Microsoft has started testing the Windows Phone keyboard for iOS. It is known to be testing an early version internally. The software giant is currently testing an early version of the keyboard internally, and will make it available to public testers soon. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans have revealed that the iOS keyboard includes a special one-handed mode.
That’s not all. According to a report, citing people related to the matter, claims that the company will be including a new one-handed mode of typing too. With this mode, the keys shift to one side in a fan-shaped layout, allowing users to access the keys easily along with emojis and word suggestions. One can even use the swipe gestures for typing.
While we haven’t tried Word Flow for iOS—it’s currently in private beta testing with some Windows Insiders—the fanned layout seems like a better approach. With a large phone like the iPhone 6 Plus, the thumb already tends to move in an arc around the corner of the screen, so Word Flow’s one-handed mode should feel natural.
It is slightly differed from the company’s Word Flow keyboard wherein the keys just shift to a side. “Other than the one-handed mode, the rest of Word Flow for iOS is very similar to the Windows Phone version. You can access word suggestions, emojis, and swipe letters (like Swype) to type out words,” the report explains.
Word Flow for iOS is otherwise similar to the Windows 10 Mobile version, with swipe-based typing, word suggestions, and emojis shortcuts. Users can switch to the one-handed mode by tapping one of the fan-shaped buttons on either side of the word suggestion bar.
There’s no word yet on when Microsoft will release the keyboard for all iPhone users, and it’s unclear how Microsoft will attempt to make money from it. An Android version is also coming sometime after the IOS release.
The Word Flow keyboard for iOS is expected to be launched in a few months and the Android version later this year. The additional feature will not go down well with those currently using Windows 10 Mobile. They may be disappointed as Microsoft is willing to bring an addition to iOS instead.
News of Microsoft’s work on a third-party iOS keyboard first surfaced earlier this month after Microsoft began sending out beta invites to select people for testing purposes. It is not known when the keyboard might be ready to launch to the public, but the report says it will be available “in the coming months.”
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