Microsoft's one-handed Word Flow keyboard de-listed from the App Store

microsoft shuts down word flow comp 2
Microsoft is shutting down Word Flow. The inventive one-handed keyboard app exclusive to iPhone is being de-listed from the App Store, and the company is instructing users to go download SwiftKey instead.

“The Word Flow experiment is now complete!” the app’s page on Microsoft’s site reads. “We encourage you to download the SwiftKey Keyboard from the App Store. The SwiftKey product team is frequently building and evaluating new features for SwiftKey and shipping updates.”

Word Flow was developed by Microsoft’s experimental Garage division, and was introduced to the iPhone in April of last year. For a long time, the keyboard was exclusive to Windows Phone. An Android release was teased after Word Flow made its way to Apple’s handsets, but that never came to fruition.

At one point, Word Flow was used to set the world record for fastest text message typed — though that record was later broken by Fleksy. We gave Word Flow the thumbs (thumb?) up in our quick video review last year, saying it was especially useful for firing off one-handed messages on the ginormous iPhone 6S Plus.

So, where does the future of one-handed typing go from here? And what are happy Word Flow users to do? With Microsoft having acquired SwiftKey last year, it’s quite possible this is the first step in offering a similar mode in the much more well-known multiplatform keyboard app. As one of Microsoft Garage’s most successful experiments, we’re hoping this isn’t the last we’ve seen of it.

Speaking of Garage, the team has been routinely pumping out some of the company’s most interesting and endearing apps over the past several years, from fun photo-captioning app Sprinkles to Dictate, which lets you talk to your desktop Office programs, like Word and Excel.

Word Flow isn’t the first high-profile Garage app to meet a premature demise. At the beginning of the year, Microsoft shut down Cache, a sort-of clipboard-meets-digital organization tool available for both iOS and Windows. To date, Cache’s features have yet to show up in another app — though Microsoft hinted at the time that they could very well appear again down the line.

Mobile

Score a Christmas deal with Speck’s half-off sale on its entire range of cases

The holidays might be nearing, but bargains don't take time off. To celebrate the last day for U.S. ground shipping, Speck will be offering a sitewide 50-percent-off deal for one day only on Monday December 17.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Music

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Mobile

Doubts emerge over when LG will reveal its folding smartphone

LG may be working on a folding smartphone, making it the latest device manufacturer to be linked to the technology, which may become one of the standout designs of the coming year.
Mobile

Walk, run, and stretch with these handy iPhone fitness apps

Working out and getting yourself in shape isn't easy, but it's easier with the right set of apps. These best iPhone fitness apps will help you to track your calories, monitor your sleep, and achieve your fitness goals.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Mobile

These parental control apps will help keep your kids' device habits in check

Looking for extra security and monitoring on mobile devices? Take a look at the best parental control apps for limiting time and keeping watch on your child's phone usage and behavior. We have the top options for Android and iOS here.
Deals

Save up to $800 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $800.
Deals

Amazon Fire Deals: Tablets, TVs, and TV controllers in stock and ready to ship

Last-minute shoppers, and anyone seeking good deals on Amazon Fire products, are in luck. There's still time to order Fire Tablets, Fire TVs, and Fire media players, Fire CVRs, and Alexa-voice-compatible Fire remotes for Christmas delivery.
Mobile

The best protective iPhone cases to defend against dirt, dings, and drops

If you’re going off-road or work outdoors, it could be a good idea to invest in a tough case. These are our picks of the best protective iPhone cases for all iterations of the iPhone, from the iPhone XS to the 7.
Mobile

Give Rachael Ray a run for her money with these 13 recipe apps

You don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay to make a killer meal, you just need an easy to follow recipe app. We’ve compiled our 13 favorite cooking apps for Android smartphones and iPhones, including countless recipes to suit any taste.
Mobile

You forgot all about these 6 phones of 2018. Prepare to forget them again

The best phones of the year are memorable, exciting, and ones we all want to buy. But what about the others? We're not talking about bad phones, we're talking about forgettable phones -- ones that aren't even bad enough to be remembered.
Mobile

T-Mobile is giving away free iPhone XRs and Galaxy S9s for the holidays

T-Mobile is celebrating the holiday season with a series of deals for customers who want an iPhone XR, Galaxy S9, OnePlus 6T, LG V40, or LG G7. There are terms and conditions to the deals, but they are still worth considering.