Microsoft is unveiling its first major update to the SwiftKey keyboard it acquired back in 2016. Today’s 7.0 release replaces the existing hub found in the keyboard with a new toolbar that expands to provide access to stickers, GIFs, and soon some useful location and calendar features. The new toolbar is designed to make it quicker to insert GIFs, emoji, and the new sticker packs that Microsoft will be making available.
The most interesting new additions, location and calendar, are coming to the toolbar soon. The location feature will allow SwiftKey users in India or the US to share their location in many apps, and the calendar integration will let people insert calendar appointments in any app straight from the keyboard toolbar. Still, this new toolbar sets up Microsoft to battle for control of your iPhone or Android keyboard alongside Google’s GBoard app.
Microsoft killed off its Windows Phone keyboard for the iPhone last year, and encouraged users to download SwiftKey instead. It now looks like development for Microsoft’s keyboards is being channeled into SwiftKey, rather than the variety of iOS keyboards the company has been testing. That should result in even better improvements to SwiftKey, just like we’re seeing today. SwiftKey’s latest 7.0 update is available now on both iOS and Android.