Microsoft is killing off its SwiftKey predictive keyboard for iOS, with plans to remove it from the App Store as of October 5.
SwiftKey is a predictive keyboard that gained popularity on Android and iOS before being bought by Microsoft. In recent years Apple’s own iOS keyboard has included many of the features SwiftKey became famous for, such as predictive text and swipe gestures.
It appears Microsoft is now ending support for the iOS version of SwiftKey, according to ZDNet, removing it from the App Store as of October 5. Chris Wolfe, Director Product Management at SwiftKey, gave the following statement to the outlet:
“As of October 5, support for SwiftKey iOS will end and it will be delisted from the Apple App Store. Microsoft will continue support for SwiftKey Android as well as the underlying technology that powers the Windows touch keyboard. 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. Please visit Support.SwiftKey.com for more information.”
Microsoft refused to provide any comment as to the reason for the change of plans, but ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley theorizes the decision may be in response to Apple’s walled garden policies. In the name of privacy Apple restricts access to core elements of iOS, making it difficult for a product like SwiftKey to integrate as fully as the built-in keyboard.
Microsoft may have simply decided it could no longer deliver the product and experience that it can on Android.