Microsoft Garage, Microsoft’s experimental projects team, has finally released their much anticipated Hub Keyboard for iOS today. This specific keyboard lacks the expected special one-handed typing mode, along with the previously reported Swype-like typing functionality. The latter feature may have been related to Microsoft’s recent purchase of SwiftKey, although it appears some of SwiftKey’s features made its way into Hub Keyboard in the form of autocompletion suggestions.
Hub Keyboard integrates with Microsoft’s own Office 365 allowing users to quickly search through their own contacts and documents and share them wherever the keyboard is present. The keyboard also shows the most recent clipboard text in the top row making pasting copied text a single tap.
If this direction of service integration is any hint of what Google’s keyboard may look like, we may see a head-to-head battle of iOS keyboards in the near future. Microsoft and Google’s keyboards seem to be following the paths of other keyboards like Thingthing and Slash Keyboard by allowing multiple services and tools all to be accessed within the comfort of the keyboard itself. Adding integerations like this could theoretically drive usage of those individual services up, if not at least bring awareness to them.
Isn’t it painful to switch between apps just to complete your routine on-the-go tasks? Hub Keyboard, a Microsoft Garage project, lets you stay in context by bringing information from different services to your fingertips and help complete your tasks faster. Sign in with your Office 365 work or school account to unlock access to more information.
Use Hub Keyboard when you need:
• Copied Text: Easily insert the last text you copied • Documents: Grab and share URLs of Office 365 documents in OneDrive and SharePoint • Contacts: Share information of a contact from your phone or your Office 365 account
Available in English for the U.S. market. We are working on supporting more languages and countries!
Our story: http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/02/23/hub-keyboard-app-from-microsoft-garage-makes-it-easy-to-multitask-from-one-mobile-screen/
We would love to hear your feedback here! http://aka.ms/hubkeyboardfeedback
The Microsoft Garage is an outlet for experimental projects for you to try. Learn more athttp://garage.microsoft.com.
More information on Microsoft Garage’s Hub Keyboard inception can be found at Microsoft’s Fire Hose blog.
Microsoft’s Hub keyboard is available for free in the iOS App Store and is compatible with iPhones and iPads.