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Microsoft’s stunning Word Flow iOS keyboard is now in closed beta

You could soon find yourself typing with a different keyboard on your iPhone — if Microsoft has its way, that is.

The company today showed off its next iOS keyboard, called Word Flow, which it first described back in January. Today, however, beta testers started being allowed to sign up to use the app, suggesting that a wider release for the keyboard might not be too far off in the future.

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“Our app is currently in a closed beta release, which means we want to get it just right before we open it up to everyone,” said Microsoft in  a related statement on its website. The company did not offer any specific details about when we might see the app released to the public.

Like the Windows Phone keyboard, Word Flow will allow you to either tap or swipe words, and will intelligently predict words for the end of your sentences, a feature that could certainly save time. You’ll also be able to customize the background of the keyboard, and even use it in “one-handed mode,” which basically bends the keyboard toward one side of the screen to allow users to easily type with one hand.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Microsoft has experimented with keyboards on third-party operating systems. The company recently released the Hub Keyboard, first to Android and then to iOS. The Hub Keyboard allows you to access files, translation, and more, straight from the keyboard. Clearly the firm is not stopping at the Hub Keyboard though.

The releases highlight the fact that Microsoft is slowly changing its strategy when it comes to mobile, focusing more on apps than on its Windows Phone operating system, which has largely fallen short of what the company might have hoped for in terms of market acceptance.

If you’re interested in being part of the beta program for Word Flow, you can head to the sign up page here.

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