Microsoft Garage, an experimental hub that allows the company's employees to work on different projects, has released its Hub Keyboard app on iOS. The company first launched the keyboard on Android in February, offering users a third-party keyboard that allows you to share Office 365 documents and files stored in the cloud, swap contacts and access items on your clipboard without switching apps.
The Hub Keyboard allows you to sift through your One Drive and SharePoint files and instantly drop links in your chat conversation. You can also share information of a contact from your phone or Office 365 account and insert the last text you copied onto your clipboard.
However, the iOS version's feature set does differ from that of its Android counterpart, possibly due to permission restrictions in iOS. The Android version includes a translation feature, powered by Microsoft Translator, which allows users to translate what they are writing to another language that is missing in the iOS version.
With the iOS version, you can only copy the most recent text in your clipboard. However, in the Android version, the app provides a list of all your previously copied text items to paste into your chat, document or email.
The iOS version of the app comes in at version 1.0. The Android version, on the other hand, is still listed as Hub Keyboard, Preview on Play Store and came in at version 0.9.6.7. The iOS version is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Both versions feature the app's sleek, minimalist design and useful features, for those who are willing to link the app to an Office 365 account.
The Hub Keyboard is the brainchild of Steve Won, a senior designer on the Office team, who came up with the idea for a unique keyboard in 2015. Won said he often found himself frustrated having to switch between apps on his smartphone to perform certain tasks. Work began on the project at Microsoft's internal//oneweek Hackathon in 2015. It soon became a team of seven and was funded for further development.
Microsoft recently acquired smart keyboard app company Swiftkey, so users can expect to see the company churning out more typing apps in the future.