Swipe powered keyboards remain an attractive niche for those who like to type one handed. Google recently released its Gboard keyboard for iOS, and Microsoft is now testing a new version of its Word Flow app to compete.
Word Flow works by using ‘Arc mode,' which arranges your keyboard so you can reach all of the letters with one hand. Rather than having to press each letter individually, you can swipe between them, and the service predicts what you want to say.
Word Flow Beta Changes
News of the new update comes from MSPoweruser, who tested the public beta for the app. One of the problems with Word Flow previously was that sending GIFs or emoji's still needed extra, two-handed input.
Much like Facebook's Messenger, Word Flow now has a GIF and emoji search within the application. You click the button, search for the GIF or emoji you want, and paste it in. The functionality extends to web searches, so you never have to leave message screen.
It's no secret that Microsoft acquired SwiftKey back in February. It came as a surprise, however, when the company pushed out a new emoticon themed keyboard app.
Microsoft's Swiftmoji is focused on predicting the emoji's users want and supplying them in an easy to use interface. It suggests series that can be used to portray whole words and sentences and integrates trending topics.
I noted then that using the little icons has become a part of daily interaction for most people. Emogi reported last year that 92% of online consumers use emoticons, and Microsoft seems to be aware of this.
The Word Flow emoji integration may not seem like a significant change to some, but helps thousands of users who want to express themselves in a variety of different ways. The ability to web search without having to leave the messaging app saves endless time, and contact search is also useful.
In short, Microsoft has removed some of the shortcomings and made a keyboard app that's even more well rounded. You can download the Word Flow for yourself from the App Store.