Microsoft has completed the acquisition of SwiftKey, which gives Redmond a popular iOS and Android keyboard, predictive technology, and complementary research into artificial intelligence.
Microsoft announced the plan to acquire London-headquartered SwiftKey in February, signalling it would integrate its technology into other Microsoft products, including its own Word Flow keyboard, which is being developed for the iPhone.
The completion of the acquisition was announced by Harry Shum, head of Microsoft Technology and Research, the group that delivered Word Flow.
SwiftKey also gives Microsoft a hook into some 300 million Android and iOS devices that either have its soft keyboard installed or are running a service powered by SwiftKey’s SDK.
SwiftKey joins a growing list of popular iOS and Android apps that Microsoft has bought in the past two years, since eschewing the devices and services mantra for ‘mobile-first cloud-first’, in which it focuses on productivity for all major platforms, as illustrated by Office for iOS and Android.
Other popular iOS and Android apps snapped up by Microsoft in recent times include Accompli, which simply became the new Outlook app on iOS and Android, and the Sunrise calendar app.
Microsoft’s most recent mobile-focused acquisition was Xamarin, giving it technology that lets C# developers write native apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS.
Following the Xamarin purchase, Microsoft revealed it would indeed kill Android ‘bridge’, its toolkit for porting Android apps to Windows, and would instead focus solely on the iOS bridge.
Mary Jo Foley writes, it’s widely expected Microsoft will use Xamarin to encourage developers to write Universal apps for all platforms, not just Windows 10.