Microsoft is bringing a little bit of its Windows Phone to iOS. The company launched a new keyboard app for iOS on Monday that is making it easy to text like a pro with just one hand.
A feature on Windows Phone, Microsoft’s Word Flow app for iOS allows the user to tap or swipe to type, and is able to predict what you are trying to write to increase the time to takes to complete sentences.
Developed by Microsoft’s in-house division called Garage, the Word Flow app also allows users to customize the keyboard to switch to its “Arc mode,” which displays the keyboard in the shape of an arch for easy and ergonomic typing with one hand.
The idea behind the app is that users will be able to type fast and mistake-free, using just their thumb if they wish.
Here’s how to use the one-handed keyboard.
Set Up The Keyboard
Once you download the app, you will have to add the keyboard and allow full access. Do so by going to Settings > General > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard > Word Flow. Then, tap on Word Flow and toggle full access on so that the app can recognize friends’ names for faster messaging.
Choose A Theme
Part of further personalizing the keyboard means users can add a background that is displayed underneath the letters. Users can either use an image included for free (with new ones being added over time), or their own from their photo library.
To set an included background image, slide through the “Word Flow Themes,” tap on the background you like and tap “Apply.”
To set a custom image, tap on the plus icon under “My Themes” and select an image from your camera roll. You can then drag to reposition it and pinch to zoom. To complete the theme, choose the text and swipe color that you want.
You can create as many themes as you wish and just have to tap on the one you want to use at the moment.
Open The Keyboard
Now that you have a theme, it’s time to start using the keyboard. Exit the app and go to text a contact. Just like you would send an emoji, tap on the globe icon and switch to Word Flow.
Quick Typing On QWERTY Keyboard
You can now start trying out the traditional QWERTY keyboard and increase how fast you type by swiping letters, which will string them together.
The app uses an algorithm to suggest the next word you are about to write and will learn over time so that you continue to type quickly. These words will appear on the top in a banner over the keyboard.
Switch To Arc Mode
While swiping makes typing feel 100 times faster, switching to arc mode will forever change the way you text. No longer will you have to worry about dropping your phone because you were awkwardly texting with one hand.
This mode works for users who are left- and right-handed. Just press down or up (depending on which hand you use) on the arc icon located on the left and right on the top banner of the keyboard to switch to this mode.
Because of the curve, it’s so easy to quickly swipe and type using just your thumb.
Users can change their settings by pressing down on the globe icon when the keyboard is up. From there, you can turn sounds, capitalization and space for a period features on or off, as well as edit your themes.
Settings can also be accessed in the Word Flow app by tapping on the gear icon.
In the app, you will also be able to see your word count per minute if you want to practice your speed skills.
Microsoft’s Word Flow previously entered closed beta testing early this month for iOS. It is now available to download for free for iOS, but it is only available in English.
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