Windows Phone 8.1 is shaping up to be a major OS update. Though there are a few big ticket new items, there are also a lot of under the hood fixes too. One of those in-between additions will be a new swipe-based keyboard. We mentioned this addition in our 8.1 features list and other articles not as a third-party replacement, or Swype from Android, but rather Microsoft’s own addition to the stock keyboard.
This morning, Unleash The Phones have posted a video purporting to be that very keyboard. Indeed, we can confirm its authenticity at this time.
The keyboard itself is fairly straight forward: stocky keyboard but with the ability to drag your finger to pick letters. There’s also a newly updated prediction engine to help make things faster, including the ability to suggest emoji when typing certain phrases e.g. ‘happy’ will bring up that word plus the smiley emoticon.
The new swipe keyboard looks clean, fast and an exciting way to input text into Windows Phone 8.1. It was one of the key pieces of the update to not leak out, though like everything about 8.1, it has now seen the light of day.
What do you think of the keyboard? Sound off in comments.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.