Late yesterday, the Financial Times reported that SwiftKey was in talks with Microsoft about a potential acquisition that could be officially announced during the week. The report was right and this morning both Microsoft and SwiftKey have made the news official on their respective blogs.
The financial details of the acquisition weren't disclosed, but yesterday's report mentioned a $250 Million figure — or about a quarter Instagram if you want. The rest of the deal's terms aren't perfectly transparent either, but SwiftKey's co-founders Jon and Ben made it clear that the keyboard will continue to be developed for Android and iOS.
Our number one focus has always been to build the best possible products for our users.
Microsoft has been releasing its own apps on Android lately, but it's apparently looking to buy one now. Financial Times reports Microsoft is swooping in to snap up keyboard maker SwiftKey for $250 million. SwiftKey is running on millions of Android devices, plus the ones from OEMs that license and re-skin SwiftKey. Now Microsoft could extend its reach to all those devices very soon. Read More
Microsoft's Cortana has been available on Android for about 2 months, but shortly after its launch, it got an update to remove the Hey Cortana hotword (though that remained functional in Cyanogen OS) because of potential conflicts with Google's own Ok Google. That dampened a bit the app's utility as it became slightly more difficult to launch when in a hurry.
This update to version 1.4.0 tries to circumvent the issue by adding a homescreen widget. It has a big Ask Cortana button that launches voice searches immediately, a list of your upcoming events and reminders, and another button to add a reminder. Read More
Microsoft's Outlook has seen vast improvements over the past year or so. The app transformed from a Metro-inspired mess to a responsive and beautiful app with lots of Material touches. It recently even made the jump to add bottom quick access buttons, like Gmail used to have. And now the Outlook team is letting us know that the Calendar section of the app is getting cool new additions. Read More
Remember the days when Microsoft kept all its favorite toys in its own playground? Ah, those days are long over, and now we've got the full suite of Office apps on Android. All three—Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—are getting nice little updates today. Read More
Cyanogen Inc. started sending out Cyanogen OS 12.1.1 to the OnePlus One earlier this week. This update is notable as it's the first build that comes with Microsoft Cortana built-in. It turns out that's not the only Microsoft integration. The file opening dialog also seems to be suggesting Microsoft apps even if you don't have them installed.
Cyanogen Inc is rolling out Cyanogen OS 12.1.1 for the OnePlus One today, and it's not just any update. This is the first version of Cyanogen OS with support for Microsoft Cortana baked right in. After Microsoft finally made Cortana official for other phones, then removed the always listening feature, the OnePlus One is rather unique. Read More
Microsoft has been branching out recently to make its previously exclusive apps and services available on more platforms. Cortana just became publicly available after a lengthy beta test, and now there's a big update. Not because it added big things, but because it took one away. In v1.2 of the Cortana app, you can't use the "Hey Cortana" hotword in the US anymore. Read More
One of a smartphone's core functions is to contact your contacts, so you probably have a bunch of them. Some, maybe even most, folks would consider the default contacts app on their phone sufficient, but Microsoft is working on a piece of software for people who would say otherwise. Read More
Last month, Microsoft made a very unpopular decision to cut back on OneDrive storage for all of its users, reducing unlimited Office subscriber plans to 1TB, replacing paid 100GB and 200GB plans with 50GB ones for newcomers, and taking 10GB back of free storage on all regular user accounts. The justification given was an "abuse" of the unlimited plan by some users who had created backups of multiple computers and stored over 75TB of storage. In response, the user uproar explained that "unlimited" is, by definition, unlimited, and Microsoft should have put a limit from the first place if it didn't want users to surpass a certain capacity. Read More