Microsoft's 'Word Flow' Keyboard for iPhone Launches in the U.S. App Store

After a closed beta earlier in the month, Microsoft today has launched its Word Flow Windows Phone keyboard in the United States iOS App Store for free. As expected, the iOS version of the app comes with a handful of themes for users to customize the keyboard with, along with the ability to speed up one-handed texting with its unique "Arc mode."

word flow keyboard 2
Word Flow keyboard's "Light" theme

Arc mode bends the keyboard into a circular shape, hugging whichever side of the iPhone a user's dominant hand will be typing on, allowing for more efficient one-handed typing than a traditional iOS keyboard. Its default interface doesn't differ from other third-party keyboards, letting users switch between tapping and swiping on the fly to enter text.

As with Apple's included keyboard, Word Flow has a predictive text feature, and users can even turn on a word learning option that will bolster the app's predictive capabilities for each user by sending keyboard information to Microsoft. Elsewhere in the app, users will also be able to upload their own pictures as customized keyboard themes, and even track their typing speed once Word Flow is granted full access in Settings.

word flow keyboard
Word Flow keyboard with a custom image theme

Anyone who wants to check Word Flow out can download it from the App Store for free [Direct Link], although it is currently limited to United States users only.



Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
42 months ago
US only... not interested.
Rating: 11 Votes
Avatar
42 months ago
Kudos to Microsoft for using San Francisco instead of their own font. It always irks me when a good third party keyboard looks inconsistent with the interface.
Rating: 7 Votes
Avatar
42 months ago
I really like it but I just realized how often I use 3D touch for text selection. I really wish apple would put out an API for this and its dictation feature. Now I'm torn between this great one handed keyboard and those two deatures.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
42 months ago
This is the first third party keyboard I haven't uninstalled within minutes due to bugs. That said, there is definitely a learning curve and I'm not typing as fast as I can on the normal keyboard
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
42 months ago

Ummm Hello MS geniuses, your app requires iOS 9? Some of us are running older iOS' that support keyboards too!
Never mind.


Truth be told iOS 8 keyboard support was fairly buggy from Apple's side (not to say it's perfect in iOS 9). I can't blame Microsoft for only supporting 9 and up, they'd get a lot of complaints about issues they couldn't do anything about otherwise.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
42 months ago
Dang this looks pretty cool, love the one hand typing. Not out in Canada either though, bummer.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
42 months ago
Very well done for a first release. I love how they allow you to access emoji and then jump right back to their keyboard. That annoying cycling behavior from most 3rd party keyboards has kept me away from them.

I do wish it supported 3D Touch to move the cursor around which I use very frequently. I don't think that's limited by API access although I could be wrong.

Here's hoping that iOS 10 allows for Siri dictation on 3rd party keyboards as well.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
42 months ago

In Messages I have to change the keyboard for each thread I have going. Is that right or am doing something wrong?

That is how ios works so that it's easy to use different keyboards that work best for each conversation like different languages
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
42 months ago

Is no one else concerned that what you type is sent to Microsoft? Or did I misread that?

There's a setting you click on in the application itself to turn off sharing of some of the data. I allowed full access and usually I don't because i'm concerned of what data is shared. But after seeing how you can turn off stuff in windows 10, i'm confident that this is just the same. Kind of your own personal call on how you feel about these types of applications. If this wasn't Microsoft but say a random programmer I wouldn't allow full access.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
42 months ago

I am not sure that it is Roboto either, but they look very similar. I do not understand why Microsoft would choose Android’s system and Google’s corporate typeface. You can probably inspect the IPA bundle to see which fonts they have included.

Looking a bit more at it, there are more notable differences between San Francisco and this typeface. San Francisco for iOS has rounded shapes (C, G, O, Q) whereas this typeface here has flattened sides. I knew immediately that something was off and I think that this is it. The preview screenshots from a few weeks(?) ago showed lower-case letters which where more noticeable.

Off topic: It's always interesting to me when I see people nerd out over esoteric things like typography. Reminds me of when my friends and I argue over the +/- of coil overs on DD cars used for AutoX. o_O

On topic: This keyboard looks pretty slick. I really like that custom background. Microsoft is definitely a different company. They recently buried the hatchet with Google and they've been hitting their hardware and software pretty hard lately.
Rating: 2 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]