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Microsoft’s Word Flow Keyboard Comes To iOS & Android

January 18, 2016 - Written By Kishalaya Kundu

For those who are not fans of standard issue keyboard apps in their smartphones, a lot of options are available on the various application stores like the Google Play Store, the Apple App Store or the Microsoft Store. While most smartphone users would happily use the default app on their devices, many want to try out newer and novel ideas, which is where apps like ‘Swype’ of ‘Flesky’ come into play. Now, it is the turn of Microsoft to roll out its default virtual keypad software for Android and iOS users, as reports indicate that the Redmond, WA-based tech giant is reportedly fixing to introduce its ‘Word Flow’ keyboard app to the two largest mobile operating systems on the planet right now.

According to reports, Microsoft has been sending e-mails to select users asking them to give its software a go, rhetorically asking them if they think their “native iOS keyboard could use improvement”. Receivers of the mail are also invited to join the beta program, which allows interested parties to give the new software a try before the stable version is launched on Apple’s mobile platform. In the same e-mail, the company says that its “Word Flow keyboard has long been one of the highly praised features on Windows Phone and was used to break the Guinness World Record for fastest texting”. Microsoft also says that it plans to roll out its keyboard software “to other platforms, starting with iOS”. While the Android version of the software is not yet officially confirmed, the plurality implied by the “starting with iOS” bit is probably a bit of a giveaway, considering no other mobile platform commands anything near the market share of either Android of iOS.

This latest attempt from Microsoft is yet another example of how the company is looking to transition from being a software vendor to a software services company. The tech major had launched its virtual personal assistant, Cortana, on iOS and Android late last year, and its e-mail client, Outlook, is also available on both the leading mobile platforms. Skype, now owned by Microsoft, has already been available on Android and iOS ever since the emergence of the two platforms, when the VoIP app was still an independent company. It now remains to be seen if the trend of porting default Windows 10 Mobile apps to Android and iOS continues in the future as well, and what that means for Windows 10 Mobile as a platform.