Microsoft’s predictive text mobile keyboard is now available as an iOS app in Apple’s App Store. Dubbed Word Flow, the keyboard from Microsoft’s in-house experimental Garage division supports both tap and swipe typing methods and is designed with single-hand use in mind.
The Windows Phone-inspired keyboard features a unique arc shape which, in stark contrast to Apple’s default keyboard, dedicates tons of real estate to the spacebar. The design isn’t without compromise, however, as the predictive text space is quite compact and the keyboard itself consumes more vertical real estate than most iPhone users are accustomed to.
Microsoft says its keyboard gets better over time as it picks up on your typing style and habits. Users can even assign an image from the app or their camera roll to use as the keyboard’s background although depending on the photo you select, it could serve as more of a distraction than anything else.
The app is the latest component of Microsoft’s renewed mobile strategy. Although it hasn’t yet conceded defeat, the fact that Microsoft is now leveraging its software on other platforms is certainly telling. In its most recent quarter, Microsoft sold an abysmal 2.3 million Lumia smartphones – down from 8.6 million in the year-ago quarter. The forecast for the immediate future will only steepen according to CFO Amy Hood.
The Word Flow keyboard is available free of charge as of writing for App Store users in the US.