On October 5, 2022, Microsoft will delist its 3rd party mobile keyboard app SwiftKey from the Apple App Store.
In a seemingly unwarranted move on September 28 2022, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the company is yanking its SwiftKey keyboard app from the App Store and is currently directing users to a support page with help on how to manage data after the app is no longer around.
Microsoft will continue to support SwiftKey and it’s “underlying technology” on the Android platform, for now, according to director of product management for SwiftKey, Chris Wolfe.
The announcement follows roughly a year of iOS user feedback questioning the development status of the app, which has seen scant updates, feature improvements or even security releases.
While Microsoft has yet to officially address the user feedback, Microsoft journalist Mary Jo Foley believes the stagnation and subsequent removal of the app on iOS may be a result of permissions policies enforced by Apple.
I’m guessing the decision had as much to do with Apple’s policies around safeguarding its walled garden as anything. The Microsoft Phone Link team knows well that if Apple doesn’t grant access to certain interfaces, there’s no easy or good way to make a product which needs integration to work.
If true, the unfortunate reality is that a multiplatform app which was purchased by Microsoft back in 2016, is now becoming a single platform app just six years later.
As for its status on Android, SwiftKey maintains a 1B plus download status, while also being bundled with the Microsoft Launcher app and powers both the Surface Duo and Duo 2 typing experiences out of the box, so it should be around for some time, presumably.