Microsoft is understandably proud of certain components and services that it’s built to further enhance the Windows experience across desktop and mobile. The company also clearly understands that there are a lot of users dotted around the globe who may love what the company is doing, but simply prefer the hardware or overall ecosystem of its competitors. Cortana was brought to iOS as part of that understanding, and now, it looks as though the company’s famed Word Flow keyboard is about to undergo the same treatment with an iOS variant in testing.
Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant and its Outlook app for email, have already been ported across to the iOS platform. Those internal decisions mean that owners of an iPhone or iPad – the two devices that pretty much dominate the smartphone and tablet markets – are able to benefit and interact with two of Microsoft’s excellent services. The software giant clearly understands that its Windows Phone platform simply doesn’t have the power and appeal of the iPhone, and as such is contacting Windows Insiders about testing the Word Flow keyboard on iOS.
An email distributed to select Windows Insider subscribers is soliciting feedback on the program, as well as ascertaining whether or not that individual would be interested in participating in the Word Flow for iOS beta program. The email makes reference to the fact that the keyboard experience on Windows Phone was used “to break the Guinness World Record for fastest texting”, and that it still remains as one of the most “highly praised features of Windows Phone”. The email also confirms that Microsoft is “working on extending this keyboard to other platforms, starting with iOS”.
The interesting thing to note is that the email clearly confirms that Microsoft is planning on a wider port than just bringing this experience to iOS. The company will be getting to grips with and utilizing Apple’s third-party keyboard frameworks to build and release the Word Flow keyboard experience for iOS, and it’s highly likely that an Android release will follow hot on the heels. Considering that Microsoft is now soliciting interest in a beta for those with an iPhone 5s or newer, it’s likely that an actual public release won’t be far behind this announcement.