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Microsoft is removing Word Flow from the App Store. This means that the critically acclaimed keyboard app will no longer be available to iOS users who haven’t already downloaded it. And those that have face the prospect of Word Flow never being updated again. Because that’s how Microsoft rolls.
The Windows Phone Typing Experience
It should go without saying that Windows Phone didn’t exactly set the world alight. In fact, Windows Phone did so badly that 99.6 percent of all new smartphones are powered by Android and iOS. However, one of the few things Windows Phone got right was the typing experience.
Knowing this, Microsoft released Word Flow for iOS. Word Flow being a keyboard app designed to replicate the Windows Phone typing experience on your iPhone. Microsoft released Word Flow in April 2016, and gave it a major update adding GIF search and other features in August 2016.
Ending the Word Flow Experiment
Now, Microsoft is delisting Word Flow on the App Store. This means that while existing users will be able to carry on using Word Flow (without any future updates or support) new users are being denied the opportunity to try Word Flow out for themselves.
On the Microsoft Garage website, Microsoft describes the Windows Phone keyboard app as “an iOS app with a blazing fast keyboard that comes with search (GIFs, restaurants, and more), free customization options and includes Arc mode for comfortable one-handed typing.”
That one-handed typing is what separated Word Flow from the crowd. Once you got the hang of it Word Flow could speed up your typing, and all while leaving one hand free for other things.
As first spotted by Windows Central, Microsoft has now added a note saying, “The Word Flow experiment is now complete! We encourage you to download the SwiftKey Keyboard from the App Store. The SwiftKey product team is frequently building and evaluating new features for SwiftKey and shipping updates. We encourage feedback at https://support.swiftkey.com.”
Please Download SwiftKey Instead
Microsoft is advising Word Flow users to download SwiftKey instead because the former acquired the latter in early 2016. And this acquisition is probably why Microsoft is killing Word Flow in the first place. Let’s just hope the one-handed typing feature now makes it into SwiftKey.
Have you been using Word Flow on iOS? Are you sad to see Microsoft pulling support for the iOS version? Will you be downloading SwiftKey as Microsoft suggests? Or will you try another keyboard app instead? If so, which one? The comments are open below…
Image Credit: Bhupinder Nayyar via Flickr