, apart from a separate Swiftmoji emoji predictor in July last year. Microsoft's SwiftKey keyboard now competes against the likes of Google's Gboard keyboard and various other iOS and Android keyboards. Have you been using Word Flow on your iPhone? If so, what has your experience been with the application? Do you plan on switching to Gboard or another third-party keyboard now that Word Flow is no longer supported?
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Microsoft's Windows Phone Keyboard For the iPhone Is Dead

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  • Secure Keyboard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Marc Beaupré-Pham ( 4860011 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @08:24PM (#54917217)
    Another feature of WordFlow was the promise of security. Microsoft, surprisingly, created the keyboard with privacy as a primary feature. I use it personally because I find it to be as good as other swiping keyboard in all regards but superior in terms of privacy.
    • It's too bad Microsoft lost that claim to fame as soon as it acquired Swiftkey and cross-contaminated [ndtv.com] people's dictionaries while porting the application's backend to its Azure platform.

    • by e r ( 2847683 )

      ...but superior in terms of privacy...

      You read the source code?

  • by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @08:28PM (#54917231)

    The onscreen surface keyboard is actually pretty nice. The special characters aren't as hidden as they are on Android/iOS so you can... you know... actually TYPE a password or directory/url in a reasonable time.

    Everything else about that closed-shit-system however... not so nice.

    p.s. Fuck Microsoft for selling Windows RT tablets... and then discontinuing their support immediately.

    • Fast forward to today - and the Surface Pro keyboard could use a little Word Flow love.

      C'mon, Microsoft, give us a swype-y, even a SwiftKey keyboard for the Surface, in all incarnations. You can do it, right?

  • Just out of curiosity, who downloads keyboards or other redundant apps to their devices when there's already something there? If one has an iPhone, why would one download a keyboard from either Microsoft or Google - why not just use Apple's own? Only thing I've ever bothered to get was a Bluetooth keyboard that I could use to type, if I needed to do extensive typing on a phone. Similarly, why would any Apple user use Cortana instead of Siri? Why would any Amazon user use Siri instead of Alexa? If you

    • I have one that adds things like a tab key so I can do things in terminals and text editors. That said I use the default Google one (gboard) on my android devices. However the iOS keyboard is terrible in comparison, especially on tablets. Being able to press and hold for numbers and special characters is great rather than switching the whole layout, and on tablet with gboard you get a row of dedicated numbers given there is room for it.

    • Swift shows 2,368,939 downloads. Sure, some people download multiple times, but plenty of people is the short answer. Swype is also popular, as are others. I personally also have downloaded alternative music players and messaging apps. There is a lot of added functionality out there. K9 Mail is another great one. File Managers as well. I am on Android, but I'm sure the stock apps aren't best in class on iOS either. Apple wants developers, which they won't have if they "stock block" them.
    • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

      Single-handed use is a big reason. Personally for me, it's a huge deal to be able to type with one hand while holding a sleeping baby in the other arm.

      • by Misagon ( 1135 )

        I am not sure if you are serious or being sarcastic.

        That is, because I have seen too many parents juggling children and phones at the same time. If you are the former: Put down your fucking phone!
        What is the most precious thing in your life? Your phone or your child?

        • My child, which is why I'm holding her instead of throwing her in the crib every time she yawns.

          But my life doesn't suspend just because I have a kid. That work email isn't more important than my napping daughter, but a one-handed keyboard no longer makes me choose.

    • If one has an iPhone, why would one download a keyboard from either Microsoft or Google - why not just use Apple's own?

      Not only I downloaded Swiftkey, but it's actually one of the very few apps I actually paid for (before it became free). Please note, I can only speak about Swiftkey pre-Microsoft fuck-up. Before it got purchased by Microsoft and ported to Azure, Swiftkey was awesome!

      It supported multiple-languages out of the box and it allowed me to mix French (accents included) and American English within the same message without switching keyboard/dictionary. I use a mixture of French and English when writing to my own fa

    • Ok.

      In the beginning, Android on-screen keyboards were inflexible, inaccurate, and ugly.

      Then came the third-party keyboard apps. And beauty. And flexible layouts. And somewhat more accurate.

      In time, these became more accurate, though they have somehow recently become accurate at guessing what THEY thin you meant to type, based on some history you are unfamiliar with.

      And, lo, Google, being Android, brought us Gboard. Flexible, attractive, fairly accurate.

      Just don't try to swype the word 'stop'.

      Choice is good.

    • Apples keyboard doesn't offer swipe to type, doesn't let me search for gifs or the internet for quick videos or pics to send in a chat or links to a website. It doesn't offer one handed support or a dark theme. Cortana was really good at location stuff, answering questions etc, better than Siri. Duo would be so you could talk to Android or Windows Phone users as well I imagine?
  • I really like how finding the right tool for the job suddenly becomes an argument that shows what "camp" everyone is in. If it was an app that was made by any other company, the rest of this discussion wouldn't be happening. And yeah, if Cortana was available for iPhone... I might try it because Siri isn't good. Word Flow is a good tool. Everything else is just unnecessary campy political commentary.

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