Microsoft kills popular Word Flow iOS keyboard ‘experiment’, suggests SwiftKey as replacement
Last week’s reports of Paint’s death may have been greatly exaggerated, in part due to Microsoft’s own initial silence on the matter and lack of clarity regarding “removed” and “deprecated” Windows 10 features. But when it comes to the “completion” of Redmond’s Word Flow iOS keyboard “experiment”, there’s nothing left to do, explain or clarify.
This popular Microsoft Garage project is terminated effective immediately, and you can no longer download or even find the “blazing fast” keyboard product in Apple’s App Store.
If you’re unhappy with the iPhone’s default keyboard experience, Microsoft “encourages” all those who liked Word Flow for its customization, speed and top-notch prediction skills to switch to SwiftKey. That’s by no means a neutral, disinterested endorsement, as the company behind Windows Phone and Mobile purchased the cross-platform app for a whopping $250 million last year.
For the most part, SwiftKey is better, smoother, more reliable and accurate than Word Flow. And it’s free to install, both on iOS and Android. But it still lacks Arc mode, the marquee feature of the now defunct Microsoft keyboard service that enabled arguably one of the most comfortable one-handed typing experiences on the market today. Or rather yesterday.
The way to pressure the integration of the convenient curved design into SwiftKey is probably flooding the support webpage with relevant feedback, which the “product team” promises to frequently “evaluate” and base updates on. Either way though, it’s sad to see Word Flow go.