In an unexpected development, SwiftKey is back on the App Store just a month after Microsoft removed the virtual keyboard app.
The move comes following customer feedback about the discontinuation of SwiftKey for iOS.
SwiftKey for iPhone is back on the App Store
SwiftKey’s last major update dropped in August 2021. So, Microsoft killing the keyboard in October this year was not surprising. But the company probably underestimated how many iPhone users prefer its keyboard solution over the built-in iOS keyboard. In a statement to The Verge, Microsoft’s Caitlin Roulston said, “Based on customer feedback, SwiftKey iOS has been relisted on the Apple App Store.”
Microsoft has uploaded the same build on the App Store that it removed in early October. So, you are not getting any new features. However, the company’s VP of the Office product group teased on Twitter that new features are under development. It looks like Microsoft intends to invest in SwiftKey for iOS, so expect regular updates.
Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard is BACK on iOS!
Stay tuned to what the team has in store for it!
— Vishnu.one (@VishnuNath) November 18, 2022
Apple needs to improve third-party keyboard support in iOS
Third-party keyboards provide a half-baked and buggy experience on iPhone. This is primarily due to various restrictions imposed by Apple. So, it is surprising that many iPhone users still prefer SwiftKey over the built-in keyboard.
These restrictions have led third-party keyboards to disappear from the App Store. There were a few popular options back in the day, but they are no longer actively being updated. Google’s Gboard is the only other popular alternative keyboard for iPhone, but it does not receive as frequent updates as its Android counterpart.
Here’s hoping Apple learns from SwiftKey’s popularity and improves third-party keyboard support in iOS 17.