MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,126
15,932



Rumors in January suggested Microsoft was working to bring its Word Flow Windows Phone keyboard to iOS, and now the company's keyboard project has entered a private beta testing phase. Starting this week, a limited number of testers have been given access to the Word Flow iOS keyboard.

MacRumors reader Ruben has shared some images and information with us, giving us our first look at the design and the features Microsoft plans to implement. According to Ruben, the keyboard is "incredibly reliable for a beta," with features like sounds, themes, and the much-anticipated one-handed "Arc" mode, accessed with a drag gesture.


In its default mode, the Word Flow keyboard looks a lot like a standard iOS keyboard, but its one-handed mode sets it apart from other offerings. With one-handed mode turned on, the keyboard morphs into a half-moon shape, arranging the letters to one side of the device for easy thumb access. The Word Flow keyboard supports both standard typing and swipe-based typing, as is one on third-party keyboards like Swipe and SwiftKey.

wordflowkeyboard1-800x709.jpg

Standard keyboard features like auto correction and word prediction are included, with options to enable or disable a word learning feature that improves word predictions by sending keyboard usage information to Microsoft. Multiple Word Flow themes are included, including light and dark options, and there are also tools for creating custom themes based on images taken from the iPhone's Photo Library.

wordflowkeyboard2-800x708.jpg

Additional information shared by iMore yesterday covers other features like quick access to Contacts through autofill and a free built-in image library that Microsoft plans to add to over time.

Microsoft has not yet publicly announced the Word Flow keyboard or shared details on when it might see a release.

Article Link: A Look at Microsoft's Upcoming Word Flow Keyboard, Now in Closed Beta Testing
 

iThingsGurl

macrumors 6502a
Dec 3, 2014
589
463
Canada
Could someone explain the reason that the app needs to send data to Microsoft in order for it to learn my typing habits and have better word predictions? Can the app not do it itself directly from within the app?

Server side processing is faster, and it's easier to make changes/perform maintenance without having to push updates for the app. Additionally, they use this data to improve their service. Apple does the same with Siri.
 
Last edited:
Comment

Jal217

macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2015
157
221
I'm really excited for one handed mode. If it had a dictation button it could be my only keyboard. Looks like no such luck though so will be stuck with having appeals keyboard to cycle through.
 
Comment

joueboy

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2008
1,576
1,545
Most of the search and typing data happens more mobile devices and Microsoft is getting behind on this. Bing is fine but Google is the most used search engine and Windows Mobile is not doing well. To get those data from Android and iOS users, this the only way.
 
Comment

Shirasaki

macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
11,633
5,547
Looks cool but why over half of video time is introducing custom theme feature? And yet I still have no idea how it can input words by sliding on keyboard?
Well, I must be too old to understand such stuff.
 
Comment

iThingsGurl

macrumors 6502a
Dec 3, 2014
589
463
Canada
Looks cool but why over half of video time is introducing custom theme feature? And yet I still have no idea how it can input words by sliding on keyboard?
Well, I must be too old to understand such stuff.

You are not! :)

I guess the app is still in the beta version. Once they release it on the app store we might be able to get more information.
 
Comment

Shirasaki

macrumors G4
May 16, 2015
11,633
5,547
You are not! :)

I guess the app is still in the beta version. Once they release it on the app store we might be able to get more information.
Glad that you say this. At least I am not so old physically. ;) off topic.
Yeah, maybe App Store version would be better somehow. This keyboard is still in closed beta phase so anything is possible. I still can remember second iOS 9.0 developer beta contained that quick keyboard selections feature on iPhone, super handy. And now, only iPhone 6s users could use it through force touch.
 
Comment

btrach144

macrumors demi-god
Aug 28, 2015
2,262
5,249
Indiana
Could someone explain the reason that the app needs to send data to Microsoft in order for it to learn my typing habits and have better word predictions? Can the app not do it itself directly from within the app?
Where does I claim that typing data is sent to Microsoft? This hasn't even been officially announced nor do we know if it truly exists. So how can we assume that data is being shared?
 
  • Like
Reactions: AleXXXa
Comment

Tofupunch

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2014
254
209
I wonder if they'll want full access in order to use this keyboard? I just can't bring myself to use a keyboard that has full access.
 
Comment

Mactendo

macrumors 68000
Oct 3, 2012
1,967
2,044
Could someone explain the reason that the app needs to send data to Microsoft in order for it to learn my typing habits and have better word predictions? Can the app not do it itself directly from within the app?
They need to compare it to your other data, extract names and phone numbers from your contacts, check your location with FBI, see if you're no typing something illegal, send a squad at your location if you are typing something illegal, patent all your bright ideas, store passwords just in case and simply have fun selling info to third parties.

Hey, Google, this user is 24 yo, from NY and it looks like he's going to visit his friend in Chicago this week. Sell him some ads on travelling and airplane tickets.

Psst, Facebook. Do you want to know what we learned about this guy?

---...--. --.--...-..-. ALPHA, THIS IS DELTA. INCOMING TRANSMISSION ABOUT EINSTEINBQAT. YES, EINSTEINBQAT. HE SEEMS TO KNOW TOO MUCH. YES, WAY TOO MUCH.

:)
 
Comment

Tofupunch

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2014
254
209
100% it'll need full access to use all its features.
Does anyone else feel apprehensive about allowing that much access? Perhaps I'm not clear on what it entails but, to my understanding, they basically can log everything I type right?
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.