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Microsoft keyboards on iOS

By June 22, 2016September 11th, 2020Blog, Microsoft
example of Microsoft Word flow keyboard on IOS

If you use iOS devices as part of your workflow, Microsoft has a couple system keyboards that might make your life easier.

The first is Word Flow. This is a general purpose keyboard that incorporates a lot of features from Windows Phone and brings them to the iPhone. It supports swiping from letter to letter to form words and customizable backgrounds.

But its best feature is what Microsoft calls Arc Mode. On either side of the text prediction choices above the letters are arc icons. Drag either of them down to the keyboard itself and the entire keyboard curves with the center of the curve being the corner on the side where you pulled the icon. This makes the keyboard conform to the arc your thumb naturally traces when you try to type one-handed.

This takes a little getting used to, but if you have a larger iPhone, like the iPhone 6 Plus or 6S Plus, this can make all the difference in being able to type with one hand rather than fumbling around and dropping your pocket supercomputer on the jagged rocks below.

Microsoft’s other iOS keyboard is Hub. This is more of a specialist keyboard for people deep into the Microsoft ecosystem (and if you didn’t fall into that category, what are you doing at this blog?). With Hub, first you need to sign in with your Office365 account. Once you do, you have a standard keyboard with a little square icon in the upper left corner. Tap on that, and you have access to a number of special features from any application.

The first is access to previous contents of your clipboard. So you can not only paste what’s in there now, but the last several things. Being able to copy a bunch of stuff and paste it in all at once is a big time saver.

Next you have access to all your Office365 documents, most recently used first or you can search for them. When you select one, the link to it is pasted into whatever you’re working on.

You also have access to all your contacts, both on your phone and in Office365.

Finally, you can translate whatever you’re typing into another language. This is great for working with international clients.

Jeff Kirvin, PEI

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