Thursday, September 29, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Microsoft Discontinuing SwiftKey for iOS

Emma Roth (via Tom Warren):

Microsoft confirmed that it’s removing SwiftKey from the Apple App Store and ending support for the iOS version of the keyboard app on October 5th.

[…]

The move to discontinue SwiftKey on iOS comes after months of user complaints that seemingly went unresolved. On top of that, users noticed that Microsoft hasn’t updated the SwiftKey app on iOS in over a year, prompting suspicion over whether the app had been quietly discontinued.

Haseeb:

True reason: Apple API are not developer friendly anymore. Even for a mega corp.

Kosta Eleftheriou:

If you’re wondering why SwiftKey is being discontinued on iOS but not on Android, look no further than Apple’s absolutely, insanely terrible 3rd-party keyboard APIs.

Previously:

Update (2022-10-07): Chris Turner:

Well this stinks. I much prefer SwiftKey over the built-in keyboard.

Michael Buss Andersen:

This hurts especially since the default Danish iOS keyboard does not have quick type, swiping or multi language support.

Rosyna Keller:

I am confused by Microsoft’s claim that “For those customers who have SwiftKey installed on iOS, it will continue to work until it is manually uninstalled or a user gets a new device.”

Users that have grabbed something previously can continue to download.

See also: MacRumors.

3 Comments

I am not convinced that the API is what brought this product down at Microsoft. Most likely, they are cutting cost, or the developer that was responsible for maintaining it is leaving/moving inside Microsoft, and they couldn’t find an Objective C engineer to continue maintaining it.

While the APIs for third-party keyboards are limited, they are not suddenly more broken or more limited. The product was created with these limitations, it was successful enough and was later acquired by Microsoft—all within the same limited third-party keyboard APIs.

Tweet from Honza, one of the original developers of this product (now at Apple):
https://twitter.com/czechboy0/status/1575545324269338625

@Leo I’m not sure, as I have not used these APIs myself. But one possibility is that the behavior of the APIs has changed, and they don’t want to keep working around new bugs. Or, yes, it could be the other things you mention.

I'm guessing MS intends to expand the feature set of this keyboard in the future, and can't do so on iOS in the same way they can on Android. I've never used the iOS version of this keyboard, so I don't know if it currently has the same features as the Android version.

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