Microsoft Kills Word Flow, Will Focus on SwiftKey

Posted on July 31, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile with 20 Comments

Microsoft Kills Word Flow, Will Focus on SwiftKey

Microsoft will finally consolidate its mobile keyboards into a single solution. Which will, of course, be SwiftKey.

“The Word Flow experiment is now complete!” the WordFlow website jauntily reveals. “We encourage you to download the SwiftKey Keyboard from the App Store. The SwiftKey product team is frequently building and evaluating new features for SwiftKey and shipping updates.”

Microsoft releases WordFlow for iOS only almost a year ago. It’s notable for two reasons: WordFlow is, of course, the name of the software keyboard that Microsoft first developed for Windows phone. And it offered a unique one-handed “Arc mode” that has roots all the way back to the Portable Media Center platform.

But killing WordFlow makes sense. The SwiftKey keyboard and brand are already well known and popular in the mobile space. Whereas WordFlow, like Windows phone, is not. And SwiftKey is truly cross-platform, not iOS-only.

Naturally, we’ll now pin our hopes on the unlikely chance that Microsoft will move some of the better WordFlow features, like Arc mode, to SwiftKey. I recommend not holding your breath on that one.


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Comments (20)

20 responses to “Microsoft Kills Word Flow, Will Focus on SwiftKey”

  1. adamcorbally

    They will now focus on swiftkey......... have they ever really focused on any of their third party keyboards?

  2. Tommy

    I'm bummed. I really like WordFlow on iOS.

    I hope they bring the custom color palette/themes from WordFlow over to Swiftkey.

  3. bmatusz

    Submitted a request to have custom wallpaper support in SwiftKey. Until they do I will stick with WordFlow.

    Edit: Despite what I see in the promo banner in this article, I have not found a way to add custom backgrounds. Only the stock schemes.

    Edit 2, the Quickening: the above image is for WordFlow. I still want it for SwiftKey. Don't mind me. I will return to the vacation already in progress.

  4. rameshthanikodi

    “The Word Flow experiment is now complete!”

    Congratulations to Microsoft on finding a way to retire an app in a new and surprising way.

  5. SDreamer

    Knew this would happen. Wordflow was an awesome keyboard replacement. I just wanted dictation and it would have been perfect. Switched to Swiftkey, but it misses the one handed keyboard mode and custom made keyboard designs.

  6. jwpear

    Sigh. I tried both and settled on WordFlow. I guess that was my preference because I was once a WP user. It has been a while, but if I remember correctly, it was the word prediction that I felt WordFlow was better at.

    I should learn my lesson at some point and run as far away from Microsoft products as I can. Maybe I should start doing that professionally too.

    • SenorGravy

      In reply to jwpear: The problem with that is "where are you going to run to"? Apple is bizzy trying to run off every Mac OS user as soon as they empty our wallets one last time, and Linux simply is simply too complicated for the average user.

  7. Nonmoi

    Wait ADHD MS now has the ability to focus?

  8. Matt88

    I want Swiftkey for my SP3. The current on screen keyboard is an abomination

    • Spineless

      In reply to Matt88:

      I'd prefer WordFlow on my SP3. I hate SwiftKey. I spend more time correcting it's mistakes, than I save with it's enhancements.

    • evox81

      In reply to Matt88:

      This! Why there isn't a wordflow option for big Windows, I will never understand.

      • SvenJ

        In reply to evox81: You guys aren't on the insider program are you? It's there (for me) it's coming (for you). Not sure I quite like it yet. It brings up a keyboard that is about the size of my 950XL, and works largely the same. I've always sort of wanted swiping to be available in the regular size keyboard. That would make for a lot of finger travel, but I have often accidentally tried swiping, because I have enough things that support it that it seems natural, and it didn't seem awkward.

  9. SvenJ

    One of the better Wordflow features I'd like to see is actually working as well as it did in WP 7/8. Windows (phone) forums have a significant amount of discussion about how the product in WIN 10 just doesn't seem as good as it was in previous Windows Phone implementations. It doesn't seem as good as recognizing and predicting as it used to be. I distinctly recall being amazed at how good Wordflow was at getting it right. I called it clairvoyant. I spend as much time fixing miss-recognitions in W10M as I do 'typing' the message.

    Arc view, color pallets, and the like should all take a back seat to polishing the actual function.

    • jwpear

      In reply to SvenJ:

      I absolutely agree with you on polishing the actual function before the other fluff.

      WordFlow's prediction capability on iOS was absolutely awesome in comparison to SwiftKey. I swear SwiftKey is about as dumb as it gets. It'll recommend plural forms of words when the singular is the appropriate form. It'll correct perfectly good word for no reason whatsoever. I hate it. But hate the stock keyboard even more. Maybe I just need to move on to another keyboard outside of the MS realm.

  10. cyloncat

    WordFlow quite working on my iPhone a couple of months ago. I suppose it knew what was coming.

  11. jimchamplin

    Yeah, if a tech company buys something, then discontinues their better one, you should just quit using it altogether.

    Anything good about the unique one will be gone. See: Windows Live Messenger.

  12. sandeepm

    windows Mobile keyboard was awesome till they deliberately messed it up. Now they are pretending that SwiftKey is the answer, just because it is based on cloud AI. When I was young, I studied AI (though it was not called AI those days)Anyway, Cloud or whatever, i would be happy if they capitalized my "i" like in the good old days of Nokia Lumia. But that $billion investment into someone's sister's husband's sister-in-law's company should be justified, anyway!

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