Microsoft’s Word Flow Keyboard - Will It Have An Impact?
Have you heard about Microsoft’s newest app? It promises to make your iPhone’s keyboard typing “blazing fast.”
These claims had us asking, “The Microsoft Word Flow keyboard – will it have an impact?” We believe it will, and in this article we’re going to tell you why.
First, we want you to know that we downloaded the app and gave it a whirl on our iPhones. Here’s what we found:
Word Flow Comes with Solid Features
The Microsoft Word Flow keyboard was incredibly easy to set up and took less than five minutes. The setup is intuitive, and the app walked us through each step.
Optimized for the iPhone, it really channels Apple’s sleek, modern feel. The keyboard comes with several optimization options that include the ability to change the keyboard’s background. Users can choose a pre-set template background, or they can use one of their own photos.
You’ll find nine different keyboard color and image themes, and Microsoft promises more in the near future.
The best feature of the Word Flow keyboard is the Arc. The Arc is made for one-handed typing so users can optimize their typing with the thumb only.
With a quick slide of your finger, the Word Flow keyboard basically morphs into a curved layout across your screen. This is especially helpful for those with the larger sized iPhones.
In normal mode, the keyboard is horizontal, just like you’re used to. But, when swiping one of the arcs on either side of the top of the keyboard, you’ll be surprised by what happens. The keyboard slides out and rotates at an angle.
While this took a very minor period of adjustment, it’s an easy and comfortable way to type.
Another feature we appreciated was Word Flow’s extraordinary ability to predict what’s being typed and correct mistakes on the fly. It also comes with the ability to predict the names of friends and family members as you type because it has access to your contacts. Although, you can change this in the settings.
What’s even better is that the app learns from your texts, so its ability to predict the word you want rises with each text you send.
While the Word Flow keyboard is expected to make an impact, there is one glaring reason you might not want to use it.
Word Flow Concern
Privacy is a very valid concern with the Word Flow app.
When setting it up, it asks you to give Word Flow complete access to transmit “anything you type, including things you have previously typed with this keyboard. This could include sensitive information such as your credit card number or street address.”
This may be reason enough for many app users to decide to uninstall the app. After all, the privacy concerns are huge.
Developed by the Microsoft Garage (their outlet for experimental app development), you can grant the keyboard less than full access, but several of its key functions won’t work without it.
Bottom line – the functionalities of the Word Flow keyboard are exceptional. Yet, like other third-party keyboards, the app asks for access to private information, so if this isn’t for you, it’s a better bet to stick with the default iPhone keyboard.
You might be wondering why Microsoft is showing up in the list of available iPhone apps. In the past, Microsoft wanted nothing to do with Apple, and they certainly didn’t want to be part of enhancing the usage of the iPhone.
Well, this was back in the day of the desktop wars, and those are now over.
Microsoft’s launch of Word Flow shows that they are ready to step into the realm of Apple products with the goal of expanding their influence in the mobile arena.
While Word Flow first debuted on Windows phones, it’s an exciting development that it’s landed, for free, in the hands of Apple users. Give it a try and come back and let us know what you think.
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