Since Apple made third party keyboards available on the iPhone I’ve tried a few including the popular SwiftKey and recent Microsoft release HubKeyboard. They were all deleted quickly as I found them not to be an improvement over the basic keyboard provided by Apple. But that’s all changed with Word Flow.
Microsoft released HubKeyboard for iOS a few days ago. I tried it but didn’t see the value. You can link it to your Office 365 account. Maybe that brings some added functionality, but since I don’t have an Office 365 account I just deleted it. So I wasn’t optimistic when they announced the release of another keyboard for iOS just a few days later.
Word Flow is the keyboard used on Windows phones — so most people don’t know it exists. Under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft now has the freedom to expand their products to non-Windows platforms. So Word Flow has been released for the iPhone, and soon Android as well.
After reading a couple of reviews and realizing it included a swipe feature I headed over to the App Store and downloaded. In a few minutes I had it installed, started swiping, and haven’t looked back.
Without lifting your thumb from the keypad you can just swipe over the keys that spell the word you want and most of the time it pops right in. Pick your finger up and immediately repeat the process for the next word. Speeds up texting considerably.
The arc option for the keyboard curves it either to the right or left, depending on your dexterity. This makes all the keys easier to reach with your texting thumb. Especially important if you have small hands or a big phone. Also decreases the chances you’ll drop the phone while trying to reach the Q on the far left side of the keyboard.
The predictive text is surprisingly accurate. Some words have similar swipe shapes on the keyboard, so Word Flow takes its best guess, but also gives you alternatives you can easily select from.
When trying to compose a Tweet sometimes you want to start a new line or put in a blank line. You need the line return button to make that happen (same as the return or enter key on your laptop keyboard). Non-existent on the Apple keyboard when in Twitter, but no problem on Word Flow
Unfortunately, you can’t access Siri from this keyboard. If you want to talk-to-text you will have to push one button and exit the keyboard. To get back push the same button twice.
No curse words
My grandmother used to say, “Plain English is easy understood.” That was usually right after she had used some very plain English. She would not be a fan of Word Flow. If you want to throw a damn into a text for effect all you get is a dam. Want to send someone to Hell? He’ll have to do. And of course, the infamous duck.
No rolled eyes emoji
My favorite emoji is the rolled eyes emoji. If it’s there I can’t find it.
If you’re an iPhone user do yourself a favor, head over to the App Store, and give Word Flow a try.
Several years ago I abandoned the Microsoft and PC world for Apple. Now the preferred keyboard on my iPhone is a Microsoft product. Excuse me while I go curl up on the couch and cry.
Distracted Cyclist on SW Waterfront by Mr.TinDC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.