Microsoft to Bring Windows Phone Keyboard to iOS With Unique One-Handed Mode

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Microsoft is working on bringing its Word Flow Windows Phone keyboard to iOS devices and new images shared by The Verge offer a look at some of the included features, such as a one-handed mode for larger phones like the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus.

    To enable one-handed typing, the keyboard has an arc-like design with letters radiating out from the iPhone's display to be reached with just a thumb. The keyboard can be used this way on either the left or right side of the device, so it works for both right-handed and left-handed users. Microsoft's own devices have a one-handed mode, but it shrinks the letters down to one side rather than rearranging the keys.


    Microsoft's upcoming iOS keyboard also has a standard view like any other third-party keyboard, and it's said to be similar in design to the Word Flow keyboard used on Windows 10 Mobile devices. The Word Flow keyboard, first introduced with Windows Phone 8.1, is seen as a defining feature of the mobile Windows experience.

    It features swipe-based typing like the third-party Swype keyboard on iOS, and it also features a built-in word prediction engine, automatic word corrections and shortcuts, multi-language support, emoji recommendations when typing, and more.


    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 Verge says it will be available "in the coming months."

    Third-party keyboards have not yet been widely adopted on iOS devices due to ongoing issues with slowness, crashing, and other bugs, so it remains to be seen if Microsoft's one-handed mode will win over iOS users.

    Article Link: Microsoft to Bring Windows Phone Keyboard to iOS With Unique One-Handed Mode
  2. farewelwilliams macrumors 65816

    Jun 18, 2014
    can't wait for my microsoft keyboard to load when i tap on a textfield.

    literally can't wait. screw third party keyboards in iOS.
  3. dalthicks macrumors member


    Sep 1, 2015
    Loganville, GA
    This might as well be pointless news if it is as slow and buggy as other 3rd party keyboards :confused:
  4. JonneyGee macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    It's nice to see something innovative and different. I'll stick with the built-in keyboard, but I'm sure this will be nice for some who would prefer a different option.
  5. Oblivious.Robot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2014
    This is interesting, will definitely be trying out!
  6. dalthicks macrumors member


    Sep 1, 2015
    Loganville, GA
    Agreed. I think that it is super cool. I hope it is stable enough to be usable without lagging.
  7. bennibeef macrumors 6502

    May 22, 2013
    Lets just hope its not a keylogger for "cortana" ;)
  8. bunkscene macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2016
    I am curious if anyone has seen anything from Apple regarding the horrible implementation of third party keyboards? I can only assume they made faulty plugin code because keyboard designers would fix all these issues if they could.

    Why over two OS versions have they not resolved this yet? What is the point of having them if you are going to make them unusable?
  9. Mr. Donahue macrumors 6502

    Mr. Donahue

    Sep 17, 2014
  10. louiek macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2006
    Knutters Knoll, Melbourne
    I just wish I could zoom out of maps one handed.
  11. Agent-P macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Tri-State Area
    The Google Maps app has this feature and I really want to see it throughout iOS. Especially in Safari.
  12. louiek, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016

    louiek macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2006
    Knutters Knoll, Melbourne
    Google Maps in iOS? How?

    Just found it. Double tap and drag. Why the hell don't we have something like that throughout iOS? That is so useful.
  13. Significant1 macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2014
    Double tap, but keep your finger down on second tap. Then you can zoom in/out by moving your finger. On Android many apps can zoom in/our this way.
  14. appledefenceforce macrumors 6502


    Oct 5, 2015
    Isn't it great that Windows phone users are left out of these new Microsoft apps lol
  15. yaboyac29 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2014
    That's interesting. Surprised Apple didn't do something similar.
  16. swajames macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2003
    I'm liking the new direction Microsoft is taking. It's a very different company than it was under Ballmer...
  17. rmbpuser macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2012
    Mayhap it is patented?
  18. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Pretty exciting to try out this! Loved the keyboard on my Windows Phone.

    What I've been hearing is that if you can't provide a way to reproduce a problem again and again, then Apple won't deal with the issue. And that's been the problem with the keyboards. Sometimes they don't appear in Spotlight, sometimes it's Safari, sometimes it's in another app. That indicates there's a problem, but you have to have something that's constantly the same result again and again to narrow things down more.

    Only the other week did the guy who made Nintype figure out something:
  19. KindredMAC macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    Where can I sign up to beta test this?
  20. Significant1 macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2014
    Likely. I believe it is an Google "invention". I miss it a lot in Safari and even Chrome on Ios does not support it (likely because it must use Apple's web engine)
  21. louiek macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2006
    Knutters Knoll, Melbourne
    I'm sure it is, but after all these years you'd think they could find a unique one-handed gesture to zoom out of a map or webpage.
  22. jayducharme macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    If Apple made a 4" iPhone, every keyboard could be used with just your thumb. ;)
  23. modemthug macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2010
    I really could have used this last night on my 6S Plus when I was texting at a concert with standing room only and had a drink in my other hand.

    Third party keyboards suck on iOS, but this could be useful sometimes -- like in the situation I just described
  24. anzio macrumors 6502

    Dec 5, 2010

    Anybody else experiencing similar issues after installing this?

    I kid, I kid.
  25. lunarworks macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    As someone who grew up under the heaviest of the Microsoft/Apple feuds, this is pretty impressive.

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