Microsoft brings Bing chat to SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS and Android
Microsoft has updated its SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS and Android to add support for Bing Chat. It offers the same experience as on desktop and the other mobile apps from the company.
The Silicon Valley mogul acquired SwiftKey in 2016 for $250 Million, and made the app free on Android and iOS. It has added various features to the keyboard on both platforms, the latest of which is the chatbot.
The new Bing gained an early footing in the AI wars as it offered a better experience than ChatGPT, especially with regard to the latest news. The introduction of the chatbot helped the search engine achieve a landmark of 100 Million active users every day. Now, Microsoft says that Bing Chat is used 100 million times a day. It already introduced the chat experience in the Bing Search, Microsoft Edge and Skype apps for Android and iOS. So, it's not surprising that the Redmond company wants to ride the wave with one of its most popular mobile apps, SwiftKey Keyboard. I noticed the feature in the app about a week ago, but it was formally announced today.
Bing Chat in SwiftKey Keyboard for Android and iOS
Tap the Bing icon in the left corner of the keyboard's toolbar to get started. Bing chat on SwiftKey Keyboard has 3 tabs: Search, Tone, and Chat.
Tap the Search button and a text bar appears at the top of the keyboard. Type in your query and you will notice that it offers auto complete suggestions. Tap the search button in the bottom right corner to submit your query, and the app displays the search results in its compact interface, the size is equal to the keyboard's height and width.
Swipe your finger from the right to left to view the next result, or vice-versa to get back to the previous one. Bing on SwiftKey displays a couple of buttons below each result, that you may use to share the link, or open the linked page in a larger view. The app remembers your search history, but this is limited to the last 3 queries.
The Tone tab rewrites (generates) the text that you input in 4 different styles: Professional, Casual, Polite and Social Post (with emojis). You can accept the result, or copy it to the clipboard.
You will need to sign in with your Microsoft account to access the Chat and the Tone features.
The primary feature of the bot, lets you ask queries and get relevant information from Bing Chat. Set the accuracy of the chat to Creative or Balanced or Precise, and you are good to go. Ask the bot to write a poem, some code, tell a joke, ask about current events, or anything that you want to learn about. The interactions have the same limitations as the conversations on desktop. The results includes annotations, i.e. it cites the sources that were used for pulling the information from.
The Chat option requests for your device's location, but you can deny it. If you don't have the Bing icon in SwiftKey, update the app from the Play Store or the App Store. The latest Android version is 184.108.40.206 and the iOS version is 3.0.1.
Bing Chat in Skype and Microsoft Start
Microsoft introduced the new Bing for Skype a few months ago. The feature has been expanded, and now only requires one person in a group to have access to the preview.
The translator in Bing search app on mobile devices now supports alternative masculine and feminine translations for English to Spanish, French or Italian. Microsoft says this would help avoid gender bias, and allows users to choose the gendered translation according to the context.
The new Bing experience is also available in the Microsoft Start app on Android and iOS, that you can use for getting a personalized news feed.
Image courtesy: Microsoft
I suppose it could be useful to perform quick searches without leaving the current app, it may come in handy during chats with other people. One annoying limitation in it is that you won't be able to access the content that you searched for when you switch to a different app and come back to the previous one. If you want to use Bing chat regularly, just install the Bing app or Microsoft Edge, as both of them offer a better experience.
I couldn't find an option to remove the Bing button in SwiftKey, but you can tap the button with the double arrows to hide the toolbar.
Have you tried the new Bing in SwiftKey?
If Google does this for their keyboard, I might have to switch back to Simple Keyboard again.