Microsoft officially launched its Word Flow keyboard on iOS earlier this year, and today the app has received a significant update, bringing its version number to 2.0. The update includes a host of new features, including some that rival what Apple is bringing to the Messages app keyboard with iOS 10.

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First, the update brings built-in support for GIF, image, and emoji search directly from the keyboard itself. Additionally, Word Flow will now make suggestions for things like GIFs while the user is typing. When Word Flow detects that there might be a GIF that will help “better express” the meaning of the message, a popup will appear with the ability quickly insert the image. This is similar to what Apple is doing with emoji prediction in iOS 10’s new Messages app.

Next up, Word Flow users can now look up restaurants, news, videos, facts, weather forecasts, contacts, and much more directly from the keyboard. In turn, this should make it quicker for users to quickly share information with one another.

Word Flow also gains support for 3D Touch in the form of controlling the cursor placement with a deep press, again similar to what’s supported already with the standard iOS 10 keyboard.

Other minor changes include support for the built-in iOS Text Replacement function, accuracy improvements, and new themes. The full changelog is below:

Thank you for your patience! We have a lot of new stuff in this release and look forward to hearing from you:

  • Search built into the keyboard:
    • Search for GIFs, images, and emojis to better express yourself
  • Find Contacts – when you need to share that person’s phone number
  • Look up restaurants, news, videos, facts, weather forecasts, and much more
  • New predictions, including GIFs: icons that show up as you type along with word suggestions that can help you express yourself better.

Other improvements/fixes include:

  • Control the cursor placement with 3D Touch
  • Accuracy improvements, particularly around space bar, and in arc mode
  • Support for iOS Text Replacement function
  • New themes!

Word Flow was released earlier this year and carries many similarities to Microsoft’s keyboard on Windows Phone. The keyboard features tradition keyboard input, as well as a swiping input method and a curved, one-handed mode.

Word Flow is available for free on the App Store.

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