Microsoft appears to be planning to port its Windows Phone keyboard called Word Flow to the iPhone as a third-party keyboard, according to WinBeta. The company is currently reaching out to enlisted software testers to recruit iOS users with iPhone 5s or later to test the Windows Phone keyboard.
Word Flow works similarly to gesture-based third-party keyboards like Swype, which let you trace your finger across letters to suggest words for quick typing. The keyboard also supports traditional typing in the same interface. Emoji characters are even recommended when typing words so ‘dog’ might show the dog emoji when typing the word out.
This is how typing with Word Flow looks on Windows Phone minus gesture typing :
Microsoft is currently recruiting beta testers already in its Windows Insider Program with the following message:
Word Flow keyboard has long been one of the highly praised features on Windows Phone and was used to break the Guinness World Record for fastest texting. We are now working on extending this keyboard to other platforms, starting with iOS.
Before publicly releasing this keyboard to the App Store, we’d love to give Insiders like you a preview. With your feedback, we’ll build a roadmap of improvements to the keyboard over time.
Most third-party keyboards since Apple added the capability with iOS 8 haven’t been real home runs due to speed and performance issues, so we’ll have to see how Microsoft works around this. The company is certainly no stranger to developing for iOS with nearly 60 iPhone apps on the App Store to date.