It's been around for years, but the popular SwiftKey iPhone keyboard is about to go the way of the dodo. That is, you soon won't be able to install it anymore with Microsoft saying that it is going to remove SwiftKey from the App Store on October 5.
The move means that while anyone who already has the keyboard will be able to continue using it, they'll lose access if they ever delete it or buy a new iPhone.
Going, going, gone
Notably, Microsoft says that it intends to keep the keyboard around for those using Android, while the technology will live on as part of the Windows touch keyboard, too. While ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley first reported the move, they didn't have any concrete information on why it was taking place. The suggestion is that it could all be down to Apple's control over third-party keyboards on its platform, though.
When asked, director of product management at SwiftKey, Chris Wolfe, did provide a statement that simply said that "As of October 5, support for SwiftKey iOS will end and it will be delisted from the Apple App Store. Microsoft will continue support for SwiftKey Android as well as the underlying technology that powers the Windows touch keyboard." Wolfe also confirmed that anyone with the app installed will still be able to use it "until it is manually uninstalled or a user gets a new device."
While the number of people using third-party keyboards on iPhones is up for debate, SwiftKey has long been one of the more popular options. Microsoft bought the company behind the keyboard back in 2016, saying it was being used by more than 300 million people across both Android and iOS.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.