Microsoft's SwiftKey is back on the iOS App Store
Microsoft's SwiftKey is back on the iOS App Store. The popular keyboard app is available on Apple's storefront out of the blue, after a month-long hiatus.
SwiftKey for iOS is back
In September this year, Microsoft had announced that it would be ending support for SwiftKey for iOS on October 5th. It had reassured users of the Android version, that it would not be affected by this change. The news came as quite a shock for iOS users, who had requested the Redmond company not to discontinue the keyboard. Unfortunately, their hopes were crushed, as the app was delisted last month as planned.
Things took a turn for the better over the past weekend, when Vishnu Nath, the Vice President & General Manger of the Office Product Group including SwiftKey, made a surprise announcement on Twitter to confirm that SwiftKey is back on iOS. Microsoft's Caitlin Roulston released a statement to The Verge saying that the keyboard had been reinstated based on customer feedback. So it appears that they did listen to users after all. That is welcome news, considering the state of keyboard apps available on the mobile platform. Even Apple's iOS keyboard is not very good compared to SwiftKey, let alone the third-party apps like Gboard.
In my previous article, I had mentioned that Microsoft had removed all support pages for SwiftKey, when it had announced it would be deprecating the app. Now, the company has done the opposite by taking down the news about the discontinuation, and restoring the support portal for the keyboard. That may be helpful for troubleshooting issues related to the app.
Even though SwiftKey for iOS is back on the App Store, the keyboard app has actually not been updated. Microsoft has basically just restored the old version without making any changes to it, i.e. it is still version 2.9.2 that was released in August 2021. That is not exactly great, because it clearly has the same bugs. For example, I tried signing in to SwiftKey's account system today, but it won't let me log in. This is annoying because you can't sync your iPhone or iPad's typing data to the cloud, and between devices.
These complaints aren't new, users have been reporting about such issues for a long time. The fact that these bugs were never fixed over a year was what actually led people to believe that SwiftKey had been abandoned, even before Microsoft had announced that it would be discontinuing the app.
Now that the app has made a comeback, the big question is, what happens now? What is SwiftKey's future? Nath's message ask users to "stay tuned to what the team has in store for it". This sentiment was echoed by Pedram Rezaei, the CTO of Microsoft Maps & Local Services Division, who said that the company is investing heavily in the keyboard.
That is precisely the kind of reassurance that users were expecting to hear. Hopefully we can expect some bug fixes, and feature updates to be made available in the near future.
Download SwiftKey for iOS from the App Store.
Are you happy that the app is back?
Thanks @Ashwin for the article! I used swifkey for a while, however I use Gboard for the icons. :]
I’m happy because it has some features that make it far superior to the standard KB but it’s not all roses. SwwiftKey has a well documented habit of replacing common words with strange proper names and like many people on forums, I have my own archive of these. It’s quite surreal.