Microsoft has, at long last, released its own keyboard for Apple’s iOS, offering a number of interesting features including SwiftKey-inspired autocompletion and Office 365 integration. You can download the new keyboard now on the App Store; it’s called Hub Keyboard, and it’s available free of charge.
Microsoft indeed acquired SwiftKey back in February, prompting rumors concerning a potential third-party keyboard release from the company. The move formed part of Microsoft’s larger acquire-and-release spree: the company had previously acquired Acompli, the popular email client for iOS, and Sunrise Calendar (both have since made their way into Microsoft’s Outlook for iOS application).
Now, however, Microsoft has indeed released its Hub Keyboard on the App Store, and it can be downloaded free of charge. Offering a number of improvements over the default iOS keyboard, Microsoft’s offering lets iPhone owners easily insert their most-recently copied text into the current text field; it lets users grab and share the URLs of Office 365 documents stored in Microsoft’s OneDrive; and, lastly, it also lets users share the information of a contact stored on their iPhone (or on an Office 365 account).
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Hub Keyboard also implements SwiftKey’s autocomplete feature, making for an all-round speedier typing experience.
Personally speaking, I’ve never been a huge fan of third-party iOS keyboards: though I’ve experimented with a few since the functionality reached Apple’s iOS, I always find the default keyboard more responsive and easier to use. Plus, I like having access to the Siri Dictation button, and prefer not to have to cycle through a bunch of third-party keyboards in order to access the emoji keyboard. As such, Hub Keyboard isn’t going to have a huge impact on how I use my iOS devices.
That said, the extra features it brings to iOS could be of interest to you. As mentioned, you can pick up Microsoft’s Hub Keyboard free of charge on the App Store, and it’s optimized for the iPhone/iPod touch.