Microsoft makes great iOS keyboard, Twitter makes messaging easier


Microsoft has made a great free keyboard for iOS – and you can't get it in New Zealand!
Microsoft has made a great free keyboard for iOS – and you can’t get it in New Zealand!

Microsoft Word Flow software keyboard makes iPhone typing fun again — For a company that mostly relies on other hardware manufacturers, Microsoft sure knows its way around a keyboard. Many Mac users are more than happy to swap out Apple’s for one of Microsoft’s hardware keyboards. [Microsoft has long preferred ergonomics over looks for its hardware – completely the opposite approach to Apple.]
But with the release of its Windows Phone keyboard for iOS, a whole lot of iPhone users might be dumping Apple’s keyboard, too. A modern rethinking of mobile typing that takes advantage of the flexibility and elasticity of the soft keyboard, Word Flow (free on the iTunes Store) takes Microsoft’s expertise with hardware and applies it to the virtual space, creating what might be the first keyboard that’s downright pleasurable to use. [Except – and this really sucks – it’s only available in the US iTunes Store!]

Twitter introduces 4 big changes that will make tweets much easier to send and read — Twitter isn’t abolishing its defining 140-character limit for tweets, but it’s making some big changes so you can do more within those confines. Other tweaks to the way replies work will remove some of the “inside-baseball” Twitter tricks that act as a barrier to entry for new users.
In the future, any media you attach to a tweet—be it an image, video, Periscope stream, poll, whatever—will no longer eat into your precious limit. Twitter’s post doesn’t mention links to websites being regarded as media, so those seem likely to still consume a blanket 23 characters regardless of length. That’s a bit of a bummer, but hey, baby steps.

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