Microsoft is bringing its famed Word Flow keyboard to the iPhone

Microsoft is evidently not yet finished porting over key components like Cortana and Outlook to the iPhone. The software company is now setting its eyes on the famous Word Flow keyboard from Windows Phones too as the next port to Apple's dominate smartphone.

In an email sent to a select few Windows Insiders the company is soliciting feedback on the feature and whether people will want to participate in the beta program.

Insider Kyle Reddoch received the email about the program recently asking if he owns "an iPhone (5s or newer)? Do you think your native iOS keyboard could use improvement?" The email then boasts about Word Flow breaking a Guinness World record for fastest texting and how Microsoft is "working on extending the keyboard to other platforms, starting with iOS".

That last part sounds as if Google's Android would be next in line.

While this is great news for those on iOS (and likely Android), we are sure some Windows Phone users are none too pleased. Nonetheless, Microsoft has made no secret of their intentions of being the best software company around, and the Word Flow keyboard is a shining example of Microsoft's work.

What say you iPhone fans? Would you try out Microsoft's keyboard or do you prefer Apple's stock one instead? Shout out in comments.

Thanks, Kyle R./@WinPhanKyle, for the email!

  • I love Swiftkey for my iPhone for many reasons. Apple's implementation of third party keyboards makes it a pain to use.
  • Yeah, I've noticed that too. Not nearly as fluid a switch out compared to Android.
  • And that would be my only beef as well Sent from the iMore App
  • Yep. Going on 2 years, Apple third-party keyboards are still basically unusable for all but the most patient of users.
  • What? iOS 9 fixed all the issues that plagued the previous firmware. Keyboards pop up every time and down cause weird view port issues when leaving App Store reviews.
  • They most certainly have not been fixed. It still shifts back to the default from time to time, especially if you’re a heavy multitasker. On some apps it’s really bad. With Messages, if you unlock your phone and your last view was a Messages thread with the keyboard up, it will revert to stock pretty much every time. Messages also somehow manages to revert to stock on a thread by thread basis – you can have one conversation where it loads the stock keyboard, and another where it loads SwiftKey or whatever you’re using. It’s seemingly random. In addition, the keyboard can often have a huge delay in appearing – on the order of several seconds. Sometimes, especially in Spotlight search, no keyboard appears at all. It’s just a buggy mess. Happens on my iPhone 6, happens on my 6s, happens exactly the same with any third-party keyboard, happens even with a fresh install where the only third-party app on my phone is the keyboard.
  • That's very strange. I tried to recreate your scenario and wasn't able to get it to work. It sounds like you might have the stock keyboard still "enabled", and when I spent a week or two testing out multiple keyboards I would get the same thread differences you described. I settled on SwiftKey a couple days ago, disabled all other keyboards and haven't had those issues. It could also be some software bugginess. A month back I had to Restore and set my phone up as new. It's super inconvenient but worth it every couple of years.
  • I don't typically have the built-in keyboard disabled entirely, since it's handy when doing dictation. I can try it that way for a bit though…
  • I don't understand why one would have to disable the stock keyboard to have a third-party keyboard to work properly. Why can't they just all get along together?
  • You don't have to. But I was troubleshooting his problem to see if it would fix what he's experiencing. His use case does not sound consistent with my understanding of the keyboard fixes.
  • I wouldn't mind giving WordFlow a try. I've been using Swiftkey on my iPhone, but it is a mixed bag. Swiftkey's predictive text on iPhone is nowhere near as good as the predictive text I had on my BlackBerry Q10. In terms of text entry, the 6S Plus has been a downgrade for me, so I would welcome anything that can make it better.
  • Same here. SwiftKey isn't a bad alternative to the stock keyboard as it offers a swipe and a nice dark keyboard theme. The one thing that drives me nuts is that the key pop upon pressing a key is way too fast. Windows Phone had a great keyboard when I was on it a couple years back and the addition of Flow was great. I'm looking forward to see what Microsoft offers here.
  • I will stay with iPhone stock keyboard. For me is the best.
  • Physical keyboard for me is the best, all these touch screen keyboards are trying to fix a problem created by having non-physical keys
  • Why windows phone users should be annoyed? It does nothing to their own experience Sent from the iMore App
  • They are annoyed because it's their own version of Doom Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • The writer only speculates that there are upset Windows folks. He can't be and wasn't sure of it when he penned the article. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • He's pretty much the main guy over at Windows Central, he can be pretty sure. I mean, just venture over there right now... Everyone is melting down and freaking out because "Ermahgawd this is the final nail in the coffin, we arh d00m3d!!!111!!!!11one!!!111!!!"
  • go take a look every time something comes over to Apple from Microsoft it gets ugly.
  • Speaking as a former Windows phone user, it's annoying when Microsoft makes its apps better for IOS and Android than they are for Windows. It's one of the reasons I switched to an iPhone - so I would have a decent Outlook email app. For the keyboard - I don't find the IOS one too bad. The 3D Touch is very nice. I didn't find the swipe on Windows all that useful, and the predictive text, swipe to delete and word flick on BB10 made it superior to me. Sent from the iMore App
  • If only the third party keyboards weren't so crashy.
  • Man, I hated third party keyboards until I stumbled upon the ability to REORDER THEM to specify a default go-to keyboard... That made things so much more usable. And I appreciate that Apple doesn't want third party keyboards to be active for password entry. Unfortunately, the stock keyboard is still SOOO good... 3D Touch cursor placement, word accuracy, letter accuracy... it's unmatched in my book, and I've used all the popular ones. The only feature I'd really like to see the stock keyboard have added to its repertoire is the flow/gesture/swype based entry. That said, I'd give this a shot in a heartbeat, and I would love to be on the insider preview channel for it... Where do I sign up?!?
  • I'll give it a try, but as mentioned by others, third party keyboard implementation on iOS is hot garbage.
  • LOVE THAT WORD FLOW YO! I NEVER liked iOS's keyboard as I primarily use Swype, but I will definitely grab Word Flow when its finally available.
  • I haven't used a windows phone since just after 8.1 came out but the it had the best keyboard I've ever used to this day. haven't even considered a third party keyboard on my iPhone until now
  • I'd give it a shot. I used swiftkey on Android for years. When I tried out a Lumia for 12 months, the MS keyboard was pretty nice. I've been using swiftkey on iOS since I converted over and it's not bad once, as someone else mentioned, I figured out you can re-order the keyboards in Settings to basically make swiftkey the default keyboard except for passwords. Just from a continuity perspective though, if Apple added a swiping type functionality to the stock one, I'd start using it. I guess I've been using that style of "typing" for so long now on a phone that it feels weird when I actually type individual letters a tap at a time.
  • I might actually try that keyboard. The Windows mobile Keyboard was very nice IMO, and I miss it from my Windows Phone.
  • Only of the main pain points of a windows phone user coming to iOS. This is the equivalent of hunt and peck. There's an app for that, and it sucks. Sent from the iMore App
  • I am using the Minuum keyboard these days just because it allows one handed typing in a reasonable manner on my iPhone 6
  • Wp keyboard is a very good one. But so is SwiftKey on Android. Porting it over made it to resemble something like SwiftKey but definitely not the same thing.
    Interested to see that will it be as good as on Wp platform. Sent from the iMore App
  • I will try this. Microsoft now has every app they make on iPhone and android.
    Many long time WP users say all the apps better than the WP version.
    Next, maybe we will see Edge web browser.
  • Edge isn't something I'd want. I don't even use it on desktop Windows. It's too buggy and useless without any extensions such as uBlock Origin and Ghostery. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I used to use SwiftKey until I had to uninstall it due to a stuck update. Now I just use the Stock keyboard, since Swype can be buggy when it comes to working even when reorderd to the top of the keyboard list it sometimes reverts to Stock keyboard. Sent from the iMore App
  • I would love to use 3rd party keyboards, but I haven't found a single one that's better than the stock keyboard. That's not a swipe, no pun intended, at 3rd party keyboards. It's a swipe at . Their implementation of 3rd party keyboards is trash. I always try them and I'm always disappointed. Luckily for me I never thought the stock keyboard sucked.
  • I am an old Windows Phone user (got a bunch of Lumia's) and the keybord is THE most missing tool for me. It help wrigting faster. Would be nice to have it on my iPhone 6 Plus.
  • My windows phone has not been turned on in months. I hate that keyboard. I have no idea why people still buy luminas Sent from the iMore App
  • Same here. I really enjoyed using the Windows keyboard.
  • Ho boy! “Embrace and extend” is back!
  • I could care less about Microsoft's Word Flow keyboard coming to iOS as I hated it on my old Lumia 535, I definitely prefer Apple's keyboard on iOS, I used to use Swiftkey on iOS but I got fed up of the crap predictions so I disabled it and went back to Apple's keyboard which I absolutely love. Posted via the iMore App
  • I'm excited about this. Word Flow is hands down the best smartphone keyboard I've ever used. I've been using SwiftKey since getting my iPhone 6s, but it's nowhere near as intuitive as Word Flow. Once Word Flow comes to iOS, I'll gladly dump SwiftKey for it.
  • I'm definitely giving it a shot. I hope they will bring the cursor control as well. Sent from the iMore App
  • I doubt it could replace Nintype for me, but I would give it a shot. Nintype is hands down the best keyboard out there in my opinion.
  • **** to the yeah !! Miss my Wordflow since jumping over to iPhone....already got Cortana installed.
    Bring it on !! Swiftkey just don't cut it....
  • I would use Microsoft Word Flow, I loved it when I had a Windows Phone. Sent from the iMore App
  • I cannot wait for this. Going to check my window insider account!