Microsoft appears to be doing its darndest to become a first class arbitor of experiences on Android devices as it continually updates it launcher, Bing Search and Cortana Digital assistant apps with new OS leveraging features.
Another Microsoft service seeing an update recently is the company's mobile keyboard, SwiftKey, which just brought web browsing directly into the app. Similar to Google's Gboard app, SwiftKey will now allow users in the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Canada, Australia, Japan, India, and Brazil who use Android devices to do a truncated web search via the keyboard.
Today’s update on SwiftKey for #Android builds search right into your keyboard, making it easy to search and share anything from the web with your friends. https://t.co/b4kAg2zIqW #search #Microsoft #SwiftKey #sharing #GooglePlay pic.twitter.com/KXcnXQodSL
— Microsoft SwiftKey (@SwiftKey) November 29, 2018
The new searching feature is robust enough to identify and link flight options and URL's.
SwiftKey product manager Collen Hall highlights the benefits of SwiftKey's new streamlined communication process that enables users to avoid app jumping to gather and share data.
“By having Search right there in the keyboard, users can browse for information and share it with their contacts without leaving the conversation, whether that’s for quick fact-finding, checking the local weather, or sharing news headlines and images in a message.”
All of these benefits of SwiftKey's new search feature will come at a cost to some users who prefer to use Google's search engine over Microsoft's as the new search option appears to be powered only by Bing at the moment.
The update is currently rolling out to users or can be manually applied by visiting the Play Store.