SwiftKey has returned to the iOS App Store. After a month-long absence, the popular keyboard app is suddenly available on Apple’s website.
SwiftKey for iOS has returned
Microsoft announced in September that it would discontinue support for SwiftKey for iOS on October 5th. It assured Android users that their version would not be affected by this change. The news came as quite a surprise to iOS users, who had pleaded with Microsoft not to discontinue the keyboard. Unfortunately, their expectations were dashed, as the app was delisted as planned last month.
This past weekend, Vishnu Nath, the Vice President and General Manager of the Office Product Group, which includes SwiftKey, made an unexpected announcement on Twitter confirming that SwiftKey is back on iOS. Caitlin Roulston of Microsoft stated in a statement to The Verge that the keyboard had been reinstated in response to customer feedback. It appears that they did, in fact, consider user feedback. This is welcome news, given the current state of keyboard apps on mobile platforms. Even Apple’s iOS keyboard is inferior to SwiftKey, let alone third-party applications such as Gboard.
In my previous article, I mentioned that Microsoft had eliminated all SwiftKey support pages after announcing the app’s retirement. Now, the company has reversed course by removing the discontinuation announcement and restoring the support portal for the keyboard. This may be useful for troubleshooting app-related issues.
SwiftKey for iOS has returned to the App Store, but the keyboard app has not been updated. Microsoft has essentially restored the previous version without making any changes to it; it is still version 2.9.2 from August 2021. This is not exactly impressive, as it contains the same bugs. For instance, I attempted to log in to SwiftKey’s account system today, but I was unable to. This is annoying because you cannot sync the typing data on your iPhone or iPad to the cloud or between devices.
These complaints are not new; users have reported similar issues for quite some time. The fact that these bugs were never fixed over the course of a year was what led people to believe that SwiftKey had been abandoned, even before Microsoft announced that the app would be discontinued.
Now that the application has made a comeback, the pressing question is what will occur next. What is the future of SwiftKey? The message from Nath instructs users to “stay tuned for what the team has in store for it.” CTO of Microsoft Maps & Local Services Division Pedram Rezaei echoed this sentiment, stating that the company is investing heavily in the keyboard.
This is precisely the type of reassurance that users anticipated hearing. Hopefully, bug fixes and feature enhancements will be made available in the near future.
SwiftKey for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store.
Are you pleased that the app has returned?